I recently returned from a conference in Japan, where I had the opportunity to meet with distinguished colleagues from all over the globe to discuss the latest issues affecting gender medicine. For three days, we were able to discuss, debate and share perspectives all while fostering bonds that will lead to new relationships and collaborations — in the name of science and medicine.
Now comes word that the Trump administration’s permanent travel ban on citizens from eight countries (Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen)—will directly impact scientists and the incredible work they do in the fields of genetics, biology, geology and more. I understand and strongly support the need to keep our country safe and secure but as a physician, academic and research scientist the administration should rethink its approach to isolating scientists whose work is dedicated to understanding disease and alleviating patient pain and suffering.
Important work that may lead to critical breakthroughs will be disrupted because the ability to meet face-to-face or via other options will no longer be allowed. Not the least of which, this ban will prevent the training of young scholars who traditionally and successfully have been mentored by experts in the United States.
Please contact your congressman and make them aware of how these travel restrictions hurt the scientific and medical communities and ultimately world health. –Marianne J. Legato, M.D.
Dr. Marianne Legato, Professor Emerita of Clinical Medicine at Columbia University is an internationally known academic physician, author, lecturer, and specialist in gender-specific medicine. She is founding member of the International Society for Gender Medicine and also the founder and director of The Partnership for Gender-Specific Medicine at Columbia University and its next iteration, The Foundation for Gender-Specific Medicine. These enterprises are the first collaborations between academic medicine and the private sector focused solely on gender-specific medicine: the science of how normal human biology differs between men and women and of how the diagnosis and treatment of disease differs as a function of gender and sex. Her ground breaking textbook on Gender-and Sex Specific Medicine has been published in 2017 in the 3rd edition.
She has published extensively on Gender and Sex Specific Medicine, both scientifically and for the lay public. She is also the founding editor of the journal Gender Medicine, and the Journal Gender and Genome, published for the scientific community. In 1992, Dr. Legato won the American Heart Association’s Blakeslee Award for the best book written for the lay public on cardiovascular disease. She is a practicing internist in New York City and has been listed each year in New York Magazine’s “Best Doctors” since the feature’s inception in 1993.