NIH Seeks Gender Equality in Research Studies

The National Institutes of Health announced disbursement of more than $10 million in research funding to researchers studying various healthcare issues. The objective of this additional funding is to avoid gender bias and seek equal representation of female subjects.

In an effort to begin addressing persistent gender bias in laboratory research, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced Tuesday that it will distribute $10.1 million in grants to more than 80 scientists studying a diverse array of subjects, including drug addiction, fetal development, migraines, and stroke.

The researchers will use the additional funds to include more human participants — generally women — in clinical trials and to ensure that their laboratory animals, even cell lines, are representative of both genders. The money also will be used to analyze gender differences in the resulting data, officials said.

“It’s an early first step we’re taking to encourage people to see the value of studying sex as a biological variable,” said Janine Austin Clayton, MD, associate director for women’s health research at NIH. “What we are after is to transform how people think about science and therefore transform how science is done.”

Read the article in The New York Times: