Rockville, Md. (October 12, 2021)—Scientists specializing in research on sex and gender differences in diseases of the cardiovascular, renal, endocrine and immune systems will meet virtually October 19–22, 2021, for the American Physiological Society’s (APS) New Trends in Sex and Gender Medicine conference. Leading investigators studying how sex and gender impact health and medical outcomes will present new research findings on topics that include female reproductive risk factors, COVID-19, transgender health, the microbiome, opioid addiction and developmental programming.

Licy Yanes Cardozo, MD, of the University of Mississippi Medical Center, and Vesna Garovic, MD, PhD, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, co-organized the conference, which will convene renowned scientists and clinicians. “In many other meetings, sex and gender research might be a small part of the program. What sets this meeting apart is its sole focus on the way these factors weigh into health and disease,” explained Yanes Cardozo. “We’re thrilled to have a speaker lineup with well-known internationally recognized researchers in their respective areas.”

Highlighted conference sessions are listed below. View the meeting program for more information.


Program Highlights


Tuesday, October 19

Plenary lecture 1: Adverse cardiometabolic effects of severe food restriction in males and females

Chairs: Vesna Garovic, MD, PhD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MinnesotaLicy Yanes Cardozo, MD, University of Mississippi Medical Center

Speaker: Kathryn Sandberg, PhD, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.


Session 1: Sex differences in the immune system

Chairs: Keisa Mathis, PhD, University of North Texas, Denton; Megan Sylvester, MD, PhD, University of Arizona College of Medicine



“The importance of T and B cells in the production of autoantibodies to the angiotensin II type I receptor and the pathophysiology associated with preeclampsia”

Babbette Lamarca, PhD, University of Mississippi Medical Center


“Cluster of differentiation 14 (CD14) attenuates salt sensitive hypertension and renal injury in females but not males”

David Mattson, PhD, FAPS, Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University


“Sex differences in the immune system: placenta and beyond”

Lana McClements, PhD, MPharm, University of Technology, Australia


“Sex differences in response to sepsis”

Denise Cornelius, PhD, University of Mississippi Medical Center


Trainee Session 1: Academic Twitter: a new skill in your trainee tool belt Speakers: S. Vincent Rajkumar, MD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota; John Henry Dasinger, PhD, Augusta University, Georgia


Session 2: Hot topics in sex differences in microbiome

Chairs: Jennifer Pluznick, PhD, Johns Hopkins University, BaltimoreJustine Abais-Battad, PhD, Medical College of Georgia



“Alterations in the stool microbiome with polycystic ovary syndrome”

Melanie Cree-Green, MD, PhD, University of Colorado Anschutz; Children’s Hospital Colorado, Aurora


“Sex differences in irritable bowel syndrome”

Adil Bharucha, MD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota


“Sex differences in gut microbiome composition and functionality”

José Manuel Fernández-Real, MD, PhD, Dr. Josep Trueta University Hospital of Girona, Spain


“Microbiome in obese pregnancy and preeclampsia”

Jennifer Sones, DVM, PhD, Louisiana State University


Wednesday, October 20

Plenary Lecture 2: Digital health sciences towards clinical excellence and better health Chair: Vesna Garovic, MD, PhD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota

Speaker: Hongfang Liu, PhD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota


Session 3: Sex differences in hypertension

Chairs: John Stallone, PhDTexas A&M UniversitySuttira “Joy” Intapad, PhD, Tulane University, New Orleans 



“Sex differences in atherosclerosis”

Hester den Ruijter, PhD, University Utrecht, Netherlands


“Sex differences in the role of endothelial cell mineralocorticoid receptors in cardiovascular disease”

Iris Z. Jaffe, MD, PhD, Tufts University Medical Center, Boston


“Increased risk of preeclampsia with obesity”

Joey Granger, PhD, FAPS, University of Mississippi Medical Center


“Obesity mediates cardiovascular sex differences in polycystic ovary syndrome for genetically predisposed individuals”

Ky’Era Actkins, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee


“Sex differences in cerebrovascular reactivity to hypercapnia and isometric handgrip exercise”

Stefanie Ruediger, The University of Queensland, Australia


“Role of two X sex chromosomes in the development of atherosclerosis”

Yasir Alsiraj, PhD, University of Kentucky


“Sex differences in exercise capacity”

Marko Oydanich, Rutgers University, New Jersey


“Role of the renal androgen receptor in ammonia metabolism”

Autumn Harris, DVM, University of Florida


“Hypertension is leptin-dependent in ovariectomized obese agouti yellow female mice”

Candee Barris, Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University


Trainee Session 2: How to convince your grandmothers and government agencies that research is important. Speak up to make a difference. Advocacy for science. Speakers: Mila Becker, Endocrine Society, Washington, D.C.Rebecca Osthus, PhD, American Physiological Society, Rockville, Maryland


Session 4: News in sex differences in brain function

Chairs: Mark Cunningham, PhD, University of North Texas Health Science CenterFan Fan, PhD, University of Mississippi Medical Center



“Women and stroke: the importance of age and sex”

Louise McCullogh, MD, PhD, University of Texas, Austin


“Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders—a rural health challenge”

Kedra Wallace, PhD, University of Mississippi Medical Center


“High-fat diet-induced obesity in sex differences in neurogenesis”

Kristen L. Zuloaga, PhD, Albany Medical College, New York


“The many menopauses: cognitive effects of early life ovarian removal”

Gillian Einstein, PhD, University of Toronto, Canada


Session 5: New trends in transgender medicine

Chairs: Jeremi Carswell, MD, Boston Children’s Hospital; Kelia Turino Miranda, University of Calgary , Canada



“Cardiovascular disease in transgender and gender diverse adults taking feminizing gender-affirming hormone therapy”

Sean J. Iwamoto, MD, University of Colorado, Boulder


“Cardiovascular risk of gender affirming hormone therapy in transgender men”

Nina Stachenfeld, PhD, FAPS, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut


Thursday, October 21

Session 6: News in sex differences in developmental programming

Chairs: Noha Shawky, PhD, University of Mississippi Medical CenterKeshari Thakali, PhD, University of Arkansas



“Impact of maternal alcohol intake on development and long-term health of offspring”

Kate Denton, PhD, Monash University, Australia


“Sex differences in cardiometabolic complications in intrauterine growth restricted offspring”

Barbara Alexander, PhD, FAPS, University of Mississippi Medical Center


“Early life stress: impact and consequences of sex differences on cardiovascular and immune disease outcomes”

Jennifer Pollock, PhD, FAPS, University of Alabama at Birmingham


“Sex differences in developmental origins of adult cardiovascular disease”

Sandra Davidge, PhD, University of Alberta, Canada


Session 7: News in sex differences in cardiovascular-renal disease

Chairs: Jessica Faulkner, PhD, Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University; Megan Wenner, PhD, University of Delaware



“Sex differences in COVID-19”

Franck Mauvais-Jarvis, MD, PhD, Tulane University Health Science Center, New Orleans


“Polycystic ovary syndrome and COVID-19”

Damian G. Romero, PhD, University of Mississippi Medical Center


“Acclimation to a high salt diet is sex-dependent”

Eman Gohar, PhD, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee


“Sex differences in renal disease”

Karl Nath, MD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota


“Orchiectomy exacerbates lung mechanical consequences of intermittent hypoxia in C57BL/6J mice”

Gauthier Ganouna-Cohen, University Institute of Cardiology and Respirology of Québec, Canada


“Sex differences in macrophage migration inhibitor factor signaling in COVID-19”

So-Jin Kim, PhD, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina


“Comparison of the phenotypic development of c26 colorectal cancer-induced cachexia between biological sexes”

Francielly Morena da Silva, University of Arkansas


“The hemodynamic response to sympathetic activation differs in women with natural menstrual cycles and women using oral contraceptives”

Aaron Voshage, University of Missouri


“Selection of extraction methodology and baseline gender differences in rodent gut microbiomes: Important considerations for conducting pre-clinical microbiome research”

Katherine Maki, PhD, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland


“Maternal B cell depletion decreases blood pressure and improves fetal weights in offspring of a rat model of preeclampsia”

Nathan Campbell, University of Mississippi Medical Center


Session 8: News in sex differences in pain and addiction

Chairs: Donna Platt, PhD, University of Mississippi Medical Center; Taylor Fitzpatrick-Schmidt, Louisiana State University New Orleans School of Medicine


“Women, opioids and addiction in the time of COVID-19”

Carolyn Mazure, PhD, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut


“Sex differences in offspring of maternal methamphetamine use”

Daniela Rueedi-Betschen, PhD, University of Mississippi Medical Center


“Membrane androgen receptor-induced neurodegeneration”

Rebecca Cunningham, PhD, University of North Texas Health Science Center


“Sex differences in vulnerability to addiction”

Jill Becker, PhD, University of Michigan


Friday, October 22

Plenary Lecture 3: New studies in mechanisms of polycystic ovary syndrome Chair: Licy Yanes Cardozo, MD, University of Mississippi Medical Center   Speaker: Elisabet Stener-Victorin, PhD, Karolinska Institute, Sweden


Session 9: Sex differences in aging

Chairs: Minolfa Prieto, MD, PhD, Tulane University, New Orleans; Jeanne Ishimwe, PhD, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee



“Sex, aging and lung disease”

Y.S. Prakash, MD, PhD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota


“Sex differences in lipids and lipoprotein metabolism”

John Stafford, MD, PhD, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee


“Sex differences in hypertension susceptibility and hypothalamic plasticity”

Teresa Milner, PhD, Weill Cornell Medicine Graduate School of Medical Sciences, New York


“Sex differences in dementia”

Michelle Mielke, PhD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota


“Cardiovascular disease and menopause”

Samar El Khoudary, PhD, University of Pittsburgh


Trainee Session 3: Odysseus was right—Mentoring is important! Speaker: Jane Reckelhoff, PhD, FAPS, University of Mississippi Medical Center


Session 10: Sex differences in cardiovascular, renal and liver diseases

Chairs: Eric Belin de Chantemèle, DSc, Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University; Erin Taylor, PhD, University of Mississippi Medical Center



“Sex differences in alcohol consumption and alcohol-associated liver disease”

Vijay Shah, MD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota


“Sex differences in dental-associated cardiovascular disease”

Kristine DeLeon-Pennell, PhD, Medical University of South Carolina


“Sex differences in transplantation”

Joel Neugarten, MD, Montefiori Medical Center, New York


“Battle of the sexes: androgens and estrogens in control of white adipose tissue metabolism”

Annie Newell-Fugate, PhD, DVM, Texas A&M University


“Circulating cell-free mitochondrial DNA in preeclampsia”

Styliani “Stella” Goulopoulou, PhD, University of North Texas


NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: The New Trends in Sex and Gender Medicine conference will be held October 19–22 on a virtual platform. To schedule an interview with the conference organizers or presenters, contact APS Media Relations or call 301.634.7314. Find more research highlights in the APS Newsroom.

Physiology is a broad area of scientific inquiry that focuses on how molecules, cells, tissues and organs function in health and disease. The American Physiological Society connects a global, multidisciplinary community of more than 10,000 biomedical scientists and educators as part of its mission to advance scientific discovery, understand life and improve health. The Society drives collaboration and spotlights scientific discoveries through its 16 scholarly journals and programming that support researchers and educators in their work.



Meeting Link: New Trends in Sex and Gender