Cardiovascular, Renal, and Metabolic Diabetic Complications: Gender-Specific Implications in Physiology
Jennifer Sullivan   (Augusta, GA)
Recent mandates from the NIH requiring the consideration of sex as a biological variable in NIH-funded research has resulted in an increase in the inclusion of females in experimental studies. As more investigators include animals of both sexes in their studies, and clinicians perform studies sufficiently powered to find sex differences, the entire scientific community is beginning to identify molecular, cellular, and systems-based differences between males and females that affect normal physiology, responses to pathological conditions, and response to therapeutics. As a result, the topic of sex and gender is of growing interest to many in the scientific community. The goal of this proposal is to seek travel support for trainee and early-stage investigators to attend the American Physiological Society (APS) conference entitled “Cardiovascular, Renal, and Metabolic Diseases: Gender-Specific Implications in Physiology”. The objective of the conference is to provide greater understanding of how sex and gender impact normal physiology and the pathophysiology of disease, which is particularly relevant in diabetes. While in non-diabetic people the risk for cardiovascular disease tends to be higher in men compared to age-matched women, diabetes reverses this sex-gender difference such that diabetic women have a greater burden of cardiovascular complications. Moreover, the risk factors commonly associated with cardiovascular disease are exacerbated in diabetic females compare to males. Therefore, our meeting will be of great value to the diabetic complications community by advancing the study of diabetic complications and promoting communication and collaboration between research communities investigating pathologic mechanisms in end organs of diabetic complications in both sexes. We have 3 specific aim to address our objective. 1) Gather a critical mass of expert clinical and basic researchers with interests in the role of sex hormones, sex chromosomes, and gender in cardiovascular-renal diseases, obesity and metabolic syndrome- all known diabetic complications- to promote the exchange of ideas and collaborations. 2) Promote and encourage early career investigators and trainees to develop new studies into women's/men's health issues and/or sex and gender differences related to in cardiovascular, renal and metabolic function (diabetic complications) in health and disease. 3) Provide context and greater understanding for the consideration of sex as a biological variable in clinical and basic science studies of cardiovascular, renal, and metabolic diseases (diabetic complications). The program for the upcoming APS meeting will include both invited talks and abstract-based oral presentations related to the impact of sex and gender on diabetes and diabetic complications to improve our understanding of underlying pathways by which males and females differ in their cardiovascular, renal and metabolic consequences of diabetes and obesity. The expected size of this conference (~150 attendees) is ideal to promote communication and collaboration among leaders in the field of sex differences in physiology on diabetic complications.