PBS Associate Professor Emily Jacobs To Give Talk About Women’s Brain Health On Oct 26

October 25, 2021

On Tuesday, Oct 26, Psychological and Brain Sciences Dept Associate Professor Emily Jacobs will speak at the UCSB Library Pacific Views talk series about the importance of considering gender equity when developing novel health interventions. See below for a description of the talk: 

Since its inception, the biomedical sciences have centered the male body as the paragon of biology, while casting aside the female body as unworthy of study or, worse, unknowable. In short, the culture of science exalted ‘male’ as the norm and ‘female’ as abnormal. Until the passage of the NIH Revitalization Act, women rarely participated in clinical trials, and to this day female animals are excluded from the majority of preclinical studies on the etiology, prevention, and treatment of human diseases. One consequence is that ~80% of drugs and medical devices removed from the market by the FDA are done so because of adverse effects in women.

This lecture considers the intersection between gender equity in STEM and the status of women’s health - not as concurrent phenomena, but connected ones. According to a report issued last year in Nature, half of all female scientists in the United States leave full-time science after having their first child. This exodus isn’t just about the cost to women. It’s about the cost to science and the general good. What are the chances that a major scientific breakthrough will occur when the pool of highly trained scientists is cut in half? We will examine the critical ways in which progress in women’s health has suffered from the lack of female representation in the fields of medicine and health, with an emphasis on neuroscience. We end by highlighting emerging research programs, public policy changes, and private sector funding opportunities that position the female body as equal to the male, and by doing so are opening up new frontiers for understanding health and disease.

To learn more about this line of research in Prof. Jacobs’ lab, see the recent UCSB Current article by Tom Jacobs: https://www.news.ucsb.edu/2021/020438/how-sexism-hinders-brain-research 

To RSVP for in-person attendance or for online streaming information, go to: https://campuscalendar.ucsb.edu/event/the_scientific_body_of_knowledge_-_whose_body_does_it_serve_a_spotlight_on_womens_brain_health