|Dr. Joy Johnson (l) of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and her staff meet with ORWH.
Representatives of NIH and the Institute of Gender Health (IGH) of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) met recently to discuss
priorities and common problems faced in sex differences research in womenís and menís health and to focus on ways the two organizations
might further their similar missions.
Sixteen NIH representatives, led by ORWH director Dr. Vivian Pinn, met with the four Canadian representatives of IGH, scientific director Dr. Joy Johnson, Assistant Director Abigail Forson and advisory board members Dr. Donna Stewart and Dr. Bilkis Vissandjee. The discussion included topics such as ensuring
inclusion of pregnant women in drug trials;
ensuring inclusion of minorities in research studies and in the scientific workforce; and training that focuses on the importance of sex and gender in relation to good science.
Johnson said there is a need to find ways for Canadian and U.S. researchers to know one another so that they potentially could collaborate
more. A possible joint roundtable on sex-specific health research was suggested.
Johnson also said that as of December 2010, all CIHR grant application forms include two questions
requiring applicants to indicate whether
sex and/or gender considerations are taken into account in their designs. Subsequently, the IGH developed a reference document providing
health researchers a framework for thinking
about how sex differences might be integrated
into their research designs. In addition, they developed a quick guide for peer reviewers in assessing whether proposals submitted by applicants appropriately integrate sex and gender
in their designs.
CIHR, composed of 13 institutes, is the major federal agency for funding health research in Canada. Johnson pointed out that every institute
within it, including the IGH, gets the same amount of funding. IGH funds sex/gender research across many fields and in collaboration with the other institutes.