Considering Sex as a Biological Variable in Research – Your Input is Requested

We as a scientific community have made major progress toward balancing the number of men and women who volunteer as participants in biomedical research studies; in fact, women now account for roughly half of the participants in NIH-funded clinical trials. However, we haven’t seen a similar pattern in the pre-clinical research involving animals and cells. …. Thus, as announced in May, NIH intends to develop and implement policies requiring NIH applicants to consider sex as a variable in biomedical research involving animals and cells. …. today we announced a formal request for information (RFI) to get input from the research community, and others. As described in the RFI, we want to hear your thoughts on several topics – for example, whether consideration of sex as a biological variable is an issue affecting the reproducibility of research findings ….

One Nation in Support of Biomedical Research?

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Until recently, we’d never have dreamed of mentioning the famous opening line of Charles Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities in the context of U.S. biomedical research. But now those words ring all too true. ….

Reporting to NIH on Race and Ethnicity of Clinical Research Participants

The inclusion of women, different racial and ethnic groups, and children is extremely important in clinical research to understand who is affected by a given disease or condition and to develop the appropriate treatments. …. I’m bringing this topic to your attention because there has been some confusion about the distinction between race and ethnicity and how to report this information to the NIH. ….

Fostering Workforce Diversity

Beginning this month, we will be accepting applications for the NIH Director’s ARRA Pathfinder Award to Promote Diversity in the Scientific Workforce. This program challenges the research community to develop new approaches to biomedical workforce diversity. We hope that creative scientists will accept this challenge. We anticipate making five, 3-year awards, for $2 million each, to stimulate the development of new ideas to address this very difficult problem.