(HealthDay News) — The National Institutes of Health is investing $10 million in additional funding in scientific trials to encourage researchers to consider gender in their preclinical and clinical studies.
The supplemental monies were provided to 82 projects spanning a range of fields, including basic immunology, cardiovascular physiology, neural circuitry and behavioral health, according to an NIH announcement Sept. 23.
Preclinical trials are currently more focused on men, which can mask key findings related to sex and gender that could impact future studies, the NIH said. The trials that receive the supplemental funding will study men and women and add to the body of sex-based knowledge.
To do this, scientists must add one of the following elements to their original project: animals, tissues or cells of the opposite sex to allow sex-based comparisons; more men or women to a sample that already includes men and women, to enable an and analysis of a sex or gender difference; and an analysis of existing datasets containing information from men and women.
“This funding strategy demonstrates our commitment to moving the needle toward better health for all Americans, while helping grow our knowledge base for both sexes and building research infrastructure to aid future studies,” Janine Austin Clayton, MD, NIH associate director for women’s health research, said in an NIH news release.
“The scientists receiving these awards have approached their research questions with fresh thinking, and are looking for innovation and discovery through a new lens.”