Whitehead Institute researchers are pioneering the field of sex-based differences in biology. Genes create fundamental differences between males and females — in every cell of the body, independent from the hormonal influences of the reproductive tract. However, the extent to which these differences impact health and disease is not well understood. Some of these differences between men and women may affect disease frequency— for example, women are much more susceptible to lupus; boys experience a greater incidence of autism. Other differences may manifest in distinct symptoms—signs of heart attack, for example, can differ greatly between the sexes, and often are not recognized in women. Whitehead Institute scientists have taken on the challenge of defining the molecular-level differences between sexes and elucidating how they contribute to health and disease.

Please help advance this important research by supporting the work of David Page and his colleagues, who are building this new field of knowledge.