2020 OSSD Annual Meeting
Please join us for an exciting and diverse scientific program that will provide an opportunity for you to stay informed about the most recent advances in research and policy regarding sex differences in physiology and disease! The local host of the meeting is Arbi Nazarian, Ph.D.

Quick Links:

Presidential Invitation: Sabra L. Klein, Ph.D.

Welcome. We are actively preparing for the 14th annual meeting of the OSSD, which will be held in Southern California at the Marina del Rey Marriott, May 4-7, 2020. The theme for OSSD 2020 is ‘Sex Differences Across the Lifespan’. Our OSSD 2020 program chair, Jaclyn Schwarz, has pulled together a diverse committee that is actively seeking proposals for either individual talks or symposia in all areas of sex and gender differences research, including basic biology, translational science, and clinical research. We already have Dr. Janine Clayton, Director of the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health giving our keynote lecture and Dr. Doris Taylor, Professor of Regenerative Medicine at Texas A&M delivering our capstone lecture. You will not want to miss this meeting. Last year we had 342 participants, including 156 trainees, representing 10 countries from around the world. Help make OSSD 2020 even better and more engaging. If you study sex-based biology as your expertise or if you are new to considering sex as a biological variable, you should join us to learn more about how sex and gender impact our biology, behavior, and disease processes across the lifespan. #OSSD2020 @OSSDtweets

Important Dates - Mark your calendar!

February 3, 2020

Poster Abstracts being considered for any of the following awards are due.

Award applications are also due at this time, including:
- OSSD Travel Awards
- CIHR / IGH Travel Awards
- Elizabeth Young New Investigator Awards 
- ORWH Science Policy Scholar Travel Award (NOTE:  The ORWH award deadline has been extended to Feb. 10)

February 21, 2020 OSSD Travel Award and Elizabeth Young New Investigator Award Notification
February 28, 2020 ​CIHR / IGH Travel Award Notification
March 13, 2020 ORWH Award Notification
March 20, 2020 **Final Abstracts due**
**Early-Bird Registration ends**
Last day for cancellation refunds
After March 20, 2020 Full Registration
April 13, 2020 Last day for hotel reservations at group rate
May 4-7, 2020 Meeting Dates


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The OSSD 2020 Program

The OSSD 2020 Program features a number of exciting, important and timely topics! It is sure to be a fun, informative and engaging meeting. Please see the Tentative Program-at-a-Glance or the Tentative Full Program for OSSD 2020 with these links.

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Abstract Submission

The OSSD is now accepting abstract submissions for presentation at the 2020 Annual Meeting.  Abstracts may be submitted on any subject related to the general area of sex and/or gender differences to be considered for poster presentation only. 
If one is submitting an abstract as part of an application for a travel award, please note that these abstracts and their associated award applications must be received by February 3, 2020 (more information below).  Abstracts not being considered for a travel award should be submitted no later than March 20, 2020. Please submit abstracts for presentation and as part of an application for travel awards, using the OSSD 2020 Abstract Submission FormSee abstract instructions and examples here and see further examples here. 

Address any questions to the OSSD 2020 Program Committee Chair, Jaclyn Schwarz.

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The OSSD is now accepting abstract submissions in application for travel and other awards to the 2020 Annual Meeting.  Awards are limited to trainees (student, postdoc, or resident) and must be the first author and presenter of the abstract.  Abstracts may be submitted on any subject related to the general area of sex and/or gender differences to be considered for poster presentation only.  Abstracts being considered for travel and other awards should be submitted no later than February 3, 2020.  Please submit abstracts for presentation and as application for travel awards, using the OSSD 2020 Abstract Submission FormPlease indicate that you would like to be considered for the travel award at the time of abstract submission, on the abstract form.  Applicants will be required to submit their CV with the application. Exact award amounts and numbers is dependent on funding.  See the list of all OSSD 2020 Annual Meeting awards below and note that some may have a separate application process:
  • OSSD-Sponsored Travel Awards.  There are a limited number of travel awards sponsored by the OSSD.  Travel awardees must present their research at the meeting.  The OSSD Travel awardees will be selected based on the scientific merit of the research presented in the abstract.  The final amount of each travel award is still to be determined, dependent upon funding.
  • IGH Travel Award Opportunity for Canadian-based trainees was launched last year by the Institute of Gender and Health (IGH) for graduate and postdoctoral students (enrolled in Canadian Universities) to attend the second joint meeting of the OSSD and the IGM and they are continuing the award for the 2020 OSSD Annual Meeting.  The total funds available for this funding opportunity is $50,000, enough to fund at least 14 travel awards valued at up to $3,500 each. The IGH travel award deadline is February 3, 2020 For more information and access to the IGH travel award application visit: https://cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/51793.html.
  • NIH ORWH Science Policy Scholar Travel Awards will be granted to two junior investigators who are focused on women’s health or sex and gender differences research and are also interested in research policy. Examples include, but are not limited to, (1) studies of the effects of such policies in promoting the research, (2) identification of policy gaps that might promote such research and projection of their effects, and (3) identification of specific research disciplines and/or research topic areas where more work is needed to promote women’s health and sex and gender differences. To apply, applicants must have a poster, oral session, or symposium accepted at the OSSD 2020 Annual Meeting. Up to $3,000 will be available for each awardee to support the travel to the 2020 meeting. For more information, please review this announcement from the ORWH.
  • The Elizabeth Young New Investigator Award is awarded to an abstract presenter* whose research is of high quality and deemed worthy of an oral presentation.  These winners will present their abstract as an oral presentation in a special symposium at the annual meeting.  PLEASE NOTE: individuals that are not selected for the Elizabeth Young New Investigator Award (oral presentation) will automatically be considered for a poster presentation.  If you would like to be considered for the Elizabeth Young New Investigator Award and an associated oral presentation, please select this option at the time of abstract submission, on the abstract submission form. Elizabeth Young Investigators will be awarded $1,000 each. Applicants will be required to submit their CV with the application. 
*NOTE* to be to be eligible for this award, you must be an undergrad, PhD/MD student or a Postdoctoral Fellow. Faculty (such as Assistant Professors) are not eligible for this award
  • The prestigious Florence B. Haseltine Best Poster Award is given to the best poster presentation by a new investigator* (see additional details). Abstracts submitted after February 3, 2020 can still be considered for the Florence P. Haseltine Best Poster Award, but cannot be considered for a travel award (see above). If the presenting author would like to be considered for the Florence B. Haseltine Best Poster Award competition, please select this option at the time of abstract submission, on the abstract form. Awardees will be awarded at the 2020 OSSD Meeting Awards Reception. 

*NOTE *to be to be eligible for this award, you must be an undergrad, PhD/MD student or a Postdoctoral Fellow. Faculty (such as Assistant Professors) are not eligible for this award

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Call for Symposia & Individual Talk Proposals:  Deadline Has Passed

The Program Committee is finalizing the OSSD 2020 Program at this time.

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Keynote Speaker & the Second Arthur Arnold Distinguished Lecturer:

Janine Austin Clayton, M.D., NIH Associate Director for Research and Director of the Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH) 

Talk Title: The Ultimate Goal: Advancing Science to Improve the Health of Women

Janine Austin Clayton, M.D., Associate Director for Research on Women’s Health and Director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is the architect of the NIH policy requiring scientists to consider sex as a biological variable across the research spectrum. This policy is part of NIH’s initiative to enhance reproducibility through rigor and transparency. As co-chair of the NIH Working Group on Women in Biomedical Careers with NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins, Dr. Clayton also leads NIH’s efforts to advance women in science careers.

Prior to joining the ORWH, Dr. Clayton was the Deputy Clinical Director of the National Eye Institute (NEI) for seven years. A board-certified ophthalmologist, Dr. Clayton’s research interests include autoimmune ocular diseases and the role of sex and gender in health and disease. She is the author of more than 80 scientific publications, journal articles, and book chapters.

Dr. Clayton, a native Washingtonian, received her undergraduate degree with honors from Johns Hopkins University and her medical degree from Howard University College of Medicine. She completed a residency in ophthalmology at the Medical College of Virginia. Dr. Clayton completed fellowship training in cornea and external disease at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins Hospital and in uveitis and ocular immunology at NEI.

Dr. Clayton has received numerous awards, including the Senior Achievement Award from the Board of Trustees of the American Academy of Ophthalmology in 2008 and the European Uveitis Patient Interest Association Clinical Uveitis Research Award in 2010. She was selected as a 2010 Silver Fellow by the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. In 2015, she was awarded the American Medical Women’s Association Lila A. Wallis Women’s Health Award and the Wenger Award for Excellence in Public Service. Dr. Clayton was granted the Bernadine Healy Award for Visionary Leadership in Women’s Health in 2016. She was also selected as an honoree for the Woman’s Day Red Dress Awards and the American Medical Association’s Dr. Nathan Davis Awards for Outstanding Government Service in 2017.

Capstone Speaker: 

Doris A. Taylor, Ph.D., Hon D.Sc., FAHA, FACC, 
Director of Regenerative Medicine Research and Director for Cell and Organ Biotechnology at the Texas Heart Institute

Doris A. TaylorTalk Title:  Sex Differences in Cardiovascular Disease: From Hearts to Heart Failure 

Dr. Taylor is leading international regenerative medicine research efforts, creating cutting edge therapies for chronic disease and “building the future treatments of tomorrow." An educator with over 25 years of teaching experience, she is truly committed to moving innovative therapies from bench to bedside, while preparing students/fellows to compete at an international level in the field of cardiac and vascular repair and regeneration.

Arriving at Texas Heart Institute in 2012, Dr. Taylor established both the Department of Regenerative Medicine Research and the Center for Cell and Organ Biotechnology, the latter in partnership with the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine. She also heads the Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network (CCTRN) Biorepository, the cell and cytokine profiling core lab that serves multiple NIH, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) networks, medical centers, and research foundations in the U.S. and Canada. She holds faculty appointments at Texas A&M and Rice University and serves as a consultant for both academic and commercial enterprises in the regenerative medicine space. She recently founded and leads a new company, Stem Cell Security, LLC, a cell banking and data management company in Houston, Texas. She has published extensively, authoring or co-authoring more than 150 scientific publications and co-editing 2 textbooks.
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OSSD 2020 Program Chair: Jaclyn Schwarz, Ph.D.

Dr. Jaclyn Schwarz received her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland Medical School, where she examined the mechanisms by which testosterone masculinizes neural circuits in the neonatal brain. She continued her training as a postdoctoral fellow at Duke University, where she studied how early-life experiences, including parental care, can program the function of the immune system, and thereby affect later-life brain and behaviors. In her own lab at the University of Delaware, she is currently funded by the NIH to study the mechanisms by which early-life immune activation can disrupt the development of important neural circuits that control learning, and how these mechanisms and effects may be different between males and females. She has been the recipient of the Frank Beach Young Investigator Award from the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology, as well as a NARSAD Young Investigator Award from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation.

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OSSD 2020 Local Host:  Arbi Nazarian, Ph.D.

Dr. Nazarian is an Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, CA.   He earned his Ph.D. in Biological Psychology from the City University of New York, where he studies sex differences in the rewarding and analgesic effects of psychostimulants and narcotics in rodents.  His postdoctoral training at the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of California, San Diego, enhanced his training in pain pharmacology.  His present research examines sex differences in sensory, affective, and cognitive components of pain, responses to analgesics, and potential mechanisms.  His involvement with the OSSD dates back several years, including his service as OSSD Treasurer (2015-2018).  He is presently the Chair of the local host organizing committee for the 2020 annual meeting in Marina del Rey, CA.   He has had the pleasure to witness the amazing growth that the OSSD has experienced in recent years and believes that the Organization has the potential to make a notable impact in excelling the recognition, education, implementation, and advocacy of sex difference research and women’s health in basic and clinical sciences.  Aside from the “serious stuff,” he tries to maximize the time he spends with his family.  He loves to go to amusement parks, hiking, and fishing with his children.

Registration Dates and Rates
Registration for OSSD 2020 is now open!  We invite you to review the registration fees below and consider the value of a membership in OSSD, as it will reduce your registration cost AND provide you with a year of OSSD membership benefits.  For the sake of efficiency, you may activate your membership through the registration form or decline membership and continue the form as a non-member.

Meeting Fees 
Early Registration through March 20
Full Registration 
After March 20
Single Day
Regular Members
$575 $675 $300
Trainee Members
$299 $350 $125
$775 $775 $400
NON-Member Trainees
$400 $400 $150
Abstract Fee for Poster Submissions
 $35 per poster
Prices are listed in US Dollars

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Exhibitor/Sponsor Info
Sponsors and Exhibitors for the OSSD 2020 Annual Meeting are welcome and appreciated!  If you are interested in sponsoring or exhibiting, please visit the 2020 Sponsors/Exhibitors webpage.

Hotel Reservations

The OSSD has contracted a block of rooms at discounted rates for the OSSD 2020 Annual Meeting.  Please use the following link to book your room at a nightly rate of $249.00++ USD.  This reservation link and discounted room rate will be active through Monday, April 13, 2020.  For more information on the conference hotel, please visit 2020 Accommodations/Hotel.

Marina del Rey Marriott
4100 Admiralty Way
Marina del Rey, California 90292

Please review the OSSD Code of Conduct for all meetings, conferences and events HERE.


Keep checking back! More details will be coming soon...