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.

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

Call for Symposia & Individual Talk Proposal:  Deadline Has Passed

Please view the instructions and form links HERE.  Proposals should be prepared using the online form and submitted online by October 4, 2019.  Address any questions to the OSSD 2020 Program Committee Chair, Jaclyn Schwarz.  Those who submitted proposals will be notified of acceptance in early December.

Keynote Speaker & the Second Arthur Arnold Distinguished Lecturer: Janine Austin Clayton, M.D., NIH Associate Director for Research on Women’s Health, 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.

Program Chairperson: 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.

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.


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