OSSD President’s One Year Update
by Rhonda Voskuhl, M.D.
    
    

Rhonda Voskuhl M.D. is the current President of the OSSD. She holds the Jack H. Skirball Chair and is a Professor in the Department of Neurology and the Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Program at the David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

I have had the privilege of serving as the OSSD President over the last year. At this midway point in my two year presidency, it is time to reflect on the past year and look forward to the next.

The OSSD 2021 Virtual annual meeting in May was highly successful. There was more participation via abstracts, attendance, and awards than ever before. This underscores that now is a very exciting time for OSSD since its mission aligns with the work of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Office of Research on Women’s Health. Sex as a biologic variable is now widely recognized for its importance in research. Dr. Janine Clayton of the NIH has shown extraordinary leadership and her presentation at OSSD 2021 was inspiring! The field has advanced much further than one could have imagined only a decade ago, thanks to her and to so many of our OSSD members.

Over the last year, we began new initiatives to engage with our members year round. They included 1) the Paper Picks series where OSSD leadership highlights top papers in the field every two weeks from September through May to keep members updated, 2) the Speaker Series which entails prominent speakers in January, February, and March as zoom presentations to build excitement for the annual meeting in May, and 3) the Jobs Board on the OSSD website which posts job openings as well as CVs to connect job seekers with employers within the sex differences field. Another key development was the creation of an equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) committee to advance the work and careers of all who aim to study sex differences. Last but not least, we welcomed Dr. Jill Becker as the new Editor-in Chief of the Biology of Sex Differences journal.

Looking forward, the next OSSD annual meeting will be in-person at the Marina Del Rey Marriott in Los Angeles on May 2-5, 2022. We expect to continue our momentum with amazing attendance since it will be wonderful to see each other and share ideas again! This is our meeting, where we can reach a depth and breadth in the study of sex differences not found elsewhere in meetings with only a session or a few talks on sex differences within a meeting on a different focus. The sex differences experts are all here, in one place! Start thinking now about organizing a symposium or submitting an abstract for 2022. Also, our next round of elections for leadership positions will be in fall of 2021, so consider running for office. OSSD is a wonderful group to work with, where lasting connections and relationships can be made.

Thank you for all of your support and ideas. I am very excited about this upcoming year!

 

 

Rhonda Voskuhl, MD