Spotlight on women’s health at inaugural event

Pauline Maki

The Women’s Health Research Day celebrates excellence, says researcher Pauline Maki. Photo: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin/UIC Photo Services

Find out why gender matters in medicine and neuroscience at the inaugural Women’s Health Research Day Monday.

The event, sponsored by the Center for Research on Women and Gender, takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. April 28 in the Thompson Rooms, Student Center West.

“It’s a way of celebrating excellence in terms of what we’re doing in women’s health,” said Pauline Maki, the center’s senior director of research and professor of psychiatry and psychology.

The event features a keynote address from Larry Cahill, professor of neurobiology and behavior at UC Irvine. Cahill has been featured on the CBS show “60 Minutes” and the PBS program “The Emotional Brain.”

Scott Langenecker, associate professor of psychiatry, will talk about the neuroscience of depression. He will describe his research on brain scans to determine why women are more likely to develop depression than men and how depression differs between the two sexes.

Students and faculty members will present posters of their work and two researchers will speak about their projects.

Nancy Alanis, an undergraduate in psychology, will discuss the discrimination associated with Latinas who have a high body mass index. Heather Sipsma, assistant professor in the College of Nursing, will talk about her findings related to pregnancy and its mental health impact on young women and their male partners.

Maki hopes participants will have a chance to network and learn how to improve overall health.

“I hope they become convinced of the importance of studying medical differences in men and women,” she said.

The Center for Research on Women and Gender, founded in 1991, works “very hard to promote research, with a particular strength in women’s health,” Maki said.

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