Melina R. Kibbe, a vascular surgeon and Edward G. Elcock Professor of Surgical Research at the Feinberg School of Medicine, was interviewed for a recent 60 Minutes report on the importance of studying sex as a variable in research studies.
The report, which aired February 9, focused on research showing that some common medications have significantly different effects on men and women. For example, the Food and Drug Administration last year cut the recommended dosage of some insomnia drugs in half for women, after studies showed that women eliminate the drug from their bodies more slowly than men. This makes women more likely to be drowsy — and possibly impaired while driving — the morning after taking the drug.
In the 60 Minutes report, Kibbe points out that one of the reasons researchers have been slow to recognize the extent of the biological differences between men and women is because most medical studies involving animals, such as mice and rats, have traditionally used only male animals.
In addition to the interview with Kibbe, the online version of the 60 Minutes report lists Northwestern’s Women’s Health Research Institute as a resource for people interested in learning more about the differences between men and women.