Sex-Dependent NeuroDiscovery and CNS Therapeutics

March 2015

With the advent of sophisticated new technologies and public awareness of the importance of understanding sex differences in diseases and treatment responses, there has been a renewed interest in sex-dependent and sex-specific knowledge of the brain. To address a lack of integration between studies of sex differences and their application to drug discovery, the creation of a center for sex-dependent neurodiscovery and CNS therapeutics is warranted. An Institute of Medicine Neuroscience workshop report in 2011 stated the critical importance to develop translational studies of sex differences in the brain for understanding neuropsychiatric disorders and treatment discovery. The National Institute of Mental Health has recently developed strategic plans for a renewed effort to study sex differences in neuroscience and psychiatry. Thus, the timing is right for the creation of a center that maximizes faculty resources at Harvard and collaborating institutions, establishes new opportunities for faculty development and trainees, and is a resource in the region to help catalyze the study of sex differences in other institutions with strong neuroscience and neuropsychiatric research programs. This workshop will bring together a range of experts to foster collaborative efforts and set the stage for the development of a center for sex- dependent neurodiscovery and CNS therapeutics. It will also expand the dialogue on sex-specific and sex-dependent knowledge of the brain in science, medicine, and industry.