FEB 04, 2016 10:30 AM PST

Sex As A Biological Variable In Rodent Models

  • Stephanie J Murphy, VMD, PhD, DACLAM

    Director, Division of Comparative Medicine, Office of Research Infrastructure Programs, Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives, Office of the Director, National


Historically, rodent disease models have mainly used a single sex or did not stratify outcomes by sex when both sexes were studied. These experimental approaches were based on the assumption that disease mechanisms or treatment effects observed in one sex would also apply to the other. However, it has recently been recognized that disease conditions and responses to therapy may differ between sexes.  Reversing the “single sex” or “no sex-stratification” approaches in rodent studies have been slow to change, partly due to male and. female animal availability issues and costs, insufficient investigator knowledge of reproductive and gender biology, limits on research funding, and sex-related laboratory animal management concerns. This session will provide an opportunity to educate participants how consideration of sex as a biological variable might impact design of experimental studies with rodent models in terms of science and laboratory animal care and management.

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Understand the difference between sex and gender and why one needs to pay attention to sex as a biological variable in biomedical research with rodent models
  2. Recognize common myths and urban legends about sex as a biological variable and appreciate when inclusion of one or both sexes is needed in studies with rodent models 
  3. Become familiar with general reproductive biology principles, experimental strategies, investigative techniques, and available resources when contemplating sex as a biological variable in rodent models

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FEB 04, 2016 10:30 AM PST

Sex As A Biological Variable In Rodent Models

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