At Brigham/Harvard Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology, Dr. Joffe is launching the First-in-Women Precision Medicine Platform to advance knowledge about novel therapeutics across therapeutic areas for diseases that affect women exclusively, predominately, or differentially. First-in-Women is engaging with academics and biopharma to generate new scientific knowledge and educate across the biomedical ecosystem to optimize care for women. In her own research, she is an experienced clinical reproductive neuroscientist in the field of women’s aging and mental health. She focuses on the mechanisms, course, and treatment of menopause-related symptoms (hot flashes, insomnia, depression, and fatigue) in healthy midlife women and breast cancer survivors. Dr. Joffe holds an AB from Harvard University, an MD from Cornell University Medical College, and an MSc from Harvard School of Public Health. She completed her residency in Psychiatry at McLean Hospital and Women’s Mental Health fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Considering the differences between males and females in clinical decision-making is crucial. However, white adult men are strongly over-represented in existing medical data sets as clinical trials have not adequately enrolled women or analyzed sex-specific differences in the data. This lack of diversity in the data results in inaccurate treatment decisions. These same limitations are the result of the current “reference genomes” which are predominantly based on white, European ancestry. To fulfill the promise of precision medicine, clinical trials and population studies need to adequately include the female sex. This session will review the needs and progress being made to correct this issue so precision medicine can become more precise.