Women’s Brain Initiative

2019 WBI Symposium, held October 30, 2019

Sex Difference and the Brain: Implications for Research, Health and Disease

20180926, Wednesday, September 26, 2018, Boston, MA, USA – Brigham Health – Brigham and Women’s Hospital Program for Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Inaugural Symposium: Sex Differences and the Brain - Implications for Research, Health and Disease. The symposium was held in the third floor conference center of the Hale Building for Transformative Medicine Wednesday afternoon September 26, 2018.

Welcome to the inaugural symposium of the the Women's Brain Initiative at Brigham and Women's Hospital. The Women's Brain Initiative was launched in 2017, thanks to the generous support of its founding donors Rick and Nancy Moskowitz. The Program's overall goal is to advance our understanding of why so many brain diseases affect women differently than men, as well as how female-specific factors alter brain health.

The Women's Brain Initiative is one of the flagship initiatives of the BWH Program for Interdisciplinary Neuroscience, whose mission is to support collaborative efforts across departments and disciplines within BWH relate to brain function and brain disease. 

Symposium Program Hale Building for Transformative Medicine conference center

1:00 p.m. - Dennis J. Selkoe, MD, co-director, Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases, BWH 
Elizabeth G. Nabel, MD, President, Brigham Health

1:15 p.m. - Margaret McCarthy, PhD, University of Maryland
“Sex differences in neuroimmunity beget differences in neuroanatomy and behavior”

1:55 p.m. - Catherine Dulac, PhD, Harvard University
“Neurobiology of sex-specific social behaviors”

3:00 p.m. - Arthur Arnold, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles
“Role of sex genetics in causing sex differences in the brain”

3:40 p.m. - Sara Mostafavi, PhD, University of British Columbia
“Statistical challenges and opportunities in identifying sex-specific effects in genomic studies”

4:20 p.m. - Michael P. Milham, MD, PhD, Child Mind Institute
“Open science solutions for accelerating the study of

The second annual Women’s Brain Initiative Symposium was held on October 30, 2019.  A video of each Symposium speaker’s presentation is coming soon!


  • Tracy Bale, PhD

Professor, Pharmacology and Psychiatry

University of Maryland School of Medicine

Center for Epigenetic Research in Child Health and Brain Development

Talk Title: Sex differences in transplacental signals in neurodevelopment

View Presentation


  • Daniel Weinberger, MD

Professor, Psychiatry, Neurology and Neuroscience

Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Director and CEO, Lieber Institute for Brain Development

Talk Title:  Convergence of placental biology and genetic risk for neurodevelopment disorders

View Presentation


  • Naomi Rance, MD, PhD

Professor, Departments of Pathology and Neurology

University of Arizona College of Medicine

Talk Title: Brain circuits mediating the generation of menopausal hot flushes

View Presentation


  • David Rubinow, MD

Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry

University of North Carolina, School of Medicine

Director, Center for Women’s Brain Disorders

University of North Carolina School of Medicine

Talk Title: Sex, steroids and regulation of affective state

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  • Rhonda Voskuhl, MD

Professor of Neurology

Jack H. Skirball Chair in Multiple Sclerosis

UCLA, Brain Research Institute

University of California, Los Angeles

Talk Title: Neuroprotection induced by estriol treatment: molecular mechanisms and clinical trials

View Presentation


For more information, please contact Patti A. Stoll, pstoll@bwh.harvard.edu