June 1st, 2021

// New commitment to supporting sex and gender-based brain research in Canada

New commitment to supporting sex and gender-based brain research in Canada

Brain Canada and Women’s Brain Health Initiative join forces to fund critical sex and gender brain research

MONTREAL, June 01, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Women’s Brain Health Initiative (WBHI) and Brain Canada have joined forces to launch the first ever Brain Canada-WBHI Expansion Grants: Considering Sex and Gender Program, a new initiative to support the implementation, or continuation, of sex and gender considerations for research funded by the two organizations. The projects focus on aging, neurodegeneration or stroke. Six grants of up to $105,000 will be awarded for a total investment of $630,000 in the amplification of sex and gender-based research.

“As a funding agency, we have a responsibility to support these considerations in the work we enable —we must all acknowledge that sex and gender differences exist,” says Brain Canada CEO and President Dr. Viviane Poupon. “Through this partnership with WBHI, we can together be a guiding light for researchers, and along the way inspire our partners and other agencies, to enable and encourage this aspect of research through funding.”

The distinction between sex and gender has become increasingly important in science and research due to the differences in risk for developing a disease as well as in treatment response.

"Women suffer from depression, stroke and dementia twice as much as men and an astounding 70 per cent of new Alzheimer's patients are women. Despite this, the vast majority of research into these conditions has focussed on male brains," says WBHI founder and president Lynn Posluns. "By incentivizing gender-based research, we are giving women a fighting chance to protect their brain health. This partnership is not just about funding — it's a call to action for gender equity in scientific research."

The Brain Canada-WBHI Expansion Grants are designed to encourage researchers to incorporate sex and gender-based analysis (SGBA)-driven research hypotheses into their existing work by contributing to overcoming barriers in research and creating a foundation for sex and gender considerations to become standard practice within the scientific community.

Evidence clearly shows that increasing equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in research environments enhances excellence, innovation, and creativity. Brain Canada and WBHI are committed to excellence through equity and encourage applicants of diverse backgrounds to apply to our funding opportunities.

Funding for the Brain Canada-WBHI Expansion Grant: Considering Sex and Gender Program has been made possible by WBHI's annual Stand Ahead Challenge fundraising campaign, and through the Canada Brain Research Fund, an innovative partnership between the Government of Canada (through Health Canada) and Brain Canada.

About Brain Canada:

Brain Canada is a national non-profit organization that enables and supports excellent, innovative, paradigm-changing brain research in Canada. It plays a unique and invaluable role as the national convener of the brain research community. Brain Canada understands that better insight into how the brain works contributes to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure of disorders of the brain, thereby improving the health outcomes and quality of life of all Canadians. To learn more, please visit braincanada.ca.

About Women’s Brain Health Initiative:

Women’s Brain Health Initiative (WBHI) is a Canadian and U.S. charitable foundation established in 2012 and is solely dedicated to protecting the brain health of women. WBHI helps protect women’s brain health by focusing its resources on research to combat brain-aging disorders that disproportionately affect women, and by creating compelling preventative health programs, grounded in science, so there is a greater understanding of the best ways to prolong our cognitive vitality. For more information, please visit womensbrainhealth.org


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