Research: What We Are Working to Change
Until recently, women’s health care was based upon research predominantly focused on men – for example, large clinical trials that included only men. This longstanding deficiency in health research missed key sex and gender differences between women and men in health risks, symptoms, treatment, and outcomes and resulted in harms for women from both under- and over-treatment, misdiagnosis, and side effects from inappropriately prescribed treatments.
Now, evolving more rigorously conducted research reveals that sex differences between men and women exist not only in physical sex characteristics but also on a molecular level in every system of the body, leading to significant differences in physiology and manifestation of disease. Likewise, gender differences attributable to women’s lived experiences exert profound influences on each individual’s health risks and outcomes.
We must continue to expand our understanding of sex and gender influences on health and disease if we are to provide comprehensive, safe, and effective care to women.
Women's Health Research Programs
Explore some of the UCSF pioneering interdisciplinary research programs advancing women’s health knowledge in the domains of basic and translational science, clinical research and public policy.
Clinicians and researchers at UCSF have published a comprehensive body of scientific literature. Publications are sorted by focus area and name of faculty member.
A clinical trial is a research study involving human participants which is designed to scientifically answer specific questions about a particular treatment strategy for a health condition. It is one of the final stages of a long and careful research process to test the safety and efficacy of promising approaches to disease prevention, diagnosis and treatments, both medical and surgical.
It is important to have both women and men in a clinical trial in appropriate numbers to know whether the results of the trial apply to both men and women.