Gender bias in biomedical research

Published:September 25, 2014DOI:
      Women have been achieving near parity in MD and MD/PhD training, but their advancement in academic biomedical science is reduced at every career milestone thereafter. Women are significantly underrepresented even at the earliest points in the PhD pipeline, particularly in fields outside of biology. This is a troubling statistic that negatively impacts the talent pool and exacerbates career inequity in all areas of biomedical research. The major biomedical research themes that will command our attention in the 21st century—neuroscience, cardiovascular disease, oncology—will require large team science efforts integrating a diversity of scientific disciplines, including biology, engineering, sociology, chemistry, and medicine. These scientific teams must also integrate diversity in gender, race, and ethnicity to enrich and add value to their discoveries and to better serve a diverse and multicultural society. This editorial reviews factors that may actively impede women's participation in biomedical research, at the level of graduate and postgraduate training, in their opportunities for career advancement in the professoriate, and in their competitiveness in securing research support.
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