There is much to learn about the biology underlying sex and gender development, and how sex differences result in higher or lower incidences of disease and responses to treatments. Check these links to learn about WashU investigators who study sex differences, published findings, and additional resources related to sex and gender.

Research Spotlight

Tychele Turner, PhD
WashU Genetics


  • Assigned sex: determination made at a person’s birth based on an infant’s anatomy and/or sex chromosomes.
  • Cisgender: when one’s gender identity and assigned sex coincide with societal norms (e.g., man and male).
  • Gender identity: a label used to describe one’s identity within a given society’s understanding of gender.
  • Nonbinary: a person who does not subscribe to conventional gender categories but identifies with neither, both, or a combination of genders. Related terms include genderqueer, gender fluid, and more.
  • Transgender: when gender identity and sex do not coincide with societal norms.

*from Rubin JD, Atwood S, Olson KR, “Studying Gender Diversity” (2020), Trends in Cognitive Sciences

Publications from WashU authors

Oxytocin-induced birth causes sex-specific behavioral and brain connectivity changes in developing rat offspring

Giri T, Maloney SE, Giri S, Goo, YA, Song, JH, Son M, Tycksen E, Conyers SB, Bice A, Ge X, Garbow JR, Quirk JD, Bauer AQ, Palanisamy A. (2024) iScience, 27 (2), art. no. 108960

Analysis of anemia and iron supplementation among glioblastoma patients reveals sex-biased association between anemia and survival

Shenoy G, Slagle-Webb B, Khunsriraksakul C, Pandya Shesh B, Luo J, Khristov V, Smith N, Mansouri A, Zacharia BE Holder S, Lathia JD, Barnholtz-Sloan JS, Connor JR. (2024) Scientific Reports, 14 (1), art. no. 2389

Hormonal basis of sex differences in anesthetic sensitivity

Wasilczuk AZ, Rinehart C, Aggarwal A, Stone ME, Mashour GA, Avidan MS, Kelz MB, Proekt A. (2024) Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 121 (3), art. no. e2312913120


National Academies Consensus Study Report

Commentaries on sex and gender in neuroscience research

From the 2019 Transgender Spectrum Conference