The Cornell Chronicle recognizes Dr. Keinan for tackling the gender gap in medicine


Cornell has recently recognized Dr. Keinan’s efforts to incorporate the X chromosome into genetics, a field that has traditionally avoided focusing on sex differences. An article published in the Cornell Chronicles and featured on the front page of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ website highlights what many studies are missing, the impact of gender. This elegantly written article by Melanie Cordova, based on an interview with Dr. Keinan, explains the gender disparity on disease diagnosis and treatment, and how Keinan’s chromosome X-Wide Analysis toolset (XWAS) can help researchers fill this knowledge gap.

Jumping on the opportunity to address this need, the Keinan group has already published several manuscripts on the topic, and is beginning to shed light on the many differences between males and females in both health and disease. While the unique biology of the chromosome X is challenging to assess, correct analysis can yield deeper understanding of complex disease inheritance and researchers across the country are beginning to use XWAS to analyze their data.

The success of the XWAS toolset has not only spurred the scientific community, but also the public at large, with some twitter followers showing their appreciation for the recent support of X chromosome research in genome-wide analyses.

“Our motivation is making new discoveries,” Keinan said, “and taking steps toward closing the gender disparity in disease diagnosis and treatment.” With a $1.6 million grant from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) to continue developing XWAS and further pursue X chromosome research, Dr. Keinan is closer to this goal than ever before.