Speakers

Dr. Elizabeth Barr

Elizabeth Barr, Ph.D. - Social and Behavioral Scientist Administrator, National Institutes of Health, Office of Research on Women's Health
Presentation Title: Advancing Science for the Health of Women: Incorporating a Sex and Gender Lens at the National Institutes of Health
LinkedIn Profile
Pronouns: she/her
Elizabeth Barr, Ph.D. coordinates interprofessional education efforts in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH). Her background is in community-centered research, HIV treatment, reproductive justice, and gender-based violence. Dr. Barr completed her Ph.D. in communication, with training in science and technology studies, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her M.S. in women's and gender studies at Towson University. Prior to joining ORWH in 2019, Dr. Barr led interdisciplinary and cross-sector projects to increase women's engagement with clinical research and served on the faculties of UMBC and Towson University. Her work appears in the Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice, The Lancet HIV, Journal of Virus Eradication, AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses, Clinical Infectious Diseases and The Journal of the International AIDS Society.



Mark W. Cunningham Jr.

Mark W. Cunningham Jr., Ph.D, MBA - Assistant Professor, UNT Health Science Center 
Presentation Title: The Effects of AT1-AA Blockade in Response to Placental Ischemia During Pregnancy and Beyond
Dr. Mark W. Cunningham Jr. is a native of the Atlanta, Georgia metropolitan area and graduate of Morehouse College. He received his doctoral degree from the University Of Florida College Of Medicine in 2014 from the department of Physiology and Functional Genomics. In 2014 he joined the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) as a post-doctoral fellow. Three years later he was promoted to an instructor and within a year received the American Heart Association Early Career Grant in 2018. After receiving the AHA grant, he was promoted to an Assistant Professor at UMMC where he established his laboratory. Currently he has acquired a new position as assistant professor tenure track at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth, Texas. His research interest examines the mechanisms of cerebrovascular dysfunction, CVD, and hypertension in women (during pregnancy and postpartum) and their offspring. He has an active publishing record (over 42 articles), participates in professional societies, and has attend numerous scientific conferences where he has given oral presentations and been the recipient of awards.



Martha Gulati

Martha Gulati, MD, MS, FACC FAHA FASPC FESC - President-Elect, American Society for Preventive Cardiology 
Presentation Title: Keynote - Women and Heart Disease: Is there Really a Sex Difference?
Website: drmarthagulati.com
Dr. Gulati is Editor-In-Chief, CardioSmart, American College of Cardiology. She held the Sarah Ross Soter Chair in Women's Cardiovascular Health and was the Section Director for Women's Cardiovascular Health and Preventive Cardiology at The Ohio State University until 2015. She is the author of the best-seller, "Saving Women's Hearts". She is the Editor-in-Chief of the American College of Cardiology "CardioSmart", the patient education and empowerment initiative. She serves as the chair of the national chest pain guidelines. Dr. Gulati is Canadian and completed medical school at the University of Toronto, Canada. She went on to complete her internship, residency and cardiology fellowship at the University of Chicago. She received a Master in Science at the University of Chicago and is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association. She is board certified in cardiovascular disease.




Katherine Leon

Katherine Leon - Co-founder and Board Chair, SCAD Alliance
Presentation Title: My Personal Journey with SCAD and the Power of Patient Engagement in Research
Katherine Leon is co-founder and Board Chair of SCAD Alliance, a nonprofit dedicated to research of spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD), a non-atherosclerotic cause of heart attack and sudden cardiac arrest. In 2003, Katherine survived a 90% blockage of her left main artery caused by SCAD, which required emergency double bypass surgery. Finding no clinical studies of SCAD had been conducted, she pursued this goal by finding other SCAD patients online and compiling anecdotal data. She collaborated with Mayo Clinic in 2010 to facilitate a virtual registry of SCAD patients worldwide. In 2013, Katherine co-founded SCAD Alliance, a 501c3. In addition to patient support and advocacy, SCAD Alliance sponsors the independent, multi-center iSCAD Registry. Katherine earned a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Virginia and a Master of Science at Northwestern University.





Dr. M. Natasha Rajah

M. Natasha Rajah, Ph.D. - Full Professor, Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology, McGill University  
Presentation Title: Sex Differences in the Effect of Age on Memory-Related Brain Function
Website: rajahlab.com
Dr. Rajah received her Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Toronto, St. George Campus in 2003 and did her post-doctoral training at the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, University of California at Berkeley. She was hired as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychiatry, McGill University in 2005. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and honours over the past 15 yrs, including the prestigious CIHR New Investigator Award, the Haile T. Debas Prize for leadership in EDI at Faculty of Medicine, and the Women in Cognitive Science Canada's Mentorship Prize. In 2020 she was named CIHR Chair for Sex and Gender Research in Neuroscience, Mental Health and Addiction. She is currently a tenured Full Professor at the Faculty of Medicine, McGill University; Editor in Chief at Aging, Neuropsychology and Cognition; Associate Editor for Psychological Science and Senior Editor at Brain Research.




Rebecca M. Shansky, Ph.D.

Rebecca M. Shansky, Ph.D. - Associate Professor, Northeastern University 
Website: shanskylab.com
Pronouns: she/her
Dr. Shansky earned her Ph.D. in Neurobiology at Yale University and completed postdoctoral work at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine before joining the faculty in the Psychology Department at Northeastern in 2011. She directs the Laboratory of Neuroanatomy and Behavior, where her team uses rodent models to explore the links between brain structure and function, focusing on how individual differences in response to trauma shape long-term memories. She is a vocal advocate for gender and sex equity in experimental design, highlighted recently in her Science Magazine Perspective piece, "Are hormones a 'female problem' for animal research?"




Dr. Megan M. Wenner

Megan M. Wenner, Ph.D. - Associate Professor, University of Delaware
Presentation Title: Menopause and Vascular Health
Website: sites.udel.edu/wcr-lab
Dr. Wenner is an Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology at the University of Delaware. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Delaware and completed postdoctoral training at The John B. Pierce Laboratory. Her research focuses on women's health and cardiovascular function, studying both autonomic function and peripheral vascular function. Her most recent work examines the impact of ovarian hormones on vascular signaling mechanisms in women throughout the lifespan, with a particular focus on Endothelin-1 (ET-1).