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Brain Sex: Health and disease

Tuesday 15th October 2013 @ 19:00

Non-Member: £12.00 ; Staff: £5.00 ; Student: £3.00


Glenda Gillies, Professor in Neuroendocrine Pharmacology

Our first lecture of the season was a fascinating topic presented by Glenda Gillies, Professor of Neuroendocrine Pharmacology in the Division of Brain Sciences at Imperial College London.

Although once considered politically incorrect, substantial evidence shows fundamental differences in the brains of men and women which is leading to new cures.

Prof. Gillies research interests relate to sex differences in brain structure and function, how these depend on the actions of sex and stress hormones during development and in adulthood, and how they contribute to differential susceptibility in men and women to commonly occurring brain disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease.


The slide presentation of Brain Sex: Health and Disease can be viewed here

Although once considered a politically incorrect view, substantial evidence says there are fundamental differences in the brains of men and women. This is due, largely, to sex differences in the hormonal and genetic environment in which fetuses develop. For brain regions regulating reproduction this is essential for survival of the species, but other brain regions also become sexually differentiated, possibly by default. This has clinical significance because structural and functional differences are thought to underpin prevalent sex differences in brain disorders.

Our studies of midbrain dopaminergic neurotransmitter systems that regulate emotions and movement and are dysfunctional in disorders such as schizophrenia, Parkinson’s and depression, show clear sex-specific patterns in development, structure, function and degeneration. Although neither brain sex is superior, it is therefore clear that we must understand these differences in order to develop optimal therapeutic strategies for both sexes.

Professor Glenda E Gillies

Glenda Gillies is Professor of Neuroendocrine Pharmacology in the Division of Brain Sciences at Imperial College London. Her research interests relate to sex differences in brain structure and function, how these depend on the actions of sex and stress hormones during development and in adulthood, and how they contribute to differential susceptibility in men and women to commonly occurring brain disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease.

Professor Gillies is currently Associate Editor for Pharmacological Reviews and has held membership of several editorial boards, including a period as deputy Editor for the Journal of Neuroendocrinology. She is also a main-line educator with roles in the delivery, design, management and leadership of courses, including her current role as Director of the Endocrinology BSc.

She has received research grant funding from the UK Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust, British Society for Neuroendocrinology and Society for Endocrinology.

Optionally followed by supper (this can be booked on the event booking form).
After the lecture a Friends' Table has been reserved at a local restaurant to entertain the speaker and for any of the audience who would like to join us to continue the evening's discussion. A two-course fixed price supper is served including wine, coffee and service charge.
Or if you have already booked for the event and now want to join us for supper Book Supper now

Venue: SAF Building, Imperial College London

Campus Map reference 33
on the Imperial College London Map