UCSF/UC Hastings Forum to Address Role of Hormones in Women's Health

February 15, 2011
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The UCSF/UC Hastings Consortium on Law, Science and Health Policy and the Hastings Women's Law Journal will host an upcoming symposium titled “Frontiers in Women’s Health: The Role of Hormones in Aging and Disease.”

The symposium will take place on Friday, Feb. 25, 2011, at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. Admission is free. Continuing Medical Education credit is available. To register, go to the UC Hastings website. http://www.hastingswomenslj.org/symposium

This unique event will draw together speakers and attendees from the medical, legal and policy communities, and will present opportunities for members of each community to interact with and understand the perspectives of the others. 

The morning will begin with an overview of the now-familiar topic of hormone therapy in peri-menopausal and menopausal women, with an in-depth discussion of the Women’s Health Initiative hormone trial data and the controversies the data have engendered since the trials were halted. This topic will be the starting point for a wide-ranging and multi-disciplinary set of panels, including discussions about health policy decisionmaking, informed consent, litigation over hormone use, and gendered medicine.  Panel titles are as follows:

Morning Panels

Panel 1 – Introduction and Background

Hormone Therapy:  What We Know (and Don’t Know) after the Women’s Health Initiative Trials

Panel 2 – Translational Research and the “Timing Hypothesis”

Panel 3 – Government Agency and Health Policy Decision Making and Recommendations in an Environment of Empirical Uncertainty

Afternoon Panels

Panel 4 – Public Support/Public Advocacy:  Public vs. Private Research Funding, Grassroots Advocacy, Effects on Underserved Populations, Media’s Role

Panel 5 – Informed Consent/Litigation Related to Hormone Therapy

Panel 6 – Legal Relevance of “Real” Differences:  Constitutional Issues, Work and Family, Healthcare and Aging.

Women’s Health Experts Gather

Marianne LegatoWomen's health pioneer Marianne Legato will deliver the keynote speech at the UCSF/UC Hastings symposium on February 25.

The lunchtime keynote speaker is women’s health pioneer Marianne J. Legato, MD, an internationally recognized specialist in women's health and the founder and director of the Partnership for Gender-Specific Medicine at Columbia University. She is the founder and editor of The Journal of Gender-Specific Medicine and a leading advocate for the inclusion of women in clinical trials. 

Legato has devoted much of her research to the subject of women and heart disease.  She is the author of several books, including Principles of Gender-Specific Medicine (for medical practitioners) and the general-trade books Eve's Rib:  The New Science of Gender-Specific Medicine and How It Can Save Your LifeThe Female Heart:  The Truth About Women and Heart Disease, and Why Men Never Remember and Women Never Forget (with Laura Tucker). Read more about Legato on the National Library of Medicine website.

Other panelists, in alphabetical order, include:

Roberta Diaz Brinton, PhD, R. Pete Vanderveen Chair in Therapeutic Discovery and Development, professor of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Biomedical Engineering and Neurology, University of Southern California; director, Los Angeles Basic Clinical Translational Science Institute.

Marcelle I. Cedars, MD, professor, Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, director, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at UCSF; principal investigator, UCSF Women’s Health Clinical Research Center.

Marsha Cohen, JD, professor of Law, UC Hastings College of the Law; past president, California State Board of Pharmacy. Cohen has served on four National Research Council and Institute of Medicine committees, including the recent “Committee on Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake,” and has also served on the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare Review Panel on New Drug Regulation.

David L. Faigman, JD, John F. Digardi Distinguished Professor of Law, Director, UCSF/UC Hastings Consortium on Law, Science & Health Policy, UC Hastings College of the Law; Author of numerous books and articles concerning the use, or failure to use, scientific research in legal decision making.

Baruch Fischhoff, PhD, Howard Heinz University Professor, Depts. of Social and Decision Sciences and of Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University; member, Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences; chair of the Food and Drug Administration Risk Communication Advisory Committee. 

Cynthia Gorney, professor, UC Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism; Contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and National Geographic; former national features writer, South American bureau chief and founding Style section writer for the Washington Post.