Message from Sabra L. Klein, Ph.D., OSSD President

Sabra Klein, PhD, is the current President of the Organization for the Study of Sex Differences (OSSD), Professor of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Co-Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Women’s Health, Sex, and Gender Research.

Welcome to the Organization for the Study of Sex Differences (OSSD)!

As I prepare to step down as the President of the OSSD at the spring OSSD council meeting on May 12, 2020, I’m reflective of my time as President and all that we have accomplished together.

Here are a few highlights that make me proudest:

  • Together, we raised over $150,000 for the OSSD to support our trainees, through travel awards, reduced membership fees, and reduced cost of registration. We are grateful to the local Universities, government funding agencies, and companies that made this possible.
  • We hired an Executive Director, Marianne Van Wagner, and her team, which significantly improved our efficiency both in terms of finances and time.
  • We had record attendance at our 2019 meeting with 342 participants, including 156 trainees, representing 10 countries from around the world.
  • We went paperless.
  • We secured over 1,000 twitter followers who share and disseminate data and information about sex as a biological variable.
  • Past and current leaders in the OSSD assisted Dr. Janine Clayton and her team at the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health develop an online educational program entitled Bench to Bedside: Integrating Sex and Gender to Improve Human Health.
  • Our official journal, Biology of Sex Differences, under the leadership of Dr. Jane Reckelhoff, witnessed an annual increase in submissions and publications, with the turnaround time from submission to acceptance significantly reduced.

I am disappointed that COVID-19 halted our plans for OSSD2020. But I am grateful for the leadership, creativity, and commitment of Dr. Jacklyn Schwarz who lead our program committee and developed a superior program that we hope to transfer, in part, to OSSD2021. I’m grateful for Drs. Kathryn Lenz and Farrah Madison and their awards committee, who managed a record number of applications for awards and were able to (theoretically) distribute 25 OSSD travel awards to well deserving recipients. I thank our partners and supporters at the CIHR IGH and NIH ORWH for the  travel awards that they also distributed. I’m grateful for Dr. Arbi Nazarian and his local host team for planning a fantastic OSSD2020 meeting in Marina del Rey, CA. Please note that we have made arrangements with the Marriott in Marina del Rey and agreed to go there for OSSD2022. Last, but not least, I’ve enjoyed rolling up my sleeves and working month after month with my Executive Committee, consisting of Drs. Nancy Forger, Anne Murphy, Peg McCarthy, and Rhonda Voskuhl as we maintain OSSD as the premiere scientific research society for the study of sex as a biological variable.

As I prepare to hand over the gavel to Dr. Rhonda Voskuhl, President-elect, I am proud of the state of OSSD and I look forward to our future together. Get ready for OSSD2021 in Calgary as Dr. Rhonda Voskuhl and her leadership are preparing for the biggest and best OSSD meeting yet.

Be well and stay healthy,

Sabra Klein

Sabra L. Klein, Ph.D.
Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
[email protected]