Berlin Institute of Health to honour renowned Montreal scientist with International award

Dr. Louise Pilote is one of two recipients for her work incorporating gender aspects into biomedical research

Dr. Louise Pilote, Professor of Medicine at McGill University and a senior scientist from the Cardiovascular Health Across the Lifespan Program at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, is one of two recipients of the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) Excellence Award for Sex and Gender Aspects for her work incorporating gender aspects into biomedical research.

Dr. Louise Pilote

Dr. Louise Pilote

A patient’s biological sex and/or social gender is usually a neglected factor in biomedical research. Yet in order to understand differences in the emergence and progression of diseases and to develop suitable treatments, it is important for such research to take sex and gender differences into account. BIH promotes top-level researchers who incorporate gender aspects into their basic and/or clinical research. 

“I am extremely honoured and delighted to receive the BIH Excellence Award for Sex and Gender Aspects for my recent work in cardiovascular research,” says Dr. Pilote who has been a clinician-scientist for 20 years. “Addressing how biological sex as well as gender factors, like social, environmental, cultural and behavioral factors affect health care and outcomes requires new approaches at many levels including how we prevent and treat common diseases. This award is recognition of the efforts my team and I have made, and continue to make, to address these issues in our research.”

Dr. Pilote is one of the few physicians to have specialized in social gender differences in cardiovascular research. To date, most research approaches have focused exclusively on biological sex differences, neglecting the impact of cultural gender roles. Dr. Pilote considers these criteria in her research, using a “gender score” she developed to investigate the possible effects of gender differences when it comes to medical issues such as cardiovascular diseases and to develop therapeutic approaches.

In early December, a jury of international experts selected the two winners, Louise Pilote and Professor Rhonda Voskuhl of the University of California, USA from the pool of internationally renowned applicants who stood out with their different research approaches.

The two winning scientists will equally share the €20,000 award, which they can use to support future research activities.

The award ceremony will be held March 16, 2018, in Berlin.

Congratulations Dr. Pilote!

Read the BIH press release here.

*According to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Gender and Health, gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, expressions and identities of girls, women, boys, men, and gender diverse people. It influences how people perceive themselves and each other, how they act and interact, and the distribution of power and resources in society. Gender is usually conceptualized as a binary (girl/woman and boy/man) yet there is considerable diversity in how individuals and groups understand, experience, and express it.

Dr. Pilote explains her findings (2016) showing that gender, rather than biological sex, is associated with the risk of recurrence of cardiovascular events in adults.