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Home > News & events > News > JDRF UK supports first-of-its-kind sex and gender policy for research
Most research is done on male cells, animals and individuals, which has led to gaps in the scientific evidence about how health and disease affect other sexes and/or genders. The UK currently has no standard, unified guidance for researchers about how to adequately consider sex in cell and animal studies, and sex and gender in human studies.
We are joining with other UK medical research organisations to address these gaps and improve the accuracy of scientific research through The George Institute for Global Health’s Medical Science Sex and Gender Equity (MESSAGE) project.
A person’s experience of health and disease can be conditioned by their biological attributes (their sex) and by their roles, behaviours and identity in society (their gender). Under the new sex and gender policy, research involving cells and animals will be concerned only with sex. Research involving humans may be concerned with the sex of its participants or with their gender, or both, depending on the research topic.
Sex and gender play fundamental roles in individual and population health. They influence the medical conditions people develop, the symptoms they experience, the treatments and quality of care they receive, their disease progression and their overall outcomes. Studying and understanding sex and gender differences and similarities is essential for ensuring the safety and effectiveness of medicines and care, to improve the health of all people in the UK.
Research that doesn’t account for sex and gender produces results that are less accurate and reproducible and bring benefit to a smaller proportion of society. Sex and gender inclusive research leads to more targeted care and better outcomes for all people, particularly for cis women, trans, non-binary and intersex people and people with variations of sex characteristics.
We currently provide our research community with guidance on ensuring their research proposals consider the needs of all people with type 1 diabetes, no matter their sex or gender or other characteristics. We are issuing a Statement of Intent for the MESSAGE initiative, committing to providing the research community with further guidance and tools to ensure type 1 diabetes research is fully representative of all the people who live with this condition.
The MESSAGE policy framework, training materials for researchers and funding organisations about how to integrate sex and gender in your work will be launched in 2024. They will include further resources including an annotated bibliography to help researchers understand sex and gender dimensions identified in previous research.
Visit the section of our website for researchers including our funding opportunities and how to apply.
Discover the type 1 diabetes research projects we are currently funding in the UK.
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We wrote to the producers of the hit BBC show after they broadcast jokes about type 1 diabetes.
Parliamentary Inquiry chaired by our Global Health Ambassador, Rt. Hon Theresa May MP and Sir George Howarth MP, highlights the risks of type 1 diabetes-related eating disorders (T1DE).
In an historic advancement in the treatment of type 1 diabetes, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) today approves hybrid closed loop for the majority of people living with type 1 diabetes in England and Wales.
Immunotherapy, beta cell replacement, smart insulins – we’re driving research in the most promising areas to find cures and better treatments for type 1 diabetes.