February 10, 2021

Neuroscientist Jill Becker Takes Helm of Biology of Sex Differences Journal

The Biology of Sex Differences journal welcomed Dr. Jill Becker, PhD, as its new editor-in-chief earlier this month. Biology of Sex Differences is the official journal of the Organization for the Study of Sex Differences (OSSD) and a publication of the Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR).

Published by BioMed Central, part of Springer Nature, Biology of Sex Differences focuses on sex differences in all aspects of an individual or organism, from molecules to behavior and from studies of cellular function to clinical research studies. The journal aims to improve understanding of basic biological principles mediating sex differences and foster development of therapeutic and diagnostic tools that are sex-specific.

Becker is the Biopsychology Area Chair, the Patricia Y. Gurin Collegiate Professor of Psychology, and Senior Research Professor in the Michigan Neuroscience Institute at the University of Michigan. For more than 30 years she has researched how sex and gender differences and ovarian hormones influence the brain and behavior, with a specific focus on drug addiction and motivation.

Becker was a founding member of OSSD, an international research society focused on the study of sex as a biologic variable in health and disease, and she has served on the Editorial Board of Biology of Sex Differences since its inception.

“As a highly esteemed leader in the field of sex differences research, Dr. Becker will bring extraordinary experience and insight to the journal,” OSSD President Dr. Rhonda Voskuhl said. “She will be able to build on the journal’s historical strengths while taking advantage of the current appreciation and enthusiasm surrounding the importance of research focusing on sex differences.”

Becker has also served as a member of the SWHR Board of Directors and chaired SWHR’s Interdisciplinary Network on Sex, Gender, Drugs, and the Brain, which promoted research and education in the area of sex and gender differences in brain health and disease. She was senior editor for the Network’s groundbreaking book, “Sex Differences in the Brain: From Genes to Behavior.”

“Dr. Becker has devoted her career to advocating for the inclusion of female animals in studies to ensure research is applicable to women,” SWHR President and CEO Kathryn G. Schubert said. “SWHR is thrilled to have her lead the journal at a time when the importance of research on sex and gender differences is increasing being recognized and the field is greatly expanding.”

In 2020, SWHR honored Becker with the Health Education Visionary Award. “I am proud to be one of those women who has emphasized sex differences throughout her scientific career,” Becker said in a presentation at the awards ceremony. “It was not always easy. I had to fight resistance and resentment. I had to fight for academic recognition.”

To help implement her vision for the journal, Becker has recruited two associate editors: Jeannette Magnus, Director of the Centre for Global Health at the University of Oslo in Norway, and Vera Regitz-Zagrosek, Professor of Cardiovascular Disease in Women at Charité Berlin/Humboldt University in Germany.

To learn more about Biology of Sex Differences visit the website or follow @BiologySexDiff on Twitter.