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Season 1

Season 1 is hosted by Rebecca Baron and Sidney Klips-Hryciuk and recorded via Zoom on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh people.

Episodes will be released on the second Wednesday of every month.

Episode 1: “Medical Research Bias: Why Focusing on Sex Differences is Not the Full Answer for Better Women’s Health” 

“The majority of studies [both preclinical and clinical] don’t look at sex diffferences or don’t include females in the design…” - Dr. Liisa Galea

Welcome to Women’s Health Interrupted! A UBC Women’s Health Research Cluster podcast. In this introductory episode, Rebecca and Sidney give a preview for what to expect from our season and host a special conversation between two changemakers in women’s health research.

Dr. Liisa Galea and Dr. Victoria Gay co-authors of “The Research Divide” (which was published by the BC Women’s Health Foundation) join us to discuss medical research bias and how this impacts women’s health. This episode will provide you with a better understanding of the women’s health field and how it is both important and distinct from sex differences research.

Links to the resources mentioned in this episode:

Guest Biographies:

Dr. Liisa Galea leads the Women's Health Research Cluster and is a Professor in the Department of Psychology, Health Advisor to VPRI, a member of the Centre for Brain Health and a Scientific Advisor at Women’s Health Research Institute at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Galea has her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Western Ontario and was a Postdoctoral fellow from The Rockefeller University.Her research investigates how sex hormones influence brain health and disease in both females and males. The main goal of her research is to improve brain health for women and men by examining the influence of sex and sex hormones on normal and diseased brain states such as depression and Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Victoria Gay is the Senior Director of strategy at BC Women’s Health Foundation. Victoria has a PhD from University College London and 15 years’ experience in research, strategy and innovation, across multiple sectors. Since joining the Foundation in 2018, Victoria has been instrumental in driving the BC Women's Health Foundation from a foundation that served BC Women's Hospital to a provincial foundation dedicated to improving women's health. She leads the Research, Innovation, Education + Awareness portfolios and associated strategic partnerships, and has been heavily involved in the Foundation's advocacy efforts these past few years to encourage transformational investments in research, policy and practice.

Additional thanks to Tallinn Splinter, Alex Lukey, Dr. Travis Hodges, Katherine Moore, and Stephen Gillis.

Episode 2: "How has COVID-19 Impacted Women's Health?"

“One thing that COVID-19 has done is it has brought attention to sex and gender like we’ve never seen it before...” - Dr. Rosemary Morgan

In this episode, Sidney and Rebecca sit down with gender, intersectionality, and health systems expert, Dr. Rosemary Morgan. We dig into how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everything from women's physical and mental health to their professional lives. We also look at how the pandemic has fueled setbacks on gender equality initiatives within our health systems. Plus, Dr. Morgan breaks down what the science has to say about the pandemic's longer term health impacts, where we're still waiting for answers, and what we can do moving forward. 

Links to the resources mentioned in this episode:

Links to further reading material:

Guest Biography:

Dr. Rosemary Morgan is an Associate Scientist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is a gender, intersectionality and health systems expert that also leads the Sex and Age Differences in Immunity to Influenza Project.

Episode 3: "What you Didn't Know About Women's Brain Health"

"Educating women about their own personal risks...is really critical to understanding ways to mitigate risk of [clinical] Disease”- Dr. Sherri Hayden

In this episode, Sidney speaks to Dr Sherri Hayden, a clinical neuropsychologist and assistant professor at the University of British Columbia. Dr Hayden speaks about the increased risk of neurological and mental health issues among women and the differences in the way that symptoms of these manifest in comparison with men, as well as the lack of clinical research reflecting these sex differences. Dr Hayden also emphasises how important it is for women to self-advocate when speaking to health care personnel, and for women in a caregiver position to look after their own mental health and wellbeing. 

Links to resources mentioned in this episode/ further reading material:

Guest biography:

Dr. Sherri Hayden is a Clinical Neuropsychologist and Clinical Assistant Professor with the Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine at the University of British Columbia. She has served in the clinic for Alzehimer’s Disease & Related Disorders since 1993. Dr. Hayden applies functional and lifestyle medicine principles throughout her clinical practice, serving a variety of neurological populations such as those with mild cognitive impairment, neurodegenerative disorders and traumatic brain injury.

Episode 4: “We Need More Conversation about Perimenopause and Menopause”

“Hormone replacement therapy should be the first line treatment for perimenopause for the vast majority of women” - Amanda Thebe

In this episode, Sidney and Rebecca sit down with personal trainer, nutrition coach, and best-selling author, Amanda Thebe, to talk about all things menopause. We get into some of the major misconceptions and research gaps around menopause and perimenopause and how it impacts women’s health. We also look at what resources are out there and outline some steps women can take to make this major transition as smooth as possible. 

Links to resources mentioned in this episode/ further reading material:

Guest Biography:

Amanda Thebe is a personal trainer, nutrition coach and best-selling author of “Menopocalypse: How I Learned To Thrive During Menopause and How You Can Too!”. Amanda is a force to be reckoned with, demystifying hormone replacement therapy, hormone-related stress, and weight gain to an international audience. Outside of her work, you can find her socializing with her friends and family or having the occasional Netflix binge session.

Episode 5: "How Does Intimate Partner Violence Impact Women's Brain Health?"

“ Once a women has experienced a brain injury and IPV she is at much higher risk of experiencing another brain injury because she is now is dealing with some cognitive challenges and all the things that come along with a brain injury…” - Karen Mason

Content Warning: discussions of partner violence and traumatic brain injury.  

If you feel unsafe in your home or relationship and need support, visit the following websites to discover shelters and other supports that could help you transition to a life free of abuse. If you are in immediate danger, call your country’s emergency line such as 911 in North America or 112 in Europe.

In this episode, Sidney and Rebecca sit down with Karen Mason and Dr. Paul van Donkelaar, co-founders of SOAR, or Supporting Survivors of Abuse and Brain Injury through Research - a multi-disciplinary research collaboration between University of British Columbia Okanagan and Kelowna Women’s Shelter. We talk about some of the many ways that intimate partner violence (IPV) can have long term impacts on women’s health - in particular the effects of traumatic brain injury. 

Links to resources mentioned in this episode/ further reading material:

Guest Biographies:

Karen Mason is co-founder and director of community practice for SOAR, former executive director of Kelowna Women’ Shelter, and executive director at Third Space Charity which provides free supportive care counselling to young adults in Kelowna, B.C., Canada. A seasoned and passionate non-profit leader, communicator, and community collaborator, Karen brings 30+ years of career experience to her work advocating for survivors of intimate partner violence, (or IPV) people experiencing homelessness, and promoting a mentally healthy community. 

Dr. Paul van Donkelaar is co-founder and principal investigator for SOAR. He is also a professor in the School of Health and Exercise Sciences and Associate Vice Principal, Research at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus in Kelowna, B.C., Canada. His program of research focuses on the basic mechanisms of sensorimotor control and the cerebrovascular, neurocognitive, and sensorimotor aspects of brain dysfunction resulting from traumatic brain injury (TBI). Since 2016, he has started to focus his research on better understanding brain dysfunction in women who have experienced intimate partner violence-related TBI in collaboration with the Kelowna Women’s Shelter through the SOAR project.

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Episodes will be released on the second Wednesday of every month, starting August 11th, on all major platforms.