Scientific Program

Sex & Gender Differences in Mental and Neurological Disease: The gateway to precision medicine

This two days interactive event will convene over 200 international leaders from the global community to reflect on and discuss about the women’s brain predisposition to specific neurological and mental diseases as well as talk about possible solutions for the benefit of the all society. In particular, the sex and gender effects on clinical trials, pre-clinical research, socio-economic factors predisposing to mental and neurological diseases will be thoroughly discussed. Finally, the influence of sex and gender on the development of novel technologies and algorithms will be also analysed. The Forum will include the voice of scientists, policy makers, health care professionals, patients, care-givers, activists, artists, futurists, philosophers, media and humanoids. The participation of the lay public is also envisioned with an expected final audience doubled in comparison to the 1st Forum*. The Forum’s outcome will include the publication of several position papers aimed to divulgate its content, vision and scope with the public.

The Forum will comprise of two main formats: keynote lectures and 6 panel discussions.

Keynote presentations will include a focused input on a specific topic by a prominent scientist or researcher.

The panel discussions will involve an interactive debate between internationally acclaimed experts in a particular topic.


Master of Ceremony:
Sylvia Day, WBP Ambassador & Actress, Switzerland

DAY 1 – Saturday, 8 June 2019

08:30 – 08:45 Welcome Annemarie Schumacher Dimech, President, WBP, Switzerland
08:45 – 09:00 Opening Remarks Beatrice Beck Schimmer, Vice President Medicine, University of Zurich, Switzerland
09:00 – 10:30 PANEL 1: Hot Topics in the Basic Science of Sex Differences in the Brain
Introduction Coming soon
Moderator Staci Bilbo, Director of Research, Lurie Center for Autism Mass General Hospital for Children, Boston, USA
Speakers Torsten Buch, Director, Institute of Laboratory Animal Science at the Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Switzerland

Roberta Brinton, Director, Center for Innovation in Brain Science, University of Arizona, USA

Liisa Galea, Department of Psychology University of British Columbia, CanadaColuia, Canad

11:00 – 12:30 PANEL 2: The Effect of Gender on the Communication of Diagnoses & Treatment
Introduction Maya Dusenbery, Author of the book “Doing Harm”, USA
Moderator Coming soon
Speakers Jennifer Payne, Associate Professor of Psychiatry Director, Women’s Mood Disorders Center Johns Hopkins, School of Medicine, USA

Anna Villarreal, Founder and CEO, LifeStory Health, USA

Sara Rubinelli, President, European Association of Communication in Health (EACH)

Katrin Rauen, University of Zurich, Switzerland

13:30 – 15:00 PANEL 3: Socioeconomic Risk Factors Through the Gender Lens
Introduction Tania Dussey-Cavassini, Founder and CEO of Forestay River Consulting Ldt, Switzerland
Moderator Amanda Kayne, CNN Money Switzerland
Speakers Michael Craig, Clinical Lead, National Female Hormone Clinic, Maudsley Hospital, UK

Rajendra Dhamane, Winner of the THE ONE International Humanitarian Award, Founder of The Mauli House, India

Elina Suzuki, Health Policy Analyst at OECD, France

Wendy Weidner, Research and Policy Project Lead Alzheimer’s Disease International, UK Disease International, UK

15:30 – 17:00 PANEL 4: Migraine: A Sex & Gender Case Study
Introduction Elena Ruiz de la Torre, EMHA Executive Director, Belgium
Moderator Laura Campo, International Corporate Affairs, Pain Platform and Alzheimer’s disease, Eli Lilly and Company, USA
Speakers Nouchine Hadjikhani, Director of Neurolimbic Research, AMH Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA

Patricia Pozo Rosich, Head of the Headache & Craniofacial Pain Unit at the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital and the Quirón Hospital, Barcelona, Spain

Maria Teresa Ferretti, Chief Scientific Officer, WBP, Switzerland

17.00 Day 1 – Closing remarks
Maria Teresa Ferretti, Chief Scientific Officer, WBP, Switzerland
Key-Note: Caregiving and patient/caregiver focused treatment
Marsha Henderson, Commissioner for Women’s Health, FDA, USA

DAY 2 – Sunday, 9 June 2019

08:45 – 09:00 Opening Remarks Peggy Maguire, General Director, European Institute of Women’s Health, Ireland
09:00 – 10:30 PANEL 5: Enrolment and Retention of Women in Clinical Trials
Introduction Sofia Petersson, a patient living with Alzheimer’s disease & WBP Ambassador, Sweden
Moderator Coming soon
Speakers Lisa Mosconi, Associate Director, Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic of Weill Cornell Medical College (WCMC), USA

Maria Houtchens, Parteners, Multiple Sclerosis Center Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, USA

Mercé Boada, Medical Director, Fundacio’ ACE, Barcelona Alzheimer Treatment & Research Center, Spain

11:00 – 12:30 PANEL 6: How Sex & Gender Impact Efficacy of Drugs
Introduction Cheri Ballinger, Actress, activist on Traumatic Brain Injury; WBP Ambassador, USA
Moderator Meryl Comer, Geoffrey Beene Foundation Alzheimer’s initiative, USA
Speakers Charlotte Cordonnier, Vice-President of the European Stroke Organization, University of Lille, France

Hadine Joffe, Executive Director, Mary Horrigan Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology & Vice chair for Research, Department of Psychiatry, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, USA

Cassandra Szoeke, Director of the Women’s Healthy Ageing Project (WHAP), Royal Melbourne Hospital, Australia

Murali Doraiswamy, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke Center for Applied Genomics and Precision medicine, Duke University, USA

13:30 – 15:00 PANEL 7: Towards Digitalization & AI Interpretation of Biomarkers
Introduction Coming soon
Moderator Thomas Brenzinkofer , DayOne Basel, Switzerland
Speakers Christoph Ebell, Senior vice President of Neuroscience-20, Verticai Consulting and Ventures, Switzerland

Thomas Wilckens, CEO, Inn Ventis Ltd, Israel

15:30 – 17:00 PANEL 8: Leveraging AI to Address Gender Bias
Introduction Tracy Laabs, Wyss Research Center, Switzerland
Moderator Nicoletta Iacobacci, Singularity University, Switzerland
Speakers Silvina Catuara Solarz, Telefonica Innovation Alpha, Spain

Stephanie Creff, Co-Founder, Ellpha Project, USA

Antonella Santuccione Chadha, CEO, WBP; Roche Diagnostic, Switzerland

James Hughes, Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, Trinity College in Hartford, USA

Nikolaos Mavridis, Director, Interactive Robots and Media Lab MIT, USA

Sophia, Advanced Humanoid, Hanson Robotics, Hong Kong

17.00 Closing remarks
Mara Hank Moret, Active member and supporter of the WBP
Key-Note: The Women Challenge: The Brain Health Monitoring
Rhoda Au, Director of Neuropsychology at the Framingham Heart Study, Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health, USA

Scientific Committee:

    • Dr. Ewelina Biskup, Associate Professor at the Shanghai University of Medicine and Science

    • Tania Dussey-Cavassini, Founder and CEO of Forestay River Consulting Ldt, Switzerland

    • Annette Dumas, ASDM Consulting, Director EU Affairs

    • Dr. Liisa Galea, University of British Columbia, Canada

    • Kathryn Goetzke, Chief Mood Officer, The Mood Factory

    • Dr. Hadine Joffe, Executive Director Mary Horrigan Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology, Vice Chair for Research, Department of Psychiatry Brigham and Women’s Hospital

    • Dr. Else Sandset, Oslo University Hospital

    • Bejal Joshi, Founder/CEO International Women in Science, CEO Plush Communique Limited, Switzerland

    • Dr. Katrin Rauen, University of Zurich, Switzerland