Annual Research Conference

What's on HER Mind? Gender Differences in Cognitive Function

One of the missions of Women in Medicine and Science (WIMS) is to develop and implement programs to promote women’s health and sex differences research. Women’s Health Research Day is one of the ways we achieve this mission by showcasing the achievements of investigators in the topic area. This year the focus is on healthy brain function which governs human behavior and executive function throughout the lifespan. Conversely, cognitive dysfunction is debilitating in neurodegenerative diseases, and mental health and substance use disorders, as well as untoward effect of radiation and drug therapies. A greater appreciation of gender differences in mental health and disease will make it possible to develop personalized pharmacotherapies and palliative treatments that take into account the influence of sex.


Women's Health Research Day is open to everyone both internally to WFBMC and externally: all students, staff, nurses, post-docs, residents, fellows, and faculty. There is no fee, but registration is required.

Registration is open now!

View the conference agenda

For more information, email us or call 336-713-4220.

Scientific Organizers

Allyn Howlett, PhD, and Tracy Criswell, PhD (Conference Co-Chairs) 

Other members of the Research and Education Subcommittee of the Women in Medicine and Science standing committee: Drs. Ashley Weaver, Candace Parker-Autry, Hossam Shaltout, Jeffrey Willey, Kylie Kavanagh, Lynne Wagenknecht, Mara Vitolins, Marcia Wofford, Roy Strowd, and Susan Appt. 

Sponsored by Women in Medicine and Science; co-sponsors include: 

Also made possible by donors of the WIMS Fund and members of the Lucile Hutaff Education Society for Women in Medicine and Science. 


  • Keynote: Pauline M. Maki, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology and OB/GYN, University of Illinois at Chicago, Director, Women’s Mental Health, Research Program Senior Director of Research, UIC Center for Research on Women & Gender
  • Keynote: Brian Sherman, PhD, Research Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina
  • Suzanne Craft, PhD, Professor of Internal Medicine, Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, Director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, Co-Director of the Sticht Center for Healthy Aging and Alzheimer’s Prevention, WFSM
  • Christina K. Cramer, MD, Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology, WFSM
  • Kimya N. Dennis, PhD, MS, Sociologist and Criminologist, Adjunct Assistant Professor, CTSI, WFSM
  • Mark A. Espeland, PhD, Professor of Public Health Sciences, Biostatistics and Data Science, WFSM
  • Laura Flashman, Professor of Neurology, Section Head of the Neuropsychology Program, WFSM
  • Michael Nader, PhD, Professor of Physiology and Pharmacology, Co-Director of the Center for Research on Substance Use and Addiction, WFSM
  • Steve Rapp, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Medicine, Public Health Sciences, Social Science and Health Policy and Dermatology, WFSM

Attendees are encouraged to bring an electronic device to view the conference materials. A web page with slides will be provided shortly before the conference.  

Call for abstracts



The conference will take place in the Commons Conference Rooms at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Parking is available in the Hawthorne parking deck on Hawthorne Road across from the Medical Center.

From the main level of the parking deck, walk across Hawthorne Road toward the Medical Center. Turn right down the sidewalk and enter the Wake Forest School of Medicine brick courtyard on your left. Enter the glass doors and take the stairs in front of you up to Commons.