MS06 - OTHE-1
Griffin West Ballroom (#2133) in The Ohio Union

Modeling sex differences in health and disease

Thursday, July 20 at 10:30am

SMB2023 SMB2023 Follow Thursday during the "MS06" time block.
Room assignment: Griffin West Ballroom (#2133) in The Ohio Union.
Note: this minisymposia has multiple sessions. The other session is MS07-OTHE-1 (click here).

Share this


Melissa Stadt


Sex hormones affect most, if not all, physiological systems. Historically, most physiological and biomedical research has largely been centered around males. In recent years, more sex-specific research has been conducted, revealing key structural and morphological differences in most organ systems between the sexes. Female physiology is complicated by the varied hormone levels that occur during the menstrual cycle as well as the massive changes during pregnancy/lactation or menopause. As we move towards precision medicine, to capture our diverse population we must attain a comprehensive understanding of the effects of sex-differences as well as the varied reproductive states in females on physiological function. Mathematical models have great potential to enhance our understanding of the effects of sex and reproductive states on physiological processes. By providing a quantitative framework for simulation and hypothesis testing, mathematical modeling and analysis can help untangle the complicated interactions of sexual dimorphisms or the impacts of varied reproductive states in anatomy, sex hormones, and physiological processes. In this mini-symposium speakers will present research using mathematical modeling to understand problems in health and disease related to sex differences or women’s health.

Lihong Zhao

University of California, Merced (Department of Applied Mathematics)
"Mathematical modeling of the menstrual cycle and hormonal contraception"
Developing a mechanistic understanding of the menstrual cycle is important to human health and wellness. Menstruation is driven by hormones. Hormonal imbalances can lead to issues with menstrual cycle that affect health, wellness, and quality of life. There is a high level of variability in hormone levels both between different individuals and from cycle to cycle within a single individual. In this talk, we will provide an overview of the current state-of-the-art in mathematical modeling of the menstrual cycle. We will show how we utilize a mechanistic mathematical model of the menstrual cycle to explore the qualitative effects of hormonal contraception on the menstrual cycle.
Additional authors: Ruby Kim, Department of Mathematics, University of Michigan; Lucy S. Oremland, Mathematics and Statistics Department, Skidmore College; Mukti Chowkwale, Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Virginia; Lisette G. de Pillis, Department of Mathematics, Harvey Mudd College; Heather Z. Brooks, Department of Mathematics, Harvey Mudd College.

Erica Graham

Bryn Mawr College (Mathematics)
"Functional Variations in the Ovulatory Cycle: Insights from Modeling"
A normally functioning ovulatory cycle results from a tightly regulated system of crosstalk between the brain and the ovaries. Failure to regulate reproductive hormones may cause ovarian dysfunction and sometimes infertility. For example, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a relatively common cause of such dysfunction, often accompanied by irregular glucose metabolism. Here we examine mechanisms of disruption and characterize ovulatory phenotypes through a new endocrine model and discuss the impact of metabolic abnormalities on the female endocrine system.

Carley V. Cook

University at Buffalo (Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering)
"Mathematical Modeling of Osteoporosis Due to Surgical Menopause"
Osteoporosis, characterized by decreased bone mass and structural deterioration, results from an imbalance in the bone tissue's metabolic processes. In the adult skeleton, bone is remodeled regularly due to dynamic interactions between several bone cell types: osteoclasts, osteoblasts, osteocytes, and their precursors. It is known that estrogens affect bone remodeling in both biological sexes. Specifically, postmenopausal bone loss results from estrogen deficiency in older women. Estrogen deficiency has a sudden onset when the ovaries are surgically removed, and osteoporosis risk is higher in these patients than for those experiencing natural menopause. We have developed a mathematical model for the bone cell dynamical responses to estrogen deficiency during the surgical menopausal transition using information about the key impacts observed in female mice and humans after ovary removal. We build upon an existing model for osteoporosis due to aging. Our new model considers the role of embedded osteocyte cells in regulating enhanced osteoclast formation, inducing enhanced bone resorption after surgical menopause. With two new adjustable parameters, the model fits clinical bone mineral density decreases. Other parts of the model results will be compared to various in vivo clinical and animal studies. The impacts of hormone replacement therapy on surgical menopause in silico scenarios will also be simulated and discussed.
Additional authors: Lauryn Keeler Bruce, University of California San Diego; Pritha Dutta, University of Waterloo; Sophie Fischer, University of Bergen; Samaneh Gholami, York University; Anna Nelson, Duke University; Edwina Yeo, University of Oxford; Yun Zhang, KU Leuven; Ashlee N. Ford Versypt, University at Buffalo

#SMB2023 Follow
Annual Meeting for the Society for Mathematical Biology, 2023.