SARALYN MARK ’88 EXAMINES THE IMPACT OF GENDER ON INNOVATION
The former White House policy advisor’s new nonprofit, iGIANT, has already seen its work accelerate new policies, protocols, and products. SARALYN MARK ’88, president of SolaMed Solutions LLC, which advises government agencies and organizations on medical and scientific policy issues, recently started a nonprofit known as iGIANT (impact of Gender/Sex on Innovation and Novel Technologies). In March 2016, she returned to NYU Langone Medical Center for an iGIANT-sponsored roundtable about the impact of gender/sex on innovation. Dr. Mark developed iGIANT while serving as a senior policy advisor for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and launched it at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The nonprofit supports a series of roundtables, summits, innovation prizes, and scholarships to accelerate the translation of research into gender/sex-specific design elements such as programs, policies, protocols, and products for the health, IT, transportation, and retail sectors. “In just a short time,” Dr. Mark said, “we have seen new inclusion policies for R&D, engineering and medical school curricula examining the impact of gender/sex on design elements, data mining of ER records by the auto industry to examine the severity of injuries among men and women and its impact on vehicle designs, and a new IT platform developed by the MIT/Cambridge Innovation Center. I think that once we see the world through this gender/sex lens, we will see more progress toward improving the quality and safety of lives, including work performance, for men and women.” In addition to founding iGIANT, running her own company, and serving as a senior medical advisor to NASA, Dr. Mark is an endocrinologist, geriatrician, women’s health specialist, and professor. Previously, she served as the first senior medical advisor to the DHHS Office on Women’s Health, where she was responsible for the development and analysis of policies and programs on emerging technologies, public health preparedness, physician workforce issues, sex- and gender-based medicine, and women’s health on Earth and in space. She also is the author of Stellar Medicine: A Journey Through the Universe of Women’s Health.