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Centennial Seminar Series - Lise Eliot, PhD

Hosted by: William J. Degutis Women in Science and Health Lecture Series - DePaul University

Dr. Lise Eliot
Rosalind Franklin University

On the Origins of Gender: Brain Sex Differences, Neuroplasticity and Women's Advancement in STEM

April 28, 2021
4:30 p.m. Central Time

Gender gaps are present across human experience (health, careers, relationships) but that doesn’t mean they are ‘hard-wired’ by brain evolution. 

Neuroscientist Dr. Lise Eliot will debunk popular myths about brain sex differences that are often used to rationalize gender gaps in STEM advancement and leadership. Recent large-scale studies demonstrate that such differences are small, non-binary and swamped by the much larger range of inter-individual difference. 

Dr. Eliot will then address the interaction between nature and nurture in shaping children's brain and gender development. Genes and hormones play a part, but most gender differences arise out of experience, status, and social learning. Disaggregating these influences can help us design more effective interventions to attract and promote women in STEM.

Lise Eliot, PhD is a Professor of Neuroscience and Executive Chair of Foundational Sciences & Humanities at the Chicago Medical School of Rosalind Franklin University. She received a B.A. degree Magna Cum Laude in History & Science from Harvard University, a Ph.D. in Cellular Physiology & Biophysics from Columbia University, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Division of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine. 

Dr. Eliot analyzes the interplay between innate biology, sociocultural factors, and individual experience in molding our brains and behavior across the lifespan. Her research is centered on brain and gender development, especially the role of neuroplasticity in shaping neural circuitry and behavior.

Dr. Eliot has published more than 60 works, including experimental studies in cellular neurophysiology, meta-analyses of brain sex difference, and two highly-praised books: "What's Going On in There? How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life", and "Pink Brain, Blue Brain: How Small Differences Grow Into Troublesome Gaps -- And What We Can Do About It".