Feinberg professor featured on ’60 Minutes’

Joseph Diebold, Managing Editor

A Feinberg School of Medicine professor was interviewed on the CBS News show “60 Minutes” Sunday night to discuss sex differences in medical research.

Dr. Melina Kibbe, also a doctor at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, was interviewed by Lesley Stahl on the disparities that result when most or all of the testing for new medications is done on men — including exclusively male rats and other animals used in testing.

Kibbe, a vascular surgeon, said the chances of medical research, even her own, being done on a solely male sample are “very large” because it simplifies the data being gathered.

“So to control for that variable most researchers study just males,” Kibbe said on 60 Minutes. “I was also studying just males.”

The CBS report came in response to an action last January by the Food and Drug Administration, which cut the recommended dosage for the sleep drug Ambien in half for women. Kibbe said even while doing her research, it never occurred to her there might be differences.

“I didn’t even think about it,” she said.

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