Gender Differences in Bipolar Disorder Across the Life Span Through an Intersectional Lens

June 10, 2021

1:00 P.M. – 2:30 P.M. ET

About the Webinar

Two percent of the world’s population lives with bipolar disorder, which is twice the rate for schizophrenia. Although the prevalence of this mental health condition is equally prevalent among males and females, there are unique gender differences in mental status that may affect quality of life and emergence and persistence of the condition. Studies indicate an increased risk in women of bipolar II/hypomania rapid cycling and mixed episodes, and there are important gender differences found in co-morbidity. Pregnant women who have a history of bipolar disorder are 23 times more likely to have a recurrent episode during the postpartum period. In addition, bipolar disorder is likely to worsen with age if the condition goes untreated. This webinar provides an overview of bipolar disorder within the context of an intersectionality lens and highlights NIMH-funded research in this area with a focus on customizing combination therapeutic interventions for historically marginalized women and men who are at risk for or living with bipolar disorder.

About the Speakers

Hilary Blumberg, M.D.

Hilary Blumberg, M.D.
Professor of Psychiatry and Director of Mood Disorders Research Program
Yale School of Medicine

Dr. Hilary Patricia Blumberg is the John and Hope Furth Professor of Psychiatric Neuroscience; Professor of Psychiatry, Radiology, and Biomedical Imaging and in the Child Center; and Director of the Mood Disorders Research Program at the Yale School of Medicine. She graduated summa cum laude in neuroscience from Harvard University and completed her medical degree, psychiatry training, and specialty training in brain scanning research at Cornell University Medical College. Dr. Blumberg’s research is devoted to understanding the brain circuitry differences that underlie mood disorders across the lifespan, with a focus on bipolar disorder. She directs the Mood Disorders Research Program at Yale, which brings together a multi-disciplinary group of scientists to study the genetic, developmental, and environmental factors that cause mood disorders to develop new methods for early detection, more effective interventions, and prevention of the disorders and their associated high risk for suicide. This research includes the use of state-of-the-art brain scanning methods. The program is also known for training young scientists to be new leaders in the field. Dr. Blumberg has served as principal investigator on awards from the NIMH, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Department of Veterans Affairs, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, International Bipolar Disorder Foundation, For the Love of Travis Foundation, MQ Foundation, Stanley Medical Research Institute, and Women’s Health Research at Yale. She has received numerous awards, including the 2017 Brain and Behavior Foundation Colvin Prize for Research Achievement in Mood Disorders and the 2018 American Psychiatric Association Blanche F. Ittleson Award for outstanding and published research in child and adolescent psychiatry. She is a fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a member of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology and Society of Biological Psychiatry.

Crystal Tennille Clark, M.D.

Crystal Tennille Clark, M.D., M.Sc.
Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Obstetrics and Gynecology
Northwestern University

Dr. Crystal Tennille Clark’s research and clinical interests focus on women’s mood and anxiety disorders across the reproductive life cycle. Dr. Clark’s passion for optimizing treatment in pregnancy for women with bipolar disorder has led to her current research focused on dosing lamotrigine (Lamictal) and lithium in pregnancy. She is also interested in optimizing dosing of medication for mood and anxiety disorders in other times of hormonal changes, including those related to infertility treatments and use of oral contraceptives. She maintains an interest in trauma associated with traumatic birth and as it relates to the recurrence of mood and anxiety symptoms in pregnancy due to past trauma.

About the Moderator

Tamara Lewis Johnson, M.P.H., M.B.A.

Tamara Lewis Johnson, M.P.H., M.B.A.
Chief, Women’s Health Research Program, Office for Disparities Research and Workforce Diversity, NIMH

Tamara Lewis Johnson is the Chief of the Women’s Health Research Program for the Office for Disparities Research and Workforce Diversity. She is responsible for providing advice and guidance on matters relating to women’s health research and mental health. Ms. Lewis Johnson brings 11 years of experience in health science management from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), where she served as a Health Science Specialist in the Division of Extramural Activities’ Office of Extramural Research Policy Operations. Ms. Lewis Johnson supported the development of initiatives to promote investments in biomedical research that advance public health outcomes. She has produced reports that describe the importance of infectious disease and immune-mediated research initiatives to congressional staffers, scientific organizations, and constituency groups.  Her expertise in systems engineering, implementation science and operations research have enabled her to advance translational research that can be used in low-income settings in the United States and abroad. Ms. Lewis Johnson has been instrumental in the development of scientific workgroups to advance public health outcomes through the support of discovery science to advance improved diagnostics, drug development, and vaccine research. She also served as the Senior Program Manager for Women’s Health for the Office of Special Populations and Research Training, where she was responsible for managing research and training initiatives related to women’s health research in infectious diseases and immune-mediated illnesses.

Prior to her work at NIAID, Ms. Lewis Johnson worked at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) as the Women’s Health Team Lead and Acting Deputy Director of the Office of Women and Minority’s Health (OWMH) at HRSA’s Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC). Ms. Lewis Johnson holds two master’s degrees, one in Business Administration and one in Public Health with a concentration in Health Services Management from the University of California, Berkeley, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University.