Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways. Chronically inflamed airways are hyper-responsive; they become obstructed and airflow is limited (by bronchoconstriction, mucus plugs, and increased inflammation) when airways are exposed to various risk factors. Symptoms include chest tightness, coughing, shortness of breath and wheezing. Asthma can be triggered by a variety of exposures such as dust mites, mildew mould, pets, rodents, tobacco smoke, dampness, chemical exposure and strong odours. Uncontrolled asthma can result in hospitalisation and potentially death.

Diabetes is a complex metabolic disease characterised by elevated blood glucose (sugar) levels. The increased glucose levels cause serious damage, especially to the eye, kidney, nerves, heart and blood vessels. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates blood glucose. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas produces no insulin; its cause and preventative measures are largely unknown. Type 2 diabetes, which is the most common form, occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin and the insulin that is produced does not work properly.

European Institute of Women’s Health

Traditionally regarded as a male disease, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the number one killer of women worldwide. It also is a major cause of serious illness and disability, costly to healthcare systems and destroying women’s quality of life. In the EU, CVD remains the top cause of death for women in each of the twenty-seven EU countries. Only during the last decades has awareness been rising how CVD affects women differently from men, alerting women to their risk. 

Gender is considered a main issue in Horizon 2020, the largest ever EU Research and Innovation programme, with €80 billion worth of funding available over seven years. The European Commission has identified seven priority areas of societal challenges, with the goal targeting investment in research in these fields. They are:

An underlying principle of drug development is that “patients entering clinical trials should be reasonably representative of the population that will be later treated by the drug” as subpopulations may respond differently to a given drug treatment. 
While ICH has developed specific guidelines that deal with the participation of geriatric and pediatric subjects in the drug development process, this has not been the case for the clinical investigation of medicinal products in women. Direct and indirect references to gender do, however, appear throughout a number of ICH guidelines.


Taking Action to Improve the Evidence Base for Policies by Changing Gender Imbalances in the Content and Process of Health Research. 

What are the mechanisms behind gender imbalances in the contents and processes of health research?
Gender discrimination and bias not only affects differentials in health needs, health seeking behaviour, treatment, and health outcomes but also influences the content and the process of health research.



Providing equal opportunities for women in science requires change at every level, argue Brigitte Mühlenbruch and Maren A. Jochimsen.

Gender-equality policy in science at European regional and national level has come a long way, thanks to more than 20 years of efforts by women scientists and far-sighted politicians. Yet progress is slow. The pipeline is still leaking and female researchers still hit glass ceilings.


The mandate of the AG Gender is to provide advice to other AGs and to the Commission on the integration of the gender dimension in research content pertaining to all activities where it is relevant, as well as its possible interactions with other crosscutting issues. As part of our advice, we have prepared this paper for use during the preparation of the Horizon 2020 work programmes,



The purpose of this guide is to provide staff of the European Commission/Executive Agency, potential applicants, the Helsinki Group, NCPs, as well as experts evaluators and other actors involved in the implementation of Horizon 2020 with practical guidance on the effective application of the new gender equality provisions in Horizon 2020. This entails integrating gender equality issues at each stage of the research cycle: from programming through implementation, monitoring and programme evaluation.



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MMLAP and other EU Projects

Health system analysis to support capacity development in response to the threat of pandemic influenza in Asia
Making society an active participant in water adaptation to global change
Public Participation in Developing a Common Framework for Assessment and Management of Sustainable Innovation
Effective communication in outbreak management: development of an evidence-based tool for Europe
Developing the framework for an epidemic forecast infrastructure
European monitoring of excess mortality for public health action
Modelling the spread of pandemic influenza and strategies for its containment and mitigation
Cost-effectiveness assessment of european influenza human pandemic alert and response strategies
Bridging the gap between science, stakeholders and policy makers
Promotion of immunization for health professionals in Europe
Towards inclusive research programming for sustainable food innovations
Medical ecosystem – personalized event-based surveillance
Studying the many and varied economic, social, legal and ethical aspects of the recent developments on the Internet, and their consequences for the individual and society at large
Knowledge-based policy-making on issues involving science, technology and innovation, mainly based upon the practices in Parliamentary Technology Assessment
Assessment of the current pandemic preparedness and response tools, systems and practice at national, EU and global level in priority areas
Analysis of innovative public engagement tools and instruments for dynamic governance in the field of Science in Society
Public Engagement with Research And Research Engagement with Society
Computing Veracity – the Fourth Challenge of Big Data
Providing infrastructure, co-ordination and integration of existing clinical research networks on epidemics and pandemics
Creating mechanisms for effectively tackling the scientific and technology related challenges faced by society
Improving respect of ethics principles and laws in research and innovation, in line with the evolution of technologies and societal concerns
Creating a structured dialogue and mutual learning with citizens and urban actors by setting up National Networks in 10 countries across Europe
Identifying how children can be change agents in the Science and Society relationship
Establishing an open dialogue between stakeholders concerning synthetic biology’s potential benefits and risks
Transparent communication in Epidemics: Learning Lessons from experience, delivering effective Messages, providing Evidence