Faculty Member

Gillian Einstein A.B.- Harvard , Ph.D.- University of Pennsylvania

Email Address(es)
Office Phone
Office Address
Department of Psychology Sidney Smith Hall, 100 St. George Street Toronto, ON M5S 3G3
Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Women's Health, Collaborative Graduate Program in Women's Health
Social & Behavioural Health Sciences Division
Office of Global Public Health Education & Training
Associate Professor
SGS Status
Full Member

Research Interests

  • the effects of culture and experience on the nervous system
  • female genital circumcision/mutilation/cutting (FGC)
  • BRCA mutation (breast and ovarian cancer) prophylaxis effects on cognition
  • women’s health, sex differences, gender and health, interactions between sex and gender,
  • effects of the menstrual cycle on mood and sleep/effects of steroid hormones on mental health

Education & Training History

1974, A.B. (cum laude), Harvard University (History of Art); Thesis: The Sacred Circle: Plains Indian Buffalo Hide Painting

1984, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania (Anatomy); Dissertation: The Pattern of Synaptic Input from the Lateral Geniculate Nucleus to Layer IV, Area 17 of the Cat

1985, Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Northwestern University (Biomedical Engineering); Topic: Linear and Non-linear Responses of Cat Retinal Ganglion Cells

1986-1988, Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Duke University (Anatomy); Topic: Developing a Lightly-fixed Cortical Slice Preparation to Study Reciprocal Projections in Cat Visual Cortex

Other Affiliations

• Associate Professor of Psychology and Undergraduate Director, Department of Psychology

• Director & Founder, Collaborative Graduate Program for Women’s Health

• Full Member, School of Graduate Studies, University of Toronto

• Faculty, University College, University of Toronto

• Associated Member of Graduate Faculty, Wilfred Laurier University (2012-2015)

• Scientific Affiliate, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

• Scientific Associate, Women’s College Research Institute

• Mentor, CIHR Strategic Research Training program in Gender, Women and Addiction (IMPART) University of British Columbia Centre for Excellence in Women’s Health

• Member of the Centre for the Study of Pain

• Member of the Institute of Medical Sciences

• Member, Institute for Human Development, Life Course, Aging

• Member, Collaborative Graduate Program in Sexual Diversity Studies

Primary Teaching Responsibilities

  • CHL5004, Introduction to Public Health (Course Director, 2011)
  • CHL5109, Gender and Health
  • Psy333, Health Psychology (undergraduate for Psychology Department)
  • Director, Collaborative Graduate Program in Women’s Health (DLSPH)
  • Undergraduate Director for Psychology Department

Professional Summary & Appointments

Currently I am appointed a little under half at the DLSPH and slightly over half in the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto. I came from science administration and before that, research on the cellular mechanisms of neurodegenerative disease. When I returned to academia, I left the cellular behind and devised a research program that reflected my commitment to women’s health and bringing sex and gender into biological research—that is, merging the social with the biological. My research program reflects my split appointment and a unification of these two views in that I research public health and cultural issues (both societal and biomedical) from the perspective of how they affect the brain. But the path took me from Neuroanatomy and neuroscience to science administration to women’s health to a merging of all them through my various academic jobs as professor, program and course director, researcher, and activist.

Jan-June 2010: Visiting Associate Professor Women, Gender, and Sexualities Studies; Harvard University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences & Member of the Senior Common Room, Lowell House

July 2006-present: Associate Professor, Department of Psychology; University of Toronto

Jan 2004-present: Associate Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health; University of Toronto

Jan 2004-July 2006: Associate Director, Centre for Research in Women’s Health; Women’s College Hospital & University of Toronto

Sep 1999–Nov 2003: Scientific Review Administrator (SRA), Center for Scientific Review (CSR), US National Institutes of Health—Study Section: Molecular, Developmental, and Cellular Neurosciences 2 (MDCN2)

Feb 2002–Jul 2003: Detail (one day/week) Office of Research on Women’s Health, US National Institutes of Health

Sep 1999–Aug 2000: Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Neurobiology; Duke University Medical Center

Sep 1989–Aug 1999: Assistant Research Professor of Neurobiology & Assistant Research Professor, Zoology; Duke University Medical Center

July 1995-Aug 1999: Senior Fellow, Center for Study of Aging and Human Development & Associate, Joseph and Kathleen Bryan Alzheimer Disease Research Center; Duke University

Honours & Awards

  • CIHR—Institute of Gender and Health, Operating Grant Priority: From Body to Brain: Whole Body Experiences of Female Genital Cutting
  • Temporary Advisor, World Health Organization, Psychological Effects of Female Genital Cutting
  • Duke University Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award
  • Invitee, White House Conference on Mental Health (1999)
  • International Science Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (Declined)
  • National Institutes of Health (US): FIRST Award

Current Research Projects

  • Effects on the nervous system of Female Genital Cutting
  • Pain and addiction
  • Estrogens and Cognition
  • Mapping the Female Somatosensory Cortex

Representative Publications

  • Einstein, G., Au, A., Klemensberg, J., Shin, E.M., and Pun, N. (2012) The gendered ovary: Whole body effects of oophorectomy. Canadian Journal of Nursing Research. 44:7-17.
  • Kumar, R and Einstein, G (2012) Cardiovascular disease in Somali women in the diaspora. Current Cardiovascular Risk Reports, 229-237.
  • Schwartz, D, Romans, S, Meiyappan, S, DeSouza, M.J., & Einstein, G. (2012) The role of ovarian steroids in mood. Hormones and Behavior, 62,448-454.
  • Romans, S.E., Kreindler, D, Asllani, E, Einstein, G, Laredo, S, Levitt, A, Morgan, K, Petrovic, M, Toner, B, Stewart, D.E. (2012) Mood and the menstrual cycle. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics (in press)
  • Romans, S., Clarkson, R., Einstein, G., and Stewart, D. (2012) Premenstrual or perimenstrual? A review of prospective data studies of mood and the menstrual cycle. Gender Medicine 9(5), 361-384.
  • Di Noto P, Newman L, Wall, S, Einstein G (2012) The hermunculus: What is known about the representation of the female body in the brain? Cerebral Cortex. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhs00.
  • Bellem, A, Meiyappan, S, Romans, S and Einstein, G (2011) Measuring estrogens and progestegens in humans: An overview of methods. Gender Medicine 8:283-299.
  • Einstein, G and M Shildrick. (2009) The Postconventional Body: Retheorizing Women’s Health Social Science and Medicine. 69: 293-300.
  • Einstein G. (2008) From body to brain: Considering the neurobiological effects of female genital cutting. Persp. Biol. Med 51:84-97.
  • Einstein, G. (2007) Sex and the Brain: A Reader. MIT Press. Cambridge, MA.