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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
EinsteinLab, Cognitive Neuroscience, Gender, and Health
Centre for Global Health
Social & Behavioural Health Sciences Division
SGS Status
Full Member
Appointment Status
Non budgtry Crss

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

  • Wilfred and Joyce Posluns Chair of Women’s Brain Health and Aging
  • Associate Professor of Psychology
  • Guest Professor of Gender and Health, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
  • Collaborative Graduate Program for Women’s Health
  • Full Member, School of Graduate Studies, University of Toronto
  • Faculty, University College, University of Toronto
  • Scientific Affiliate, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
  • Scientific Associate, Women’s College Research Institute
  • Member of the Centre for the Study of Pain
  • Member of the Institute of Medical Sciences
  • Member, Institute for Human Development, Life Course, Aging

Primary Teaching Responsibilities

  • Psy495: Sex and the Brain

Professional Summary & Appointments

I hold the Wifred and Joyce Posluns Chair in Women’s Brain Health and Aging and am a faculty member of the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto with a cross appointment at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. Previously, I was appointed as faculty at DLSPH where I taught CHL5109: Gender and Health and Directed the Collaborative Graduate Program in Women’s Health. My research program strives to bring sex and gender into cognitive neuroscience and women’s health—that is, merging the social with the biological. My research program focuses on how gender and cultural issues (both societal and biomedical) affect the cognition and the brain. My current research program includes studying the cognitive effects of ovarian removal in women with the BRCA1/2 mutations, trans cognition, the nervous system effects of female genital cutting, and the interaction of genes and estrogens in cognition.

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-July 2017: 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

  • Wilfred and Joyce Posluns Chair of Women’s Brain Health and Aging
  • 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
  • Estrogens and Cognition
  • Trans cognition

Representative Publications

  • Hankivsky, O., Doyal, L., Einstein, G., Ursula, K., Shim, J., Weber, L., Repta, R. (2017). The odd couple: Using biomedicine and intersectional approaches to address health inequities. Global Health Action. 10 , Iss. sup2.
  • Romans, SE, Clarkson, RF, Einstein, G. Kriendler, D, Laredo, S, Petrovic, MJ & Stanely, J. (2017) Crying, oral contraceptive use and the menstrual cycle. J Affective Disorders 208:272-277. (6 pages)
  • Miller, LR., Marks, C., Becker, JB., Hurn, PD., Chen, W-J., Woodruff, T., McCarthy, MM., Sohrabji, F., Schiebinger, L., Wetherington, CL., Makris, S., Arnold, AP., Einstein, G., Miller, VM., Sandberg, K., Maier, S., Cornelison, TA., & Clayton, JA. (2016). Considering Sex as a Biological Variable in Preclinical Research. FASEB, 31(1): 29-34 (6 pages)
  • Miller, VM., Kararigas, G., Seeland, U., Regitz-Zagrosek, V., Kublickiene, K., Einstein, G., Casanova, R., & Legato, MJ. (2016). Integrating topics of sex and gender into medical curricula—lessons from the international community. Biology of Sex Differences, 7(Suppl 1):44 DOI 10.1186/s13293-016-0093-7. (6 pages)
  • Hassan, S., Gordon, A., & Einstein, G. (2016). Sex Differences in Overlapping Chronic Noncancer Pain Conditions in a Tertiary Pain Clinic. Pain Management & Medicine. 2:1 (5 pages)
  • Au, A., Feher, A., McPhee, L., Jessa A., Oh, S. & Einstein, G. (2016). Estrogens, Inflammation and Cognition. Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology. 40:87-100. (14 pages)
  • Sandberg, K., Ji, Hong, Einstein, G., Au, A., & Hay, M. (2015) Is Immune System Related Hypertension Associated with Ovarian Hormone Deficiency? Experimental Physiology 101(3): 368–374. (7 pages)
  • Li, D.X., Romans, S., De Souza, M.J., Murray, B., & Einstein, G. (2015) Actigraphic and self-reported sleep quality in women: associations with ovarian hormones and mood. Sleep Medicine 16(10): 1217-1224. (8 pages)
  • Romans, S., Kreindler, D., Einstein, G., Laredo, S. Petrovic, M.J., & Stanley, J. (2015) Sleep Quality and the Menstrual Cycle. Sleep Medicine 16(4): 489-495. (7 pages)
  • Hassan, S., Muere, A., & Einstein, G., (2014) Ovarian hormones and chronic pain: A comprehensive review. Pain 155(12)120: 2448-2460. (13 pages)
  • 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.
  • 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.