HCEO recently met with MIP network member Stacy Lindau to talk about her work on health equity and about WomanLab, her recently-launched communications effort to make and amplify scientific discoveries about human sexuality.
"My passion is engineering solutions to injustice," Lindau says. "I believe that we can solve injustices by working together with people who know injustice best. So most of my work involves collaboration, either with people from the surrounding communities that we serve, or even my own patients."
In addition to her research, Lindau is also a practicing gynecologist. She says she was drawn to focus on obstetrics and gynecology because it allowed her to focus on at least half the population. "And it requires an understanding from the earliest moment of life, the developing embryo and fetus, all the way to the end of life," she says.
It was her work as a gynecologist that led Lindau to want to better understand sexuality in the context of aging. Many patients had questions about how cancer treatment might impact their sexual functioning, and Lindau was surprised at how little research there was on the topic. This finding was also what led her to launch WomanLab, which aims to expand the reach of her research.
"This effort, in partnership with our patients, who are acting as advocates, has led us to think about how we amplify our knowledge and our voices." she says. "I can only see one patient at a time, one publication at a time, and yet there are literally millions if not hundreds of millions of women on the planet Earth who deserve and need to know some of the basic things we’ve come to understand about women’s sexuality."
Lindau is a Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Medicine-Geriatrics at The University of Chicago.