Welcome To
The Gebhard Lab

Welcome to The Gebhard Lab

Cardiovascular diseases

Cardiovascular diseases rank among the main causes of death and disease worldwide. Although mortality rates for men have steadily declined since the 1980s, the diseases are becoming increasingly more common in women. Moreover, clinical outcomes from cardiovascular diseases are consistently worse for women than for men. Notably, the gender-specific mechanisms and variables underlying these differences in disease progression and outcome remain largely unknown, as most studies, in both pre-clinical animal models and clinical trials in humans, have been performed on male subjects. In fact, patients still receive similar treatments, regardless of sex.  At the Gebhard Lab, we aim to change this.

Research Projects

Gender Differences in Cardiac Function

We recently observed significant sex- and age-specific differences in baseline left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), with a strong age-dependent increase in LVEF in healthy women but not in men. 

The Heart-Brain Axis

The female cardiovascular system is more sensitive to stress.

Impact of Sex and Gender on COVID-19 Outcomes

Men are more susceptible to a severe disease course of COVID-19 than women, and worldwide data show that the disease is deadlier in men than in women. 

Identifying Sex- and Gender-specific Predictors of Severe COVID-19

Current risk predictors are valuable tools to predict individual manifestations of COVID-19 since they combines different aspects of the disease, including biological sex. 

Cardiac Hypertrophy

Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) is an example of a heart disease with significant sex-specific differences.

Men and Stress

The association between diagnosed acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) and hockey games in the Canadian population is unknown.


Assessment of sex-specific determinants of myocardial blood flow.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in women

Lack of gender-specific reference values in current guidelines

Women are underrepresented in cardiac rehabilitation programs

Female and male hearts don't age the same

Women comprise less than 24% of participants in all heart-related research studies

Safety and efficacy of cardiovascular drugs have been evaluated predominantly in male populations

More women die of heart disease, yet men are more likely to receive treatment "Yentl syndrom"

Women with myocardial infarction are more likely to experience treatment delays compared with men

Stronger association between stress and cardiovascular risk in women than in men

Our Team