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

Our recent findings show 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. 

Cardiac Hypertrophy

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

Men’s Health

Life expectancy is shorter in men than in women, and premature mortality is twice as high in men than in women. What are the reasons?

Sex and Gender Differences in Myocardial Perfusion

Assessment of sex-specific determinants of myocardial blood flow.

Sex and Gender Differences in Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary artery disease (CAD) differs between women and men in terms of risk factors, clinical presentation, pathophysiology, and prognosis.

Sex, Gender, and the Sympathetic Nervous System

The sympathetic nervous system may play a key role in rendering the female cardiovascular system more susceptible to the detrimental effects of mental stress.

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