Marianne J. Legato

Marianne J. Legato, MD, PhD (hon c), FACP, is an internationally renowned academic, physician, author, lecturer, and pioneer in the field of gender-specific medicine. She is a Professor Emerita of Clinical Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons and an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins Medical School. Dr. Legato is also the Director of the Foundation for Gender-Specific Medicine, which she founded in 2006 as a continuation of her work with The Partnership for Gender-Specific Medicine at Columbia University. She received an honorary PhD from the University of Panama in 2015 for her work on the differences between men and women’s normal physiology and their sex-specific experience of disease.

At its core, gender-specific medicine is the science of how normal human biology differs between men and women and how the diagnosis and treatment of disease differs as a function of gender. Dr. Legato’s discoveries and those of her colleagues have led to a personalization of medicine that assists doctors worldwide in understanding the difference in normal function of men and women and in their sex-specific experiences of the same diseases.

She began her work in gender-specific medicine by authoring the first book on women and heart disease, The Female Heart: The Truth About Women and Coronary Artery Disease, which won the Blakeslee Award of the American Heart Association. Because of this research, the cardiovascular community began to include women in clinical trials affirming the fact that the risk factors, symptoms, and treatment of the same disease can be significantly different between the sexes. Convinced that the sex-specific differences in coronary artery disease were not unique, Dr. Legato began a wide-ranging survey of all medical specialties and published the first textbook on gender-specific medicine, The Principles of Gender-Specific Medicine. The second edition appeared in December 2009. The third edition won the Prose Award for the best book published in 2017 in the field of clinical medicine. She is currently working on the fourth edition.  Her latest book, The Plasticity of Sex is being released this year (2020) by the Academic Press. She also founded the first scientific journals publishing new studies in the field, The Journal of Gender-Specific Medicine, and a newer version, Gender Medicine, both listed in the Index Medicus of the National Library of Medicine. She is currently writing a history of gender-specific medicine at the request of the Academic Press. Dr. Legato is the founder and editor-in-chief of the official journal of the Foundation, Gender and the Genome. The journal published by Sage, launched in  the WINTER 2016.

Dr. Legato is the author of several other books for the lay public including What Women Need to Know (Simon & Schuster, 1997), Eve’s Rib (Harmony Books, 2002), Why Men Never Remember and Women Never Forget (Rodale, 2005) and most recently, Why Men Die First (Palgrave, 2008). Her books have been translated into 28 languages to date.

As an internationally respected authority on gender medicine, Dr. Legato has chaired symposia and made keynote addresses to world congresses in gender-specific medicine in Berlin, Israel, Japan, Panama, South Korea, Stockholm, and Vienna. She maintains the only gender-specific private practice in New York City, and she has earned recognition as one of the “Top Doctors in New York” by New York Magazine for the past 15 years.

Last updated April 29, 2020