Veterinary Public Health Institute, Animal Welfare Division

SABV: Best practice guidance for including sex as a biological variable in animal research

Dr. Ivana Jaric

Advanced postdoc

+41 31 684 22 30
Postal Address
Animal Welfare Division
Veterinary Public Health Institute
University of Bern
Länggassstrasse 120
3012 Bern

Current research

  • Environmentally induced behavioral and neural plasticity: The role of epigenetic mechanisms
  • The effects of rearing environment on behavioural and physiological phenotype of mice
  • Natural variation in stress response from molecular to behavioral levels

More Info: RepFail Project and SABV


I hold a PhD in Biology (major in Reproductive Endocrinology) from the University of Belgrade, Serbia, where I have investigated the effects of phytoestrogens on the female reproductive system during two hormone sensitive periods (peripubertal and menopausal-like) in rats. During my PhD, I established a rodent model of human menopause, by using naturally aged, ovary intact, acyclic female rats in constant diestrus stage. Later, I moved to the Neuroepigenetic Laboratory at Fordham University, United States for a postdoctoral position in epigenomics. My postdoctoral work was focused on hormonal and environmental factors driving sex differences in depression and anxiety. I discovered a sex-specific epigenetic regulation in the female mouse hippocampus as a function of the estrous cycle, providing a new molecular framework to study the female-specific susceptibility to psychiatric disorders. In December 2018, I joined the Animal Welfare Division, University of Bern to expand the division's research from the behavioral to the molecular level. Here I am integrating molecular, epigenetic, behavioural and histological analyses to investigate the link between environmentally induced phenotypic plasticity and poor reproducibility in order to help develop experimental designs in preclinical animal research. Currently, I am leading a project with the aim of investigating how the interplay of environment, hormones, and epigenome shapes the reproductive and behavioral phenotype of mice. The goal is to provide practical guidance for the inclusion of sex as a biological variable in rodent research.

For the full publication list, please check here.