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From Melbourne to Chicago: Sharing Our World-First Clinical Research at ENDO 2023

Updated: 6 days ago

A group of people of varying genders standing together, all wearing suits and name lanyards.

Dr Brendan Nolan (center) with international trans health colleagues at ENDO 2023.

ENDO is the leading global meeting on endocrinology (hormone) research and clinical care hosted by Endocrine Society. The annual meeting provides an opportunity for endocrinologists, health care practitioners, and scientists to come together and showcase cutting-edge advances in research and medicine, with presentations spanning the spectrum of science, clinical care, and social implications.

Two people standing in front of a poster. The woman is smiling and gesturing to the poster. The man is smiling, with one hand in his pocket.

A/Prof Ada Cheung (left) with Dr Brendan Nolan (right) at ENDO 2023.

Two of our clinical researchers, A/Prof Ada Cheung and Dr Brendan Nolan, joined over 7,000 other attendees at ENDO 2023 in Chicago from June 15-18.

Against the backdrop of increasingly hostility against trans people and clinicians providing gender-affirming healthcare in the United States (and internationally), trans research and clinical practice had a strong platform at ENDO 2023. “They’ve got trans sessions that fill up a full three days at this general endocrine conference which is so validating” said A/Prof Cheung. “The US Endocrine Society are strong advocates against the bans on gender-affirming care going on in the US.”

A woman standing by a Powerpoint presentation being displayed on two screens. She is holding a remote and partway through speaking.

A/Prof Ada Cheung presenting on behalf of Dr Lachlan Angus at ENDO 2023.

Presenting on behalf of PhD candidate Dr Lachlan Angus, A/Prof Cheung spoke about latest findings on the impact of feminising gender-affirming hormone therapy (GAHT) on heartbeat conduction. Heart rhythm might be affected when testosterone levels are lowered, and we need to be more careful in anyone who has risk factors for heart rhythm abnormalities.

A man wearing a suit and a name lanyard, with short hair and glasses. He is speaking into a microphone.

Dr Brendan Nolan presenting findings from our world-first randomised clinical trial at ENDO 2023 in Chicago, June 2023.

Dr Nolan presented findings from our world-first randomised clinical trial into the benefits of immediate access to gender-affirming hormone therapy. Conducted in Melbourne, the research compared mental health outcomes of an “intervention group” in which trans participants were able to start testosterone therapy immediately and a group with a standard three-month waiting period.

The research showing significant reductions in gender dysphoria, depression and suicidality among study participants who didn’t have to wait to start hormone therapy, gained significant attention, including articles by CNN, HealthDay and Stat News.

Dr Nolan told CNN that previously endocrinologists had no evidence to show the benefits of early access to testosterone, but this research helps change that. “I hope that it gets more doctors interested in the area, and more doctors willing to prescribe testosterone, given that now we’ve got evidence to show the mental health benefits of early initiation of testosterone” said Dr Nolan.

Both these research projects are currently under review for peer-reviewed publication.



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