Brigham Research Institute Poster Session Site logo-1
Close this search box.

Sophia Kamran, MD




Assistant Professor




Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology


Radiation Oncology


Sophia C. Kamran MD, Beow Y. Yeap ScD, Anushka Ghosh BS, Christopher M. Aldrighetti BS, Henning Willers MD, Neha Vapiwala MD

Recent trends of “Manels” and Gender Representation Among Panelists at an International Oncology Conference

Research has demonstrated that Radiation Oncology (RO) is a male-dominated field, with Genitourinary RO even more strikingly underrepresented in females. This is true for genitourinary oncology at MGH – I am the only female attending in the multidisciplinary GU oncology clinic. Separately, data have demonstrated that women are vastly underrepresented at higher ranks/leadership positions in academic oncology. Participation in this Symposium, along with associated networking, collaborating, and mentorship opportunities offered, can provide impetus for recognition and validation of my role within the field. My research interests include academic workforce disparities, translational biomarker research, and GU cancer racial/ethnic disparities.


Gender disparities in academic medicine are a long-acknowledged concern, particularly in academic medical conferences. We investigated the prevalence of “manels” (all-men panels) and gender representation among speakers at the ASCO Annual Meeting during 2018-2021.


Using ASCO online programs, faculty information including perceived/self-reported gender, session type, and topic was obtained. Primary outcomes included percentage of manels and women panelists analyzed over time using the Cochran-Armitage test.


During 2018-2021, 81 of 670 sessions (12.1%) were manels. The number of manels decreased from 17.4% in 2018 to 9.9% in 2021(p=0.030), with a corresponding increase in proportion of women panelists from 41.6% to 54.0%(p<0.001). Among session type/topic, the highest proportion of manels was observed for leadership/special sessions (17.1%, p=0.419) and translational/pre-clinical topics (19.6%, p=0.024). Women panelists were underrepresented for the topics of genitourinary cancers (38.6%, p=0.029) and translational/pre-clinical sciences (36.7%, p<0.001). Women were overrepresented in the topic of supportive oncology (70.3%, p<0.001).


The number of women panelists increased during the study period, with a corresponding decrease in the proportion of manels. Certain topics/specialties outperform others with respect to representation of women. ASCO Annual Meeting organizers should continue to strive for diverse gender representation and avoidance of manels whenever possible.