About this event

  • Date and time Thu 23 Sep 2021 from 9:00am to 1:00pm
  • Location Royal Society of Medicine
  • Organised by Military Medicine

This half-day meeting will help doctors understand the challenges and experiences of women in an Armed Forces environment and will give attendees an understanding of the context within which women in the armed forces function.

Can't make it to London? Click here to register for the live stream.

Aims of this meeting include:

  • Understand how the physiology of women can influence performance outcomes.
  • Identify how menstrual health is impacted in arduous occupations.
  • Recognise nutritional deficiencies that affect the health and performance of servicewomen.

Join us to explore the lessons learned from Defence to protect and optimise the performance of women in the Workforce by reducing injury risk, promoting health and enhancing performance.

Key speakers include Professor Julie Greeves, Dr Sophie Arana and Major Elaine Walker. 

Key speakers

Professor Julie Greeves

Principal Physiologist, British Army Headquarters

Speaker's biography

Dr Julie Greeves OBE is the Principal Physiologist for the British Army. She was appointed Research Director for the Women in Ground Close Combat Review in 2015, an innovative six-year Defence physiology research programme delivering the evidence-base for the safe and effective through career employment of women in physically arduous roles. She is an honorary professor at the School of Medicine, UEA, and associate professor at UCL. Julie’s research interests are bone physiology and female soldier health; she is the UK representative on the NATO Musculoskeletal Injuries panel and has published over 60 original papers in peer-reviewed journals.

Professor WD Fraser

University of East Anglia

Professor Brad Nindl

Professor, NMRL Director, Department Vice Chair for Research, Pittsburgh University

Speaker's biography

Bradley C. Nindl, PhD, FACSM is the Director of the Neuromuscular Research Laboratory/Warrior Human Performance Research Center and tenured professor and Vice-Chair for Research in the Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. He also has dual appointments as the Senior Military and Scientific Advisor for the University's Center for Military Medicine Research and at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine and an adjunct professor in the Department of Military and Emergency Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD.

Prior to coming to the University of Pittsburgh, Nindl worked for over 20 years in successive scientific leadership roles as an Army Medical Department government scientist working for the US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM) within the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (MRMC) from 1999-2011 and the Army Institute of Public Health (AIPH) within the US Army Public Health Command (USAPHC) from 2012-2015. He was the MRDC Research Task Area Manager for Physiological Mechanisms of Musculoskeletal Injury from 2008-2011. Nindl graduated from Philips Exeter Academy in 1985, received a Bachelor of Science in biology from Clarkson University in 1989, a Master of Science in the physiology of exercise from Springfield College in 1993, a Doctor of Philosophy in physiology from The Pennsylvania State University in 1999 and a Master of Strategic Studies from the US Army War College in 2012.

His research interests span human performance optimization/injury prevention and biomarker domains with a focus on adaptations of the neuromuscular and endocrine systems (growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor-I axis) to both exercise and military operational stress. He is internationally recognized for his work in these areas and was Co-Chair of the 3rd International Congress on Soldiers' Physical Performance (ICSPP) in 2014 and has performed research sabbaticals at the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland (2009) and the University of Wollongong in Australia (2014) with the Finnish and Australian Defence forces, respectively. He is currently a principal investigator or co-investigator on funded studies addressing resiliency, biomarkers, physical and musculoskeletal readiness and training adaptations from the DoD (MRDC and ONR), NIH, NASA and the British Ministry of Defence.

Nindl's previous awards include the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Young Investigator Award in 2002, NIH Biological Remodeling and Plasticity Young Investigator Travel Award in 2002, ACSM Exchange Lecturer for the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine Annual meeting in 2006, Distinguished Visiting Professorship in Exercise Physiology at the University of Jyvaskyla, Finland in 2009, Australian DSTO Black Box Lecturer in 2014, US Army's Surgeon General "9A" Proficiency Designator (the Army Medical Department’s (AMEDD) highest award for professional excellence, bestowed on less than 2% of AMEDD military officers) in 2013, Springfield College Peter V. Karpovich lecturer in 2018, Order of Military Medical Merit (O2M3) in 2019 and Texas American Sports Medicine Fall Lecturer in 2019. He is an associate editor for Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport and the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, editorial board member for Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise and Growth Hormone and IGF-I Research and a Fellow in the American College of Sports Medicine.

He has over 175 peer-reviewed publications indexed on PubMed that have been cited over 5,000 times with an h-index of 41. He is also an Army Reserve Officer (COL) having continuous military service since 1991 when he enlisted and has served in staff and command positions at the platoon, company, battalion and brigade level. He is currently a Senior Research Fellow (IMA) at the Joint Special Operations University, Special Operations Command in Tampa, FL and served as the Brigade Commander of the Southeast Medical Area Readiness Group (SE-MARSG) in Nashville, TN under the Army Reserve Medical Command (AR-MEDCOM) from 2017-2019. He was deployed in 2004-2005 in Mosul, Iraq as an executive officer (XO) for a military transition team (MiTT) with the 98th DIV(IT) embedded with the 25th ID as an Iraqi Army advisor and was awarded a Bronze Star and the Combat Action Badge. He and his wife Jeanne have 5 children: Ashley, Lyndsey, Zachary, Joshua and Cooper.

Dr Karl Friedl

United States Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine 


View the programme

Registration, tea and coffee
Welcome and introduction

Col Julian Woodhouse, President Military Medicine Section, Royal Society of Medicine and Air Vice Marshal Clare Walton, Defence Medical Services Director of Medical Personnel and Training 

Training Women for Role

Chaired by Dr Thomas O’Leary

The “oestrogen advantage”

Dr Karl Friedl, United States Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine 

Female preparedness for combat

Professor Brad Nindl, Ph.D., FACSM , Professor, NMRL Director, Department Vice Chair for Research, Neuromuscular Research Laboratory/Warrior Human Performance Research Center, University of Pittsburgh

Pregnancy and postpartum

Major Elaine Susan Walker, Defence Chair, GP Specialist Interest Group Women’s Health

Dr Sophie Arana, Senior Scientific Officer, Ministry of Defence (MOD)

Panel discussion

Menstrual Health in Servicewomen

Chaired by: Dr Anna Casey

Influence of hormonal contraceptives on bone health

Professor Julie Greeves, Principal Physiologist, Army Headquarters

Menstrual function during arduous training

Squadron Leader Rob Gifford, Royal Air Force, Endocrinology SpR, Edinburgh

Menopause in Servicewomen

Lt Col Anne Fieldhouse, SO1 Health Strategy, Armed Forces People Support, Ministry of Defence

Panel discussion

Tea and coffee break

Nutritional Requirements for Servicewomen

Chaired by: Dr Sophie Arana

Vitamin D

Professor William D Fraser, Dean of Medical School


Professor Charles R Pedlar, Professor, Applied Sport and Exercise Science, St Mary’s University, Twickenham, UK


Dr Anna Casey, UK Army Scientific Advisor, Human Advantage, Defence Science and Technology (DST), UK Ministry of Defence

Panel discussion

Closing remarks

Col Julian Woodhouse, President Military Medicine Section, Royal Society of Medicine 

End of meeting



Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole St, Marylebone, London, W1G 0AE, United Kingdom

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Live stream: Optimising the female workforce

This half-day meeting will help doctors understand the challenges and experiences of women in an Armed Forces environment. Join us to explore the lessons learned in protecting and optimising performance in the Armed forces. This involves protecting females in the workforce, preventing injuries, promoting health, and enhancing performance.

Disclaimer: All views expressed at this event are of the speakers themselves and not of the RSM nor the speaker's organisations.

Registration for this event will close at 12:00am on Thursday 22 September 2021Late registrations will not be accepted.

This event will be recorded and stored by the Royal Society of Medicine and may be  distributed  in future on various internet channels. 

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