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Mid: Evolutionary Medicine – Randolph Nesse

February 5, 2010
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Michigan State University
220 Trowbridge Rd
East Lansing, MI 48824 United States

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Organized by:
Christian Orlic
Email: msu@centerforinquiry.net


New applications of evolutionary biology in medicine are being discovered at an accelerating pace. Established evolutionary methods in fields such as population genetics and pathogen evolution are growing increasingly sophisticated and relevant to clinical practice and biomedical research. At a time awash with biological and biomedical knowledge evolution can also provide physicians with an indispensable intellectual framework for integrating otherwise isolated bits of data. But few physicians have sufficient educational background to apply evolution to healing. Dr. Nesse, one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of evolutionary medicine, wants to change that. We should not treat evolutionary biology as just another topic vying for inclusion in the curriculum, he insists, but as an essential foundation for a biological understanding of health and disease. Teaching medicine without evolution as a basic science is like training engineers who never learned physics.Students from other area campuses are invited to attend.

About Randolph Nesse, MD

Professor of Psychology, University of Michigan

Randolph Nesse is a professor at the University of Michigan. Earning his MD from the University of Michigan, he is one of the founders of the field of Darwinian medicine, which uses the principles of evolutionary biology to address health problems. He has collaborated with George Williams to write several seminal works on Darwinian medicine, including Why We Get Sick: The New Science of Darwinian Medicine. His early research on the neuroendocrinology of anxiety has evolved into a focus on how selection shapes mechanisms that regulate defences such as pain, fever, anxiety and low mood. He is devoted to encouraging doctors and researchers to apply evolutionary insights in diverse areas of medicine