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Evolution, Health, and Disease

The great evolutionary biologist Theodosius Dobzhansky wrote, "Seen in the light of evolution, biology is, perhaps, intellectually the most satisfying and inspiring science. Without that light it becomes a pile of sundry facts, some of them interesting or curious, but making no meaningful picture as a whole."

Evolution's role is equally central in the subset of biology addressing human health and disease. The co-evolution of humans and our pathogens, the rapidly shifting resistance of those pathogens to our antibiotics, and our persistent vulnerability to chronic disease all gain significance when viewed in the context of continuing evolution. These subjects form the core of "Darwinian medicine," also known as "evolutionary medicine."

On January 19, 2007, an array of stimulating speakers and members of Hunter College and the surrounding community convened to discuss issues of evolution, health, and disease, at the 20th Annual International Symposium of the college's Center for Study of Gene Structure and Function.

Program Leadership: 

Robert Dottin
Director, Gene Center
Hunter College, CUNY