March 30, 2020

Club EvMed

Join us (virtually) for Club EvMed!

We’re launching a new web series to keep the evolutionary medicine community connected during this time of social distancing: Club EvMed — Virtual Evolutionary Medicine Conversations. These regularly-held virtual meetings are styled around the idea of a journal club, with a different topic and discussion leader each time. Club EvMed is a collaboration between TriCEM, the UCLA Evolutionary Medicine Interdisciplinary Center, the ASU Center for Evolution and Medicine, the Pittsburgh Center for Evolutionary Biology and Medicine, the University of Zurich Institute of Evolutionary Medicine, and the International Society for Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health (ISEMPH).

If you’d like to receive emails about upcoming Club EvMed events, please sign up for the TriCEM email list via this form.


Upcoming events:

The creative role of chance in evolution: fifty years after Jacques Monod

Wednesday, June 3rd at 12pm ET

Join us for a conversation with Sean B. Carroll, Balo-Simon Endowed Chair of Biology at the University of Maryland and Vice President for Science Education at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He’ll be leading a discussion on the role of chance in evolution and the contributions of mutation and natural selection to innovation. Attendees are encouraged to read Carroll’s upcoming popular science article on biologist Jacques Monod and a chapter from his new book out this fall, A Series of Fortunate Events: Chance and the Making of the Planet, Life, and You, both of which will be shared upon registration. Sign up here for the meeting link.


Social determinants of health and survival in humans and other animals

Monday, June 15th at 2pm ET

Join us for a conversation with Jenny Tung, Associate Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology and Biology at Duke, Noah Snyder-Mackler, Assistant Professor in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University, and Dan Belsky, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at Columbia. They’ll be leading a discussion on their recent Science paper, “Social determinants of health and survival in humans and other animals.” The social environment, both in early life and adulthood, is one of the strongest predictors of morbidity and mortality risk in humans. Evidence from long-term studies of other social mammals indicates that this relationship is similar across many species. These findings highlight the importance of the social environment to health and mortality as well as Darwinian fitness—outcomes of interest to social scientists and biologists alike. They thus emphasize the utility of cross-species analysis for understanding the predictors of, and mechanisms underlying, social gradients in health in humans. Sign up here for the meeting link.


Batural selection: making sense of COVID-19 symptoms and mortality using core principles of evolutionary medicine

Tuesday, June 23rd at 12pm ET

Join us for a conversation with Bernard Crespi, Canada Research Chair and Professor in the Department of Biosciences at Simon Fraser University. Zoonotic pandemics are evolutionary events comprising host shifts, speciation events, novel host-parasite interactions, and strong natural selection on both parasites and hosts. Bernard will apply core principles of evolutionary medicine in the integration of information from three sources: (1) bat ecology, behavior and immune systems in the context of coevolution with viruses, (2) human immune responses to bat and non-bat viruses, and (3) symptoms, morbidity and mortality from COVID-19. He focuses on transmission mechanisms, interferons, asymptomatic transmission, hyperinflammation, clotting, comparative biology and pathology of respiratory viruses, immunosenescence, and sex and age differences in risk of mortality. He concludes that most of the major medical and epidemiological features of COVID-19 can be understood in the context of mismatches between viral bat-adapted attack mechanisms and generalized human-evolved mechanisms of antiviral defense. These results have a variety of implications for research agendas, as well as for prevention and treatment of the infection. Sign up here for the meeting link.

Past events:

Evolution in the flesh: How cancer cells evolve to cheat the foundations of multicellular cooperation and what this means for cancer treatment and prevention (5/26/20)

Lessons from 3.5 Billion Years of Life: What biological evolution tells us about success in countering catastrophic risks (5/18/20)

Harmful or helpful? Cytokine storms examined in light of evolution (5/15/20)

The behavioral immune system and fear of COVID-19 (5/7/20)

Social distancing in the animal kingdom (5/1/20)

Ongoing evolution of SARS-CoV-2: an evolutionary medicine challenge for research and teaching (4/14/20)

One Health perspectives on the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 (4/8/20)

Teaching evolution in the time of COVID-19 (4/2/20)