ISEMPH Abstract Deadline March 31

ISEMPH Abstract Deadline March 31

The International Society for Evolution, Medicine and Public Health Annual meeting program committee welcomes the submission of abstracts to be considered for platform presentations or poster presentations. Abstracts will be selected by the Program Committee after a review of scientific quality. Abstract submissions are now open. Deadline for abstract submissions is March 31st, 2018. 500 words maximum. Submissions require the use of a free EasyChair account. Learn More        Submit abstract

This year's meeting will be August 1-4, 2018 in a spectacular mountain town just above Salt Lake City–Park City, Utah. This interdisciplinary conference is an opportunity for research biologists, students, clinicians and public health professionals to share their research and advance the goals of the society: to use evolutionary insights to improve medical research and practice and to advance evolutionary biology.

The conference will be anchored around presentations by six internationally-celebrated keystone speakers. The conference features special symposia on Alternatives to Antibiotics, The Microbiome, Evolutionary Health Behavior, and Evolution in Emergency Medicine and Critical Illness, Cancer, and Human Genomics. A Pre-Conference on Wilderness Medicine – Human Adaptation to Extreme Environments will take place on August 1st, 2018.  Please join us for this exciting meeting!

The 2017 George C. Williams Prize

The 2017 George C. Williams Prize

The International Society for Evolution, Medicine and Public Health is proud to announce the award of the $5000 George C. Williams Prize to “Time from pre-eclampsia diagnosis to delivery affects future health prospects of children”  by Birgitte Hollegaard; Jacob A. Lykke; Jacobus J. Boomsma. University of Copenhagen. Birgitte Hollegaard will present the paper at the 2018 ISEMPH meeting Aug 1-4 in Park City, Utah.

The prize is awarded each year to the  first author of the most significant article published in 2017 in the Society’s flagship journal, Evolution, Medicine and Public Health. Oxford University Press publishes the journal open access. Charles Nunn is the editor. All articles published in 2017 were automatically considered for the Prize. The Prize is made possible by donations from Doris Williams, Randolph Nesse, and other supporters of Evolution Medicine, & Public Health

This year's Prize Committee included:
Bob Gatenby (Chair), H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center
Rick Bribiscas, Yale University
Steven Austad, University of Alabama at Birmingham

The Prize recognizes the contributions of George C Williams to evolutionary medicine, and aims to encourage and highlight important research in this growing field. In a seminal 1957 paper, Williams initiated work on several problems central to medicine, including an evolutionary theory of aging and life history traits including menopause. He did important work on the problem of why sex exists. Perhaps his most lasting contribution is his 1966 book Adaptation and Natural Selection, a critique of group selection that transformed how biologists think about the evolution of sociality. In the 1990’s he collaborated with Randolph Nesse on a series of papers and a book that inspired much ongoing work on how evolutionary biology can help us understand disease and improve human health.

To submit an article see

Does disrupting the skin microbiome cause cancer?

Does disrupting the skin microbiome cause cancer?

Skin cancer rates are high and going higher even though we are spending less time outside than our ancestors, and despite defenses shaped by selection including pigmentation, tanning and induction of DNA repairases. 

An open access article that just appeared in Science Advances  finds that Staphylococcus epidermidis produces a molecule that inhibits DNA polymerase activity and dramatically decreases skin cancer in mice.  The authors say, "The present findings suggest an entirely new concept that some members of our skin microbiome may suppress tumor growth, and dysbiosis is potentially detrimental because of loss of a protective function instead of (or in addition to) a gain of a detrimental microbial community." Which in turn suggests that antibiotics or substances that change the skin microbiota might influence rates of skin cancer.  

Nakatsuji, T., Chen, T. H., Butcher, A. M., Trzoss, L. L., Nam, S.-J., Shirakawa, K. T., … Gallo, R. L. (2018). A commensal strain of Staphylococcus epidermidis protects against skin neoplasia. Science Advances, 4(2), eaao4502.

Abstract: We report the discovery that strains of Staphylococcus epidermidis produce 6-N-hydroxyaminopurine (6-HAP), a molecule that inhibits DNA polymerase activity. In culture, 6-HAP selectively inhibited proliferation of tumor lines but did not inhibit primary keratinocytes. Resistance to 6-HAP was associated with the expression of mitochondrial amidoxime reducing components, enzymes that were not observed in cells sensitive to this compound. Intravenous injection of 6-HAP in mice suppressed the growth of B16F10 melanoma without evidence of systemic toxicity. Colonization of mice with an S. epidermidis strain producing 6-HAP reduced the incidence of ultraviolet-induced tumors compared to mice colonized by a control strain that did not produce 6-HAP. S. epidermidis strains producing 6-HAP were found in the metagenome from multiple healthy human subjects, suggesting that the microbiome of some individuals may confer protection against skin cancer. These findings show a new role for skin commensal bacteria in host defense.
Core Principles of Evolutionary Medicine

Core Principles of Evolutionary Medicine

Grunspan, D. Z., Nesse, R. M., Barnes, M. E., & Brownell, S. E. (2018). Core principles of evolutionary medicine. Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health, 2018(1), 13–23.

This study used the Delphi method to help 37 world experts to reach agreement about 14 core principles for evolutionary medicine. The final pdf for this open access article is now available. It should be useful for planning classes and providing an overview of the current state of the field.


Background and objectives

Evolutionary medicine is a rapidly growing field that uses the principles of evolutionary biology to better understand, prevent and treat disease, and that uses studies of disease to advance basic knowledge in evolutionary biology. Over-arching principles of evolutionary medicine have been described in publications, but our study is the first to systematically elicit core principles from a diverse panel of experts in evolutionary medicine. These principles should be useful to advance recent recommendations made by The Association of American Medical Colleges and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to make evolutionary thinking a core competency for pre-medical education.Methodology

The Delphi method was used to elicit and validate a list of core principles for evolutionary medicine. The study included four surveys administered in sequence to 56 expert panelists. The initial open-ended survey created a list of possible core principles; the three subsequent surveys winnowed the list and assessed the accuracy and importance of each principle.Results

Fourteen core principles elicited at least 80% of the panelists to agree or strongly agree that they were important core principles for evolutionary medicine. These principles over-lapped with concepts discussed in other articles discussing key concepts in evolutionary medicine.Conclusions and implications

This set of core principles will be helpful for researchers and instructors in evolutionary medicine. We recommend that evolutionary medicine instructors use the list of core principles to construct learning goals. Evolutionary medicine is a young field, so this list of core principles will likely change as the field develops further.

Postdoc Research Associate in Evolution & Medicine Education

Postdoc Research Associate in Evolution & Medicine Education

The Center for Evolution and Medicine at ASU has an opening for a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Evolution & Medicine: Evolution education and curriculum development in evolutionary medicine

Reference #12284  Full-time Salary $48,000

The Center for Evolution & Medicine (CEM) and the Biology Education Research Lab at Arizona State University (ASU) invite applications for a Postdoctoral Research Associate to pursue projects related to evolution education research and the development and testing of evidence-based evolutionary medicine curriculum materials. The position offers opportunities for both education research, and practical development and implementation of new kinds of online resources for the field.

Candidates must have a Ph.D. in anthropology, biology or other natural science or science education field that provides an extensive background in evolutionary biology. Cross‐training and experience in education is desirable. Candidates with experience in the following are preferred: developing and accessing education resources. The successful candidates will have a commitment to science education, must have outstanding writing and organizational skills, demonstrated capacity for independence and innovation, and the ability to work as part of a team. Applicants cannot have had more than five years of previous postdoctoral experience, nor have been employed previously as an assistant professor, associate professor or professor on the tenure track. Nominees who are non- US citizens are encouraged to apply, and will need to be eligible for a J-1 Scholar visa status for the duration of the Fellowship. CEM does not support H1B visa status. A background check is required for employment.

Postdocs will receive a salary of $48,000 and will have access to funding of up to $6,500 per annum to support their research, of which $1500 may be allocated for moving expenses. The initial closing date for receipt of complete applications is April 1, 2018; applications will be reviewed weekly thereafter until the search is closed. The earliest anticipated start date is July 2018, the latest is January 2019. This is a full-time (1.0 FTE) benefits-eligible, fiscal year (July 1 – June 30) appointment. Renewal is possible on an annual basis contingent on satisfactory performance, availability of resources, and the needs of the program. A background check is required for employment. For additional information and policies regarding postdoctoral scholars at ASU, please see .

To apply, please email a single pdf document to that contains:

  • a letter of application that states your interest in and qualifications for the position
  • a curriculum vitae
  • copies of up to three representative research publications
  • names of three references

Please use 11 point Times font with 1 inch margins and 1.5 line spacing for all items except the CV. The postdoctoral research associate will join a vibrant community of educators and researchers at ASU committed to evidence-based teaching. The Center for Evolution and Medicine, led by Dr. Randolph Nesse, is a university‐wide presidential initiative whose mission is to establish evolutionary biology as an essential basic science for medicine. As a worldwide hub for evolutionary medicine, the Center for Evolution and Medicine is committed to developing evidence-based teaching resources, curricula, and degree programs for evolutionary medicine. The Biology Education Research Lab is led by Dr. Sara Brownell and is a team of biology education researchers who are committed to improving the way we teach undergraduate biology, including evolution education. For additional information on the Center for Evolution & Medicine, visit For additional information on the Biology Education Research Lab, visit

For additional information on the position, please contact Jennifer Vazquez, Assistant Director, at

Arizona State University is a new model for American higher education, an unprecedented combination of academic excellence, entrepreneurial energy and broad access. This New American University is a single, unified institution comprising four differentiated campuses positively impacting the economic, social, cultural and environmental health of the communities it serves. Its research is inspired by real world application blurring the boundaries that traditionally separate academic disciplines. ASU serves more than 80,000 students in metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona, the nation's fifth largest city. ASU champions intellectual and cultural diversity, and welcomes students from all fifty states and more than one hundred nations across the globe.

Arizona State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer committed to excellence through diversity. All qualified applicants will be considered without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply ( For more information on ASU’s non-discrimination policy, visit ACD 401.