ISEMPH Meeting in Zurich

ISEMPH Meeting in Zurich

Discounted early registration and abstract submission are now open.

Join or renew ISEMPH membership at a 20% discount until December 15. Use code “ISEMPH2019” at checkout.  

The Fifth Annual Meeting of the International Society for Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health will be at the University of Zurich, Switzerland August 13-16. Students, researchers, clinicians and others are all welcome. 

ISEMPH 2019 is profoundly interdisciplinary meeting that emphasizes the multiple interfaces between evolutionary biology and human health in medicine, nursing, veterinary medicine, anthropology, evolutionary psychology, behavioral ecology and epidemiology. Students and clinicians at all stages of professional development are especially welcome. Only 300 seats are available, so register early. Cancellations before June 1 are eligible for a refund.

The Hosting Committee is chaired by Frank Rühli, Prof. Dr. Dr. med. (Professor of Evolutionary Medicine,  University of Zurich, Switzerland), and Nicole Bender, MD, PhD (University of Zurich, Switzerland).  
The Program Committee is chaired by Jacobus (Koos) Boomsma, PhD (Chair) , Professor of Evolutionary Biology (University of Copenhagen, Denmark)

Confirmed Keynote Speakers 

  • Prof. Bernard J. Crespi, Simon Fraser University, Canada: How evolutionary biology can frame a unified theory for understanding human mental illness.
  • Prof. Dario Valenzano, Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing, Germany: African killifishes shed light on the genomic basis of life history trait evolution in vertebrates.
  • Prof. Kayla King, University of Oxford, UK: Protectors vs. killers: microbes within the host as drivers of pathogen evolution.
  • Prof. Verena Schünemann, University of Zurich, Switzerland: Ancient DNA and pathogens: uncovering the past of human diseases
  • Winners of the George C. Williams Prize and the Gilbert Omenn Prizewill also give plenary talks

The mission of the International Society for Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health’s is to foster communication among scientists, students, clinicians and public health professionals who use evolutionary insights to improve medical research and practice, and information on human health and disease to advance evolutionary biology. Previous meetings have been at Arizona State University, Duke University, Groningen, Netherlands (with ESEB), and Park City, Utah. The 2020 meeting will be at the University of Georgia, the 2021 meeting will be in Lisbon. 

ISEMPH Membership at a 20% Discount

ISEMPH Membership at a 20% Discount

Scientists, scholars, clinicians and students with an interest in evolution and medicine are invited to  join the International Society for Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health or renew their memberships at a 20% discount until December 15.  Use code ISEMPH2018 at checkout

Full Members get many benefits: 

  • Reduced meeting fees (ISEMPH 2019 will be  in Zurich August 13-16)
  • Early notice about events, funding opportunities and the ISEMPH Newsletter
  • A $1000 discount on publication fees for articles in the Society’s journal, Evolution, Medicine & Public Health 
  • A 25% discount on all Oxford University Press academic books (use your email or ISEMPH member number)
  • Notification of new publications in Evolution, Medicine, & Public Health (1 click unsubscribe)
  • Advanced search and download functions for all 1500+ resources on EvMedEd
  • Nomination and voting rights in Society elections
  • Your information listed online to facilitate connections with other members (you can specify what is displayed)
  • Access to more information about other members of ISEMPH
  • Opportunities to collaborate with other members to help develop the field of evolutionary medicine

Gratis membership is also available. It includes only a newsletter subscription and an opportunity to list selected information on the EvMed Network to facilitate connections with others who share your interests

Full information on joining ISEMPH is here. 



A curated, searchable database of education resources

Are you teaching a course in evolutionary medicine? Taking a course? Just curious about evolutionary medicine? EvMedEd is for you. And it needs you.  Please share information about your articles, videos and courses.   

EvMedEd  provides links to all available authoritative education resources for evolutionary medicine. Teachers and students will find it especially useful, but it is also for scientists, clinicians and anyone curious about how evolutionary biology is being used to understand disease and improve health. It can be used to create evolutionary medicine classes, to add content to other classes, or to find relevant short videos or papers during hospital rounds or informal discussions.

To get started browse Books used in classesReview articles,WebsitesCore concepts, or About evolutionary medicine. Resources organized by category are here.  Search hints are here

If you are a Full Member of ISEMPH, log into your account to see  the members-only search page with powerful advanced search options and access to all 1500+ resources on EvMedEd.

EvMedEd  is sponsored by ISEMPH and the Arizona State University Center for Evolution and Medicine. It is a WeSource created by and for the evolution and medicine community.  Please contribute your articles, videos, syllabi and other resources. It is easy!

Tenure track position at ASU

Tenure track position at ASU

The Center for Evolution & Medicine (CEM) and the School of Life Sciences (SOLS) at Arizona State University (ASU) invite applications for a full time open-rank, tenured or tenure-track faculty position. Rank and tenure status will be commensurate with experience. The anticipated start date is August 2019.   JOB# 12629

Preferred research topics include immunology, inflammation or autoimmune disease. Other possible topics include research on physiological systems, infectious disease, or aging. All approaches are welcome including field, clinical, and/or lab-based research. Clinical relevance and potential collaborations in clinical settings are encouraged. Preference will be given to candidates whose research plans hold promise of major advances that demonstrate why evolutionary biology is essential for medicine or public health. Experience or an interest in teaching evolutionary medicine and otherwise contributing to developing the field is desired.

This position is part of an institutional initiative to advance the field of evolutionary medicine. Under the direction of Randolph Nesse, the Center for Evolution & Medicine (CEM) seeks to improve human health by establishing evolutionary biology as a basic science for medicine, worldwide. In an institution that rewards transdisciplinary research and innovation, the CEM currently includes faculty members from the School of Life Sciences, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, the Department of Psychology, and the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, as well as researchers from ASU’s Complex Adaptive Systems Initiative and clinical partnerships with the Mayo Clinic and Banner Hospitals. For more information on the CEM, please visit

Newly remodeled space for CEM offices and laboratories encourages collaborations between members of its highly interdisciplinary group. The CEM provides support for visiting speakers, workshops, research collaborations, and extensive web resources for the world’s evolution and medicine community.

The successful candidate will be expected to develop or maintain an innovative, independent, extramurally funded research program, provide excellent classroom instruction, contribute to curriculum development, mentor students and postdoctoral fellows, interact with a transdisciplinary group of colleagues, and provide service to the department, college and university. A competitive start-up package will be provided.

Minimum Qualifications: a doctoral degree or an MD by the time of appointment, and a track record of research that uses evolutionary biology to address questions about health and disease. Candidates for rank of Associate or Full Professor must have a demonstrated record of significant extramural funding.

Desired Qualifications: postdoctoral experience, publications in refereed journals, demonstrated excellence in teaching and/or mentoring, experience working in a transdisciplinary environment; demonstrated success meeting the needs of diverse student populations and/or reaching out to diverse communities.

To apply, please submit the following materials within a single PDF document to

(1) a cover letter that specifies the rank for which you seek consideration and why this position is a good fit for you, (2) curriculum vitae, (3) three representative publications, (4) a statement of research vision and plans, (5) a statement of teaching philosophy/experience and (6) contact information (name, email and telephone number) for three references. Only electronic applications will be considered.

The initial closing date for receipt of complete applications is December 7, 2018; if not filled, review will continue every week thereafter until the search is closed. A background check is required for employment. For additional information, please feel free to contact Randolph Nesse ( or James Collins (

Arizona State University is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor and an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. 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. ASU’s full non-discrimination statement (ACD 401) is located on the ASU website at and

Why NIH needs evolution expertise–The amyloid beta case study

Why NIH needs evolution expertise–The amyloid beta case study

Sharon Begley has written a lovely article on Tanzi and Moir’s research on the antimicrobial properties of amyloid beta and the outrageous difficulty they have had getting NIH to fund their work. They noted that study after study has found no benefit from treatments that disrupt amyloid synthesis, and that there must be some reason why amyloid beta exists.

The crucial paragraphs are in italics below

“For years in the 1990s, Moir, too, researched beta-amyloid, especially its penchant for gunking up into plaques and “a whole bunch of things all viewed as abnormal and causing disease,” he said. “The traditional view is that amyloid-beta is a freak, that it has a propensity to form fibrils that are toxic to the brain — that it’s irredeemably bad. In the 1980s, that was a reasonable assumption.”

But something had long bothered him about the “evil amyloid” dogma. The peptide is made by all vertebrates, including frogs and lizards and snakes and fish. In most species, it’s identical to humans’, suggesting that beta-amyloid evolved at least 400 million years ago. “Anything so extensively conserved over that immense span of time must play an important physiological role,” Moir said.  What, he wondered, could that be?

Their subsequent work has demonstrated beyond doubt that amyloid beta is a powerful antimicrobial [1] and has strongly suggested a role for herpes viruses[2]. But despite these findings, they still are having difficulty getting their work published and getting NIH funding. I predict this will lead to a Nobel prize, and go into the history books as an especially egregious example of how pure reductionism obstructs progress.  Evolutionary thinking about the reasons why we are vulnerable to Alzheimer’s disease adds the missing perspective. We can hope that it will also inspire new approaches to prevention and treatment.

  1.  Kumar, D. K. V., Choi, S. H., Washicosky, K. J., Eimer, W. A., Tucker, S., Ghofrani, J., … others. (2016). Amyloid-β peptide protects against microbial infection in mouse and worm models of Alzheimer’s disease. Science Translational Medicine, 8(340), 340ra72–340ra72
  2. Eimer, W. A., Vijaya Kumar, D. K., Navalpur Shanmugam, N. K., Rodriguez, A. S., Mitchell, T., Washicosky, K. J., … Moir, R. D. (2018). Alzheimer’s Disease-Associated β-Amyloid Is Rapidly Seeded by Herpesviridae to Protect against Brain Infection. Neuron, 99(1), 56-63.e3.

Photo credit: Creator:Jon ChaseInformation extracted from IPTC Photo Metadata