Diseases of Modern Environments–Workshop Reports

This post compiles reports from the five Workshops at the Meeting Evolution and Diseases of Modern Environments, at the Berlin Charite Hospital, October, 2009.  The workshops were held in conjunction with The World Health Summit.

Diet and Nutrition Workshop Report

Early Development and Reproductive Health Workshop Report

Evolution and Mental Disorders Workshop Report

Sanitizing the Hygiene Hypothesis Workshop Report

Developmental Aspects Of Diseases Of Modern Environments Workshop Report

Evolution and Mental Disorders (Workshop report)

Evolution and Mental Disorders

Report from a Workshop led by

Martin Brüne, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Bochum, Germany

Alfonso Troisi, Professor of Psychopathology, University of Rome Tor Vergata

Workshop summary by rapporteur Daniel Stein, University of Capetown

One of five workshops in a conference on
Evolution and Diseases of Modern Environments
Organized by Randolph Nesse, at the Berlin Charité,  October 13-14, 2009
In conjunction with The World Health Summit
Sponsored by the Volkswagen Foundation

Participants in our group on mental disorders had a broad range of academic backgrounds, including psychiatry, psychology, medicine, evolutionary theory, genetics, epidemiology, economics, and philosophy.

The group aimed to follow a number of rules of engagement outlined at the start;  we were not merely nice about one another’s theories, nor were we simply oppositional, and we asked all to participants to contribute in roughly equal measure.

We attempted to address 6 questions: (more…)

Sanitizing the hygiene hypothesis (Workshop Report)

Sanitizing the hygiene hypothesis:
Health lessons from human co-evolution with microorganisms

Report from a Workshop led by
Kathleen Barnes, Department of Medicine,
Johns Hopkins University and
Erika von
Mutius, Professor of Pediatrics, University Children’s Hospital, Munich

One of five workshops in a conference on
Evolution and Diseases of Modern Environments
Organized by Randolph Nesse, at the Berlin Charité,  October 13-14, 2009
In conjunction with The World Health Summit
Sponsored by the Volkswagen Foundation

Introduction: There is a large body of research work addressing the potential beneficial role of microbial exposures for the development of asthma, allergies and autoimmune disorders. A seminal publication by David Strachan in 1989 coined the ‘hygiene hypothesis’ in an attempt to explain his observation of protection from hay fever when having many older siblings. The ‘hygiene hypothesis’ has since undergone numerous revisions and alterations with respect to potential underlying immunological mechanisms, the type of infectious / microbial stimuli and the potential link to autoimmune diseases. It has become apparent over the years that many open research questions have not been answered; therefore, we have drafted a qualitative overview on the existing evidence of a protective effect of microbial exposures for the onset of asthma, allergies and autoimmune diseases.

Evidence: The Working Group agreed there is compelling evidence from population-based studies in humans to suggest that the ‘hygiene hypothesis’ may be operative in asthma, allergies, SLE, sarcoidosis, and ankylosing spondylitis, and suggestive evidence exists for type I diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and multiple sclerosis. (more…)

Evolution of Antibiotic Resistance Meeting

Evolution of Antibiotic Resistance Workshop

Imperial College London
14th and 15th of January 2009

The aim of the workshop is to bring together the following three groups of scientists: experts in genotyping, experimental evolution and mathematical modeling.

List of speakers:

  • Professor Dan Andersson, Uppsala University, Sweden.
  • Dr Mike Brockhurst, University of Liverpool, UK
  • Dr Ben Cooper, Health Protection Agency, UK
  • Dr Sylvain Gandon, Center d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive, Montpelier, France
  • Professor Hajo Grundmann, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), The Netherlands
  • Professor Megan Murray, Harvard University, USA
  • Professor Randall Singer, University of Minnesota, USA
  • Professor Rob Willems, University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands

Registration

Registration fee: £50 (covers refreshments, lunch and wine reception)
Registration Deadline: 14th December 2008
To register for the workshop please follow this link.

Timetable:
The workshop will begin at 11:00 on 14th January and will end around 12:30 on 15th January.
Detailed time-table will be available soon.

New Interest Group on Evolution and Medicine in the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM)

The aim of this new Interest Group is to gather a network of SGIM members who share fascination with the view of health and illness through an evolutionary lens. Through this lens, the very nature of questions one can ask shifts from proximate “what” questions about mechanism and development in individuals to evolutionary “why” questions about selection forces and phylogenetic development. Medicine is based on biology and biology is based on evolution but medical education and research rarely taps into the elegance and power of evolutionary principles. Please email Mark Schwartz at mark.schwartz3@va.gov with your interest so we can hit the ground running at the Annual Meeting in Miami..

The Society of General Internal Medicine was founded in 1978 by a national group of academic general internists committed to promoting research and education aimed at improving health care for the whole patient.  The organization has grown to nearly 3,000 members over three decades. Drawing upon their expertise and diverse experiences, our members are from the United States and eleven other countries, SGIM members have become leaders in the specialty of internal medicine.  The Society is dedicated to insuring that all adults receive high quality health care in the 21st century.  The broad expertise of our members in research, education, and clinical practice places SGIM and its members at the forefront of medicine.

SGIM 32nd Annual Meeting, May 13-16, 2009; Fontainebleau Hotel, Miami Beach, Florida