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Founded by bioarchaeology pioneer and National Academy of Sciences member Jane Buikstra, the Center for Bioarchaeological Research in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change (part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences), seeks to discover and communicate new knowledge about past peoples' experiences with health and disease, along with their cultural and environmental contexts.
The first of its kind in Arizona, the center uses state-of-the-art facilities to conduct research not typically covered by traditional researchers in the biomedical, environmental and conservation fields. Scholarly work, led by Director Alexandra Brewis Slade, spans the globe and emphasizes contextualization and problem orientation.
Outreach initiatives involve increasing public awareness of past peoples and applying this information to contemporary problems with deep roots. Examples include residential programming in heritage studies with the Center for American Archeology and an initiative in host-pathogen co-evolution that explores risk factors for infectious disease among contemporary human and non-human primate groups.