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The Center for Evolution and Medicine at ASU's Biodesign Institute was established by Dr. Randolph Nesse with the mission to use the power of evolutionary biology to address challenges in public health and medicine.
Center researchers and faculty explore how an evolutionary approach can encourage medical professionals to think like engineers to solve health challenges. Trying to understand questions, such as: Why are all members of the species vulnerable to the disease. Why is the birth canal so narrow? Why can't we evolve a way to avoid all infections? Why is anxiety so common? can give researchers deeper insight into why the body is the way it is and why natural selection did not make it less vulnerable to disease. While answers to such questions do not guide clinical practice directly, broader thinking allows new research ideas and development of better strategies for prevention and treatment.
Explaining why our bodies are vulnerable is essential to developing solutions to disease. To promote evolutionary biology as a basic science for medicine, in addition to research, the center seeks to develop new educational programs at ASU for undergraduates, graduate students and clinicians, offer online open access materials for students, researchers and public health professionals, a well as build a robust network evolution and medicine programs worldwide.