EEB 401 - Advanced Topics in Biology
Section: 003 Evolutionary Foundations of Medicine
Term: WN 2018
Subject: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB)
Department: LSA Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Requirements & Distribution:
With permission of instructor.
Advisory Prerequisites:
Intended for senior majors. The prerequisites will be set by the instructor as appropriate for each section.
This course counts toward the 60 credits of math/science required for a Bachelor of Science degree.
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

Almost 50 years ago, one of the founders of modern evolutionary biology, Theodosius Dobzhansky, famously proclaimed that "Nothing in biology makes sense, except in the light of evolution." Recently, it became evident that the same is true for medicine, because human evolutionary origin left indelible marks on our body and psyche. The goal of this course is to explore how basic concepts of evolutionary biology inform modern medical thought. The following topics will be covered. 1) Why do we get sick? — adaptation, optimality and five evolutionary mechanisms of suboptimality. 2) Animal models of human diseases and their limitations — orthology and paralogy of genes and compensated pathogenic deviations in molecules. 3) Evolutionary nature of the pathogenic genetic variation, responsible for Mendelian and for complex diseases — mutation rates and pressures, effects of de novo mutations and of pre-existing mutant alleles. 4) Natural selection in past and present human populations, its overall intensity and targets. 5) Evolutionary biology of aging — trade-offs and benign neglect. 6) Genetic conflicts and its implications for prenatal mortality and other complications of pregnancy and for menopause. 7) Pathological somatic selection as the root cause of cancer — driver and passenger mutations, clonal interference, progression of tumors, metastasis, hypermutable tumors, and cancer-predisposition syndromes. 8) Pathological germline selection. 9) Evolution of human pathogens within a patient and at the human population level, and its implications for treatment and for development of vaccines. 10) Origin of novel human pathogens.

EEB 401 - Advanced Topics in Biology
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
M 10:00AM - 12:00PM
003 (LEC)
TuTh 4:00PM - 5:30PM
004 (LEC)
MWF 9:00AM - 10:00AM
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