In addition to talks by the plenary speakers, and the winners of the Williams Prize and the Omenn Prize, there will be 50+ oral presentations, and 50+ poster presentations. The program content, including three additional plenary speakers, will be updated as further confirmations are made.   

Plenary Speakers

"The Roles of Chance, History and Natural Selection in the Evolution of Pathogenesis and Antimicrobial Resistance"
Vaughn Cooper, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh. The mission of his research and laboratory is to translate evolutionary biology to improve human health, empower K-12 education, and reveal the origins of biodiversity. Specifically, Dr. Cooper studies evolution, ecology, and genome dynamics of experimental and clinical microbial populations.

"Urban Wildlife: A One Health Challenge"
Kevin Keel, DVM, MS, PhD,
Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. His research focuses on emerging infectious diseases of wildlife promoted by anthropogenic factors. Specific issues investigated include: pathogenesis of white-nose syndrome and techniques to reduce mortality among bats; emerging diseases of white-tailed deer; and emerging infectious diseases of wild carnivores (canine distemper virus and parvoviruses).

"Evolution Informs Genomic Medicine"
Sudhir Kumar, PhD
, is the Laurel H. Carnell Professor, and Director of the Institute of Genomics and Evolutionary Medicine at Temple University. He uses informatics as primary research tool to discover biological patterns and to make predictions in subject matters spanning the tree of life to the diagnosis of disease mutations. He has developed many algorithms, statistical methods, computer software, and web databases in biology and genomics.

"One Health in Action at the CDC: Protecting Health in the United States and Around the World"
Nina Marano, DVM, MPH, Dipl. AVCPM,
 is the Chief of the Immigrant Refugee and Migrant Health Branch, Division of Global Migration and Quarantine at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. T
rained in veterinary medicine at the University of Georgia and in public health at Emory University, Dr. Marano has been a medical epidemiologist at CDC since 1998. Her CDC experience has focused on prevention and control of infectious diseases. In 2006‚ Dr. Marano joined the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine (DGMQ) as the Branch Chief for the Travelers’ Health and Animal Importation Branch. In 2009, she became the Chief of the Quarantine and Border Health Services Branch, where she worked on national policy‚ regulations‚ and research to mitigate translocation of communicable diseases via travel and transportation. Under her leadership‚ the Quarantine Branch responded to 2009 Influenza A, H1N1‚ earthquake and cholera in Haiti‚ and nuclear radiation leakage in Japan. In June 2012‚ Dr. Marano was appointed Director of the DGMQ Africa Refugee Health Program at the CDC Kenya office in Nairobi. She led the team that is responsible for overseeing the implementation of guidelines for disease screening and treatment‚ tracking and reporting disease‚ responding to disease outbreaks‚ and advising partners on health care for refugees and immigrants from Africa. In August 2015, Dr. Marano was appointed Chief of the Immigrant, Refugee, and Migrant Health Branch, which promotes and improves the health of immigrants, refugees and migrants, and implements border health strategies prevent the spread of infectious diseases across international borders. She has co-authored over 80 publications in the peer-reviewed literature‚ and is an Associate Editor for CDC’s Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal. She also works part-time as a veterinarian in a companion animal practice in Atlanta.

"Developmental Origins in Evolutionary Perspective: A 20-year Prospective Cohort Study of the Dogon of Mali"
Beverly Strassmann, PhD, is a Professor of Anthropology & Faculty Associate, Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. She directs a 30-year longitudinal study of the Dogon of Mali, West Africa. Her laboratory focuses on the intergenerational transmission of stunting through the genetic imprinting of placental genes and how imprinting leads to a pattern of low birth weight and catch-up growth that sets the stage for social and health disparities in adult life. Her research team are also studying the early childhood predictors of age at puberty in males and females, and the developmental origins of hypertension. Dr. Strassman's lab has a long-standing interest in menstrual cycling, with a current focus on the effect of oral contraceptives on total hormone exposure. She uses evolutionary theory to study cultural phenomena, such as religion as a means to assure paternity and combines longitudinal ethnographic field data with molecular data from genetics, epigenetics, and endocrinology.

"Leveraging Evolutionary Trade-Offs and Phage Selection Pressure to Reduce Bacterial Pathogenicity"
Paul Turner, PhD,
 is the Rachel Carson Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University School of Medicine. His research examines how viruses evolutionarily adapt to overcome new challenges, such as emergence on novel host species, transmission via new arthropod vectors, survival at elevated temperatures, or changes in host immunity. His work also examines how viruses can be used in phage therapy as an alternative to traditional antibiotics, and in oncolytic therapy against cancers. They employ a wide variety of study systems, including bacteria-bacteriophage studies, and tissue culture experiments using molecular virology models such as vesicular stomatitis virus and Sindbis virus, and disease pathogens such as dengue virus.

Program Committee
Chair: Michael Muehlenbein, Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology, Baylor University

  • Joseph Alcock
  • Michelle Blyth
  • James Bull
  • Bernard Crespi
  • Mark Flinn
  • Steven Frank
  • Isabel Gordo
  • Joseph Graves
  • Michael Hochberg
  • Samuel Urlacher
  • Alejandra Núñez de la Mora
  • Frank Rühli
  • Paul Turke
  • Elizabeth Uhl
  • Lisa Herrmann – Ex Officio
  • Susan Kwan – Ex Officio
  • Barbara Natterson-Horowitz – Ex Officio
  • Randy Nesse – Ex Officio


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