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Thomas McDade: Biosocial 2.0: Future directions for research at the interface of the biological and social sciences
October 1 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
On October 1, 2021, Thom McDade, a biological anthropologist and the Director of the Laboratory for Human Biology Research at Northwestern University, will present “Biosocial 2.0: Future directions for research at the interface of the biological and social sciences” as part of the Carolina Population Center’s 2021-2022 Interdisciplinary Research Seminar Series.
Thom McDade is a biological anthropologist specializing in human population biology. His work is primarily concerned with the dynamic interrelationships among society, biology and health over the life course, with an emphasis on life course approaches to stress and the human immune system. The development and application of minimally-invasive methods for integrating physiological measures into population-based research is also a major area of interest. Prior research in Samoa, and ongoing research in Bolivia and Ecuador, investigates how local cultural transitions associated with globalization affect human development and health, while research in the Philippines is exploring the long term developmental consequences of early nutritional and microbial environments. He is currently applying conceptual and methodological tools from this work to US-based research on health disparities, with an emphasis on the potential contributions of stress and environments in infancy.
Novel methods for measuring human biology and health in non-clinical settings are generating new opportunities for discovery at the interface of the social and biological sciences. In this seminar I highlight how biosocial approaches have enriched our explanatory and conceptual frameworks, and I underscore how work in this area can fundamentally change how we think about human biology and the origins of social inequalities in health.
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