Epigenetics and the Embodiment of Race: Developmental Origins of U.S. Black-White Disparities in Cardiovascular Health

february, 2010

18feb3:30 pm5:00 pmEpigenetics and the Embodiment of Race: Developmental Origins of U.S. Black-White Disparities in Cardiovascular Health

Event Details

Presented By:

Christopher Kuzawa, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology

Northwestern University

Abstract

Explanations for the disproportionate burden of cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality among African Americans have long been a topic of debate, with researchers alternatively pointing to genetic or environmental/social causes.  In this talk, Christopher Kuzawa, a biological anthropologist and epidemiologist, will discuss new research pointing to an important role of developmental and epigenetic contributions to cardiovascular disease risk. This research emphasizes the environmental sensitivity of the growing body, and the ability of early life experiences, including stress, to leave a biological legacy that lingers into later life and may even be passed on to offspring. Current research into the mechanisms underlying these “biological memories” is shedding new light into how environmentally or socially imposed stressors can have durable effects on biology, and thus provides an important lens for evaluating the causes of biological health disparities that map onto “races” defined according to social rather than genetic criteria.

 

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Time

(Thursday) 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Location

2125 Rolfe Hall

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