If you want to learn more, there are a number of evolutionary medicine-related
courses taught on the UCLA campus. And other courses (e.g., the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
introduction to Ecology and Behavior) include lectures on evolutionary medicine. If you know of other
courses, we'll post them here.
In addition to these courses, the department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology now offers a minor in
Evolutionary Medicine, click here for more info.
We're excited about the upper division course called Evolutionary Medicine that Pamela Yeh will
develop in the coming years. Below we list faculty currently teaching evolutionary medicine-themed
Anthropology 124B: Evolutionary
Psychology: Survey of research in evolutionary psychology. Review of relevant theory in evolution and
genetics. Emphasis on empirical studies of modern human behavior from evolutionary perspective, including
social behavior, decision making, language, culture, and child development.
Fiat Lux Psych 19: Human
Evolution and Human Health: A Practicum Human health in western society has deteriorated at the
population level. An increasing proportion of the population is plagued by so-called diseases of
civilization, such as obesity, diabetes, mental illness, autoimmune disorders, and cancer. These diseases
are extremely rare in human populations living a wide range of ancestral lifestyles, such as
hunter-gatherers. Discussion will focus on the relationship between lifestyle and human health in the
context of human evolution. We will evaluate hypothesis testing at the individual and population level to
dissect these relationships and discuss the role such analysis plays in improved health
Anthropology 124P: The Evolution
of Human Sexual Behavior Sexuality is a ubiquitous theme across time and across cultures. Although there
is considerable variation in sexual behavior around the world, such variation is built upon a panhuman
sexual nature. Our sexual nature might be said to be one of the most important factors determining our
experience of ourselves, and the structures of our societies. Darwinian theory provides a powerful means
of understanding the origins and nature of human sexuality. In this course we will explore some of the
many ways in which evolution has shaped our sexual bodies and our sexual minds.
GE Cluster 72A,B,CW Sex: From
Biology to Gendered Society From the moment of our conception, each of us has a sex. Our individual sex
has a major role in determining the physical attributes of our bodies, the structure of our brains, our
behavioral tendencies, the environment in which we grow up, the laws that govern our behavior, our place
in society, the attitudes of others towards us, and our self-concept. Although sex may be considered to
be determined primarily biologically, it is our gender (e.g., the social implications of our sex) that is
arguably most important for our lives. Sex and gender can only be understood from a mixture of different
perspectives. In this course we investigate some of those perspectives from the disciplines of sociology,
biology, psychology, genetics and medicine.
Comparative Medicine-SL 619. Medical students will be exposed to cardiovascular diseases across the
animal kingdom. Instruction in echocardiography, electrocardiography, auscultation and other diagnostic
techniques will emphasize the benefits of the comparative method. Source material from both the human and
veterinary medical literature will be reviewed. The comparative approach featured in this course will
also provide students with an opportunity to better understand the connections between contemporary
cardiovascular disease and evolutionary biology.
Fiat Lux Ecology and Evolutionary
Biology 19: Evolutionary Medicine: How Natural Selection Helps Us Understand Why We Get Sick Why do we
grow old and die? Why do our own cells sometimes become cancers that grow wildly until they kill us and
themselves? Why are plant poisons designed to kill insects such as caffeine, nicotine and chocolate some
of our favorite substances to eat? Why are new and deadly diseases appearing in our hospitals?
Questions like these have long puzzled medical science. An exciting new approach to these "why"
questions involves the application of evolutionary principles. In this course we will look at disease,
illness and human behavior not as constant phenomena, but as having evolved and continuing to evolve
through Natural Selection. Evolution is the fundamental concept that unifies all of modern biology and,
perhaps very soon, modern medicine as well.
BIOMATH 202: The Function,
Structure, and Evolution of Biological Systems Website:
Description: This course serves as
an introduction to mathematical modeling for biologists. The courses uses evolutionary theory and network
theory as its basis, and applies these concepts to topics and recent papers that include antibiotic
resistance, cancer initiation and growth, SIR models, cell motility, food web structure and dynamics,
neural networks, and network motifs for genes and proteins. The class progresses by my lecturing on
general theoretical methods (e.g., differential equations, network models) and then providing and
lecturing about three or four papers published in the past decade in top-tier journals that applied these
methods to biomedical and biological systems. This approach helps students translate what they are
learning into cutting edge research and how assumptions can be changed to make these methods broadly
BIOMATH 213: Modeling Vascular Networks with Applications Website: http://www.biomath.ucla.edu/
In this course, I focus on the structure and dynamics of
vascular systems. I combine topics usually taught separately in courses, including the fractal geometry
of branching networks, the fluid mechanics of blood flow in animals and water flow in plants, and other
modeling techniques such as analogue circuits to describe fluid-flow networks. In this course I teach
crucial biological knowledge about the transport of resources and how evolutionary pressure to make this
transport sufficient and efficient has constrained the structure of the vascular network. The structure
and flow of the vascular network fuels maintenance, growth, and reproduction, including how each of these
relate to pathologies such as coronary heart disease, atherosclerosis, and tumor vasculature and
Hematology section of Block 6
of the Medical School curriculum. We discuss normal hematopoietic ontogeny and it malignant
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 185: Evolutionary Medicine. This class
covers the main topics in Evolution (including natural and sexual selection, genetic drift, gene flow and
migration, mutations, adaptation, introduction to phylogenetics and population genetics) while focusing
on examples from medicine, including antibiotic resistance, cancer, HIV, obesity, diabetes, aging, and
other health issues. This class will also focus on similarities and evolutionary origins of health
issues faced by a range of species.