Course Descriptions

01:447:356 Evolutionary Medicine

This course can count as an elective toward the Biological Sciences major.






Genetics 01:447:380 or Genetic Analysis I 01:447:384 and Gen Bio Lab 01:119:117 or 01:119:102 

Course Description

In this course, we examine human health from an evolutionary perspective, exploring the impact that our evolutionary heritage has on modern human diseases, both chronic and infectious. We will learn how the framework of evolutionary biology and modern genetic tools can inform our understanding of issues relevant to clinical and public health. Rather than focus on the immediate mechanisms underlying disease, we will endeavor to understand the ultimate factors that influence susceptibility, such as past natural selection. The course topics are wide-ranging, but particular attention is paid to emerging infectious diseases, as well as non-communicable diseases that may be exacerbated by facets of modern lifestyles. Through lectures, critical analysis of the primary literature and popular science news, and class discussions, participants will learn how evolutionary principles can be practically applied to medicine. Key readings each session will focus on genetic techniques for understanding evolutionary medicine, while additional readings will incorporate perspectives from diverse fields.

Course Syllabus

Fall 2021 Syllabus 

Course URL


Course Satisfies Learning Goals

Departmental Goals:

1. Integrate the material from multiple courses and research. That is, to think holistically and to see the whole as well as the parts.

2. Use genetic information and ideas to critically analyze published research articles in genetics

 Exams, Assignments, and Grading Policy


Course Materials


Course Closed?

There is no wait list. Please see  Genetics Dept. SPN page for special permission request.


Dr. Christina Bergey

** All information is subject to change at the discretion of the course coordinator.