Evolutionary Medicine

Human health is to adaptation as disease risk is to maladaptation.

Modern medicine aims to understand the physiological causes of human diseases and how to treat them; evolutionary medicine (also known as Darwinian medicine) aims to understand how evolution has shaped human health in ways that put us as risk of diseases. Ideas central to evolutionary medicine include trade-offs, genomic conflict, constraints, and environmental mismatch.

Researchers at the Crawford Lab use evolutionary approaches to further our understanding of the human immune system, maternal health, and psychiatric conditions such as autism and schizophrenia.

Current Projects

iReceptor Project,  Breden Labireceptor
iReceptor is a distributed data management system and scientific gateway for mining “Next Generation” sequence data from immune responses. The goal of the project is to: improve the design of vaccines, therapeutic antibodies and cancer immunotherapies by integrating Canadian and international data repositories of antibody and T-cell receptor gene sequences.

Stress and Reproduction, Nepomnaschy Lab
We aim develop a comprehensive model of the interactions between women’s stress and reproductive physiology in natural contexts (i.e. non-clinical) across reproductive transitions and to evaluate the effects of those interactions on women’s reproductive outcomes