The Springfield College Department of Biology and Chemistry presented the 22nd annual Britton C. and Lucille McCabe Lecture featuring Calen Ryan on Thursday, April 11, in the Appleton Auditorium in the Fuller Arts Center. Ryan’s presentation, “Evolution in Medicine, Human Reproduction, and Health,” focused on biomedical science and how it has improved the human condition, and has a remarkable legacy of cataloguing and mitigating disease.
Ryan is a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Northwestern University. He studies tradeoffs in human development and reproduction with a focus on the genetic and molecular processes underlying “costs of reproduction” and how those contribute to health and aging in a population in the Philippines.
Many questions about why we get sick still elude us. Why do we age? Why is cancer so common and hard to treat? Why are bacteria becoming drug resistant? And why are disease-causing genes so prevalent? Ryan will give a brief introduction to evolutionary medicine and explore why understanding our health requires the broader context provided by evolutionary theory. The concept of evolutionary tradeoffs will be highlighted and discussed in relation to human growth, reproduction, health, and aging.
The Britton C. and Lucille McCabe Lecture has been in existence at Springfield College since 1997 and honors longtime professor of biology at the College, Britton C. McCabe, and his spouse, Lucille McCabe. The lecture series brings noted professionals in the health, biological, and physical sciences to Springfield College to discuss timely topics and discoveries.
Springfield College is an independent, nonprofit, coeducational institution founded in 1885. Nearly 5,000 students, including 2,500 full-time undergraduate students, study at its main campus in Springfield, Mass., and at its regional campuses across the country. Springfield College inspires students through the guiding principles of its Humanics philosophy – educating in spirit, mind, and body for leadership in service to others.