May 1, 2007


AIBS Marks Its 60th Anniversary at 2007 Annual Meeting with Program on Evolutionary Biology and Human Health

Additional sessions to include discussions of framing issues in scientific explanations, launch of online Encyclopedia of Life

AIBS will mark its 60th anniversary at its 2007 annual meeting, to be held 14–15 May 2007 at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC. The theme of the meeting is “Evolutionary Biology and Human Health”; the program chair is 2007 AIBS president Douglas Futuyma, of the State University of New York at Stony Brook. The meeting is cosponsored by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.

Plenary speakers and discussion groups will approach the meeting’s topic from a variety of cross-cutting themes involving science, education, and public policy. Principles and methods of evolutionary biology are becoming increasingly important in many aspects of health science, among them understanding the human genome, the normal functions and malfunctions of human genes, and the origin and evolution of infectious diseases. These are among the topics addressed in sessions on infectious diseases, genes and genomics, and human adaptation and malfunction. The rest of the meeting’s program will be rounded out by events such as a contributed poster session, a diversity lunch, and the AIBS awards presentations.

The AIBS meeting will be held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Natural Science Collections (NSC) Alliance. The AIBS and NSC Alliance meetings take place immediately after the International Union of Biological Sciences Conference and General Assembly, 9–12 May, also at the Capital Hilton. Following the annual meeting, the AIBS Council of member societies and organizations will meet at the Capital Hilton, 15–16 May (contact:

AIBS Annual Meeting Program

Monday, 14 May

8:30 a.m.
Opening remarks

  • AIBS President, Douglas Futuyma, State University of New York at Stony Brook

8:45 a.m.
Keynote speaker

  • Eric Green, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health: “Comparative Genome Sequencing: Using Evolution to Decode the Human Genome”

9:30 a.m.
Session A: Infectious Diseases

  • Edward Holmes, Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics, The Pennsylvania State University: “The Evolution of Emerging Viruses”

10:15 a.m.
Coffee break and exhibits

10:45 a.m.

  • Rustom Antia, Emory University: “Modeling the Emergence of Infectious Diseases”

11:30 a.m.
Session A: Discussion Session

  • Plenary speakers Edward Holmes and Rustom Antia

  • Irene A. Eckstrand, National Institute of General Medical Sciences, National Institutes of Health

  • Stephen J. O’Brien, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health

  • Diane Griffin, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

12:00 p.m. (Lunch break on your own)
Special event
Diversity luncheon (separate registration required; see the meeting registration form)

  • Speaker: Georgia M. Dunston, Director of Molecular Genetics, National Human Genome Center, Howard University: “Human Genome Variation in Human Identity and Health Disparities”

12:30 – 1:15 p.m.
Discussion group

“Education at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center,” with Kristin Jenkins, NESCent, Durham, NC. Includes information on the NESCent conference, 23–26 May, “Evolution in Contemporary Human Populations: Medical, Genetic, and Behavioral Implications.”

1:30 p.m.
AIBS awards presentations

  • Print Media Award: Kenneth R. Weiss and Usha Lee McFarling, for “Altered Oceans”

  • Broadcast Media Award: David Baron, for “Bioko’s Endangered Monkeys”

  • Past-President’s Award: Kent E. Holsinger, University of Connecticut

  • President’s Citation Award: Niles Eldredge, American Museum of Natural History

  • Education Award: Carol A. Brewer, University of Montana

  • Outstanding Service Award: William Murdoch, University of California, Santa Barbara

  • Distinguished Scientist Award: Simon A. Levin, Princeton University

2:30 p.m.
Session B: Genes and Genomics

  • Carlos Bustamante, Cornell University: “Computational Methods for Enabling Gene Mapping in Natural Populations and Domesticated Species”

3:15 p.m.
Coffee break and exhibits

3:45 p.m.

  • Douglas C. Wallace, Center for Molecular and Mitochondrial Medicine and Genetics, Biological Chemistry, University of California, Irvine: “A Mitochondrial Paradigm of Metabolic and Degenerative Diseases, Cancer, and Aging: A Dawn for Evolutionary Medicine” (sponsored by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology)

4:30 p.m.
Session B: Discussion Session
Plenary Speakers

  • Carlos Bustamante and Douglas Wallace

  • Stephen J. O’Brien, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health

  • Robert Fleischer, National Zoological Park, Smithsonian Institution

  • Adam Fagen, National Academies

5:00 p.m.
Special discussion groups
Session 1
“Framing Science: The Road to 2008 and Beyond”

  • Matthew Nisbet, School of Communication, American University

  • Chris Mooney, Washington correspondent, Seed magazine

Session 2
“Why Don’t Doctors Learn Evolution, and What Can We Do about It?”

  • Randolph Nesse, Evolution and Human Adaptation Program, University of Michigan

  • Kenna Shaw, American Society of Human Genetics

  • Joseph McInerney, National Coalition for Health Professional Education in Genetics

Session 3
“The Encyclopedia of Life: A Web Site for Every Species”

  • James L. Edwards, Global Biodiversity Information Facility

6:00 p.m.
Dinner on your own

8:00–10:00 p.m.
Welcome reception, poster session, and exhibits

Tuesday, 15 May

9:00 a.m.
Session C: Human Adaptation and Malfunction

  • Sarah Tishkoff, University of Maryland: “Genetic Variation and Adaptation in Africa: Implications for Human Evolution and Disease”

9:45 a.m.

  • Martin Nowak, Harvard University: “Evolutionary Dynamics of Cancer”*

10:30 a.m.
Coffee break and exhibits

11:00 a.m.
Session C: Discussion Session

  • Plenary speakers Sarah Tishkoff and Martin Nowak

  • Jay Labov, National Academy of Sciences

  • Kenna Shaw, American Society of Human Genetics

11:45 a.m.
Endnote speaker

  • Randolph Nesse, Evolution and Human Adaptation Program, University of Michigan: “Evolutionary Medicine is Flowering; How Can We Help It Set Seed?”

12:30 p.m.
Meeting adjourns

For more information about the meeting, please visit

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