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Randolph Nesse, MD, ASU Foundation Professor at Arizona State University

Randolph M. Nesse, MD is Professor of Life Sciences and ASU Foundation Professor at Arizona State University, where he became the Founding Director of the Center for Evolution Medicine in 2014.  He was previously Professor of Psychiatry and of Psychology at the University of Michigan where he led the Evolution and Human Adaptation Program and helped to establish one of the world’s first anxiety disorders clinics.  His research on the neuroendocrinology of anxiety evolved into studies on why aging exists. Those studies led to collaboration with the evolutionary biologist George Williams on Why We Get Sick: The New Science of Darwinian Medicine, a book that initiated much new work in the field of evolutionary medicine. His current research is on how selection shapes mechanisms that regulate defenses such as pain, fever, anxiety and low mood. Closely related work investigates the origins and functions of emotions, why emotional disorders are so common, and how social selection shaped human capacities for altruism and moral emotions.  His mission is to establish evolutionary biology as a basic science for medicine.  Dr. Nesse is the President of the International Society for Evolution, Medicine & Public Health. He is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Sciences, and an elected Fellow of the AAAS. His new book,  Good Reasons for Bad Feelings: Insights from the Frontier of Evolutionary Psychiatry, was published in 2019 by Dutton (Penguin Random House).

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