Evolution Of Stress Symposium

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The Texas A&M University Institute for Genome Sciences and Society will hold its inaugural symposium, “Evolution of Stress: From the Genome to Disease,” October 8–9 in Rudder Theatre and the Memorial Student Center (MSC).

The “fight-or-flight” response—the reaction to real or perceived threats—no doubt saved many of our ancestors from harm. This instinct, seen in humans and animals, evolved to deal with the stress arising from dangerous situations, such as the chasing lion. However, when this increased level of stress continues for an extended period of time—as it often does in modern culture where we are chronically stressed—it can lead to disease and chronic disorders.

Current research unravels the biological and genetic origins of stress response with the goal of reducing its negative impact while still maintaining its evolutionary benefits. This symposium will explore current knowledge of stress research and how it can be used to improve human, animal, and plant health.

A keynote address by world-renowned neuroscientist and primatologist Dr. Robert M. Sapolsky of Stanford University will be held on Thursday, October 8, at 6:30pm at Rudder Theatre. The event is free and open to the general public. A reception and book signing will follow the lecture. Sapolsky is the author of “Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers.” He was also featured in “Stress: Portrait of a Killer,” a National Geographic documentary.

On Friday, October 9, researchers from Texas A&M and around the world will give presentations about the effects of chronic stress on humans, animals, and plants in the MSC Room 2400. A trainee poster session will also be held at the same location in conjunction with the symposium. All interested faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to attend.

The symposium is co-sponsored by the Texas A&M One Health Initiative and the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. For more information and to register, visit http://stresssymposium.tamu.edu/ or call (979) 458-5666.

For more information about the Texas A&M Institute for Genome Sciences and Society, visit genomics.tamu.edu; the Texas A&M One Health Initiative, visit onehealth.tamu.edu; and the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, visit vetmed.tamu.edu.