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PIONEER IN EVOLUTIONARY MEDICINE TO SPEAK AT BARD COLLEGE MARCH 20 AS PART OF DISTINGUISHED SCIENTIST LECTURE SERIES Biologist and Author Paul Ewald Has Touted Role of Common Germs in Causing Deadly Ailments Such as Cancer and Heart Disease

Darren O'Sullivan

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Distinguished Scientist Lecture Series at Bard College continues on Wednesday, March 20, with a talk by Paul Ewald, a biologist from Amherst College and a leader in the study of the evolution of infectious diseases. Ewald's talk is titled "Catching on to What's Catching: The Startling Scope of Infectious Disease (and Why We Have Been so Slow to Recognize It)." The lecture is free and open to the public and takes place at 7:30 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room of the Bertelsmann Campus Center. Refreshments will be served after the lecture.

Ewald, a professor of biology at Amherst College, was described by Newsweek as "a bold-minded evolutionist … who has created a whole new framework for thinking about infectious disease." He is the author of Plague Time: The New Germ Theory of Disease and Evolution of Infectious Disease. In Plague Time, Ewald argues that many modern chronic diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and mental illness, are caused by infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites rather than genetic predisposition or lifestyle. To support his theory, Ewald points to diseases such as ulcers, which were previously blamed on stress and are now treated with antibiotics, and cervical cancer, which has been traced to venereal disease.

"Dr. Ewald is the leader of the emerging field of evolutionary medicine," said Felicia Keesing, assistant professor of biology at Bard. "His work suggests bold new ways of diagnosing and treating diseases."

Ewald's other research interests include the coevolution of hummingbirds and flowers. His work has been published in numerous scientific journals and magazines, and he has been a guest columnist for the New York Times op-ed page. Ewald earned a Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Washington.

For more information on the Distinguished Scientist Lecture Series, call 845-758-7581.

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This event was last updated on 03-05-2002