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Christi Gendron Gives TED Talk 

May 21, 2024Christi Gendron, 2021 Pilot Project Awardee, presented a talk on “The Science of Lifespan — and the Impact of Your Five Senses” at TEDxJacksonville. Check out the presentation here!

Jenny Tung Elected to the National Academy of Sciences

May 7, 2024 – We are excited to announce that Dr. Jenny Tung has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Jenny is the Director of the Department of Primate Behavior and Evolution at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology and Biology at Duke University, and co-Director of the Animal Models for the Social Dimensions of Health and Aging Research Network. Her research focuses on the intersection between behavior, social structure, and genomics, using captive and wild primates as model systems.

2023 Pilot Program Awardees and McEwen Fellows Announced

December 4, 2023 – Congratulations to the 2023 Pilot Program Award Recipients: Raisa Hernández Pacheco and Brian Sweis, and the 2023 Bruce McEwen FellowAlice Kane. Read more about the pilot program awardees on the Award Recipients page, and Alice on the Current Fellows page.

Newest Pilot Program Awardees Announced

January 20, 2023 – Congratulations to Nathaniel Jenkins, Brian Sweis, and Gagan Wig, the 2022 Pilot Program Awardees. Read more about current and past pilot program awardees on the Award Recipients page.

2022-2023 McEwen Fellows Announced

January 12, 2023 – Congratulations to Jacob Negrey and Megan Paulsen, the 2022 Bruce McEwen Fellows. Find out more about Jacob and Megan on the Current Fellows page.

2022 Network Catalysis Meeting

July 15, 2022 – The Animal Models for the Social Dimensions of Health and Aging Research Network will host our first in-person catalysis meeting, bringing together McEwen Fellows, Pilot Project Awardees, and other network members. This meeting will take place September 22-24th at the University of Minnesota.

2022 R24 Meeting Schedule

Evolution & Social Determinants of Health Symposium

July 6, 2022 – The Animal Models for the Social Dimensions of Health and Aging Research Network organized and provided financial support for a symposium focused on Evolution and the Social Determinants of Health at the 2022 meeting of the International Society of Evolutionary Medicine and Public Health (ISEMPH). The symposium consisted of four talks, titled detailed below:

Adrian JäggiUniversity of ZurichSocial Determinants of Health in a Small-scale Human Society
Rebecca SearLondon School of Hygiene and Tropical MedicineThe Myth of the ‘Traditional’ Nuclear Family and its Consequences for Health
Camille TestardUPennNeural Basis of Primate Sociality
Barbara Natterson-HorowitzUCLA & HarvardPrivileged Creatures: The Impact of Conferred Advantages and Protections on Individual Fitness

McEwen Fellow Publishes Social Network & Brain Circuitry Link in Science Advances

April 22, 2022 – Network Fellow Testard published a research article detailing the link between social network size and the expansion of brain circuits in a free-ranging population of rhesus macaques. This supports the idea that the social determinants of health and aging work partly through social environmental influences on the brain. Learn more about Camille Testard’s work on our Past Fellows page.

2020-2021 Pilot Award Recipients Announced

Feb 1, 2021 – Congratulations to the 2020 Pilot Project Award Winners: Kristen Berendzen, Amanda Dettmer, and Michael Sheehan. Learn more about all the awardees on our Award Recipients page.

Correspondence on the use of animal models to study COVID-19 published in Biological Psychiatry

January 22, 2021 – This new correspondence, co-authored by Animal Models Network leader Alessandro Bartolomucci, discusses both the promises and limitations of animal models of COVID-19. There are numerous animal models that are suitable for the study of COVID-19, often using the related virus SARS-CoV-2. Additionally, the authors cite the high frequency of non-communicable diseases among human COVID-19 cases as motivation to include the consideration of psychosocial factors in any future studies that use coronavirus in animal models to learn about the impact of the pandemic on humans.

Accepting Pilot Applications

October 1, 2020 – The applications for our Pilot and Feasibility Projects is now open with a deadline of November 15, 2020.

Bruce McEwen Fellows Announced

August 21, 2020 – The 2020 Bruce McEwen Fellows have been named! Congratulations to Gregory Albery, Nick Keiser, Camille Testard, and Nicole Thompson Gonzales. In addition, travel awards were made to Daniella Chusyd, Tobin Hammer, and Laura Newman. Learn more about all the awardees on our Fellows page.

Comparative perspective on the social determinants of health published in Science

May 22, 2020This new review, partially supported by the Animal Models Network, shows that there are similar patterns linking the social environment to health and lifespan across a diverse set of social mammals. These patterns suggest that that evolutionary and comparative studies may have much to tell us about the social determinants of health and the biological pathways involved in them. The work was a true interdisciplinary effort, combining perspectives from sociology, evolutionary biology, epidemiology, demography, and anthropology. Network leaders and co-authors Tung, Bartolomucci, and Harris hope that it will provide motivation, ideas, and a partial roadmap for the types of activities that the Animal Models for the Social Dimensions of Health and Aging Research Network will support.

Accepting Fellowship Applications

May 18, 2020 – The 2020-2021 round of applications for the Bruce McEwen Career Development Fellowship Awards is now open with a deadline of June 15, 2020.