Precision Nutrition and Wellness Initiative Symposia Series (Upcoming)

Charles Raison, MD

Upcoming Lecture

Title -  Evolution, Adaptive Stress and the Future of Depression

Dr. Raison is internationally recognized for his studies examining novel mechanisms involved in the development and treatment of major depression and other stress-related emotional and physical conditions, as well as for his work examining the physical and behavioral effects of compassion training. The recipient of several teaching awards, Dr. Raison has received research funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition to his academic activities, Dr. Raison is the mental health expert for

He currently works at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as

  • Mary Sue and Mike Shannon Chair for Healthy Minds, Children & Families 
  • Professor, Human Development and Family Studies, School of Human Ecology
  • Professor, Dept of Psychiatry, School of Medicine and Public Health

Joel Dudley, PhD

Upcoming Lecture

Title - coming soon

  • Thursday, Nov 12, 2019 / 5:00 - 7:00 PM
  • University of Arizona BIO5 Institute - Keating 103

Joel Dudley's work is focused on developing and applying methods to integrate the digital universe of information to build better predictive models of disease, drug response, and scientific wellness. His work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Scientific American, and other popular media outlets, and he was named in 2014 as one of the 100 most creative people in business by Fast Company magazine. He is co-author of the book Exploring Personal Genomics from Oxford University Press. He received a BS in Microbiology from Arizona State University and an MS and PhD in Biomedical Informatics from Stanford University School of Medicine.

Dr. Dudley is currently an Associate Professor of Genetics and Genomic Sciences and Icahn Institute for Data Science and Genomic Technology. Dr. Dudley is also Director of the Institute for Next Generation Healthcare at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Prior to Mount Sinai, he held positions as Co-founder and Director of Informatics at NuMedii, Inc. and Consulting Professor of Systems Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine

Rasika Mathias, Sc.D.

Upcoming Lecture

Title - Getting precise in Precision Medicine – leveraging big data to assess healthy aging.

  • Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 / 5:00 - 7 :00 PM
  • University of Arizona BIO5 Institute - Keating 103

Telomere length (TL) is widely considered a molecular/cellular hallmark of the aging process with implications for multiple diseases. While there has been success in epidemiology and genomewide association studies (GWAS) to understanding telomere biology and genetics, there is a gross under-representation of minority and admixed populations in these efforts, limiting our understanding of health disparities pertaining to diseases related to aging, inflammation, and cellular senescence that are related to TL. High throughput technologies with decreasing sequencing cost per sample has enabled the generation of whole genome sequencing (WGS) at an unprecedented scale with large, well-phenotyped resources of subjects having WGS in epidemiology, precision medicine and biobank endeavors nationally and internationally. With large and well-powered sample sizes, multi-ethnic representation, and WGS data, we have an unprecedented opportunity address critical gaps in TL genetics through NHLBI's Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) Program on heart, lung, blood, and sleep (HLBS) disorders.

I will focus on the tremendous scientific value of out-of-the-box and non-linear approaches to leveraging pre-existing data and the opportunities at scale from large multi-ethnic resources such as TOPMed to bridge major gaps with health disparities research within a Precision Medicine framework. I will focus on lessons learned from these TOPMed opportunities, and offer further insight into ways to bring into the fold the various omics in a unified framework to health disparities research from a Precision Wellness perspective.

Precision Nutrition and Wellness Initiative Symposia Series (PAST)

Rasmus Nielsen, PhD


While we tend to be genetically similar to each other, there are important differences among humans caused by natural selection as our ancestors adapted to their local environments in different regions of the world. In this talk, Dr. Nielsen gives three examples of human physiological adaptation to the local environment. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2019
5:30pm - 7:30pm

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Herman Pontzer, PhD


How do our modern lifestyles promote obesity, diabetes, and other metabolic disease? In this talk, Dr. Pontzer discusses recent work from living hunter-gatherer populations, exploring the ways in which their diet and daily physical activity lead to their remarkable metabolic and cardiovascular health.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019
5:00pm - 7:00pm 

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Randy Nesse, PhD


Using the basic science of evolutionary biology to improve human health is a fast-growing enterprise. It expands the view from that of a mechanic to that of an engineer who asks why natural selection left us vulnerable to so many diseases.

Friday, May 3, 2019
5:00pm - 7:00pm

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Other Lectures

Floyd (Ski) Chilton, PhD

Escape from Inflammation Nation: The five scientifically-proven and mindful steps to health and joy.

(part of the Living Healthy with Arthritis Lecture Series, 2019. Arizona Arthritis Center.)

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