Gabriela Sheets receives the Society for Medical Anthropology’s Dissertation Award for her 2017 dissertation on “The Developmental Ecology of the Infant Microbiome”.
The Committee describes Sheets’ work as “novel meshing of anthropology and biology to explore an emerging area of general interest,” and thought it was likely to “make important contributions well beyond the medical anthropology community.” One member called it an “exemplar in where science should go.”
“Recognition begs reflection, and reflection begs gratitude. The beast that this dissertation was to become invited me on a marvelous journey through the lives, stories and biologies of many Salvadoran families, for which I am forever grateful. Before my observing eye, life spilled out. She sometimes clumsily, but always excitedly, tripped over herself to whisper her secrets and to weave her tales through the human body. Even under and around the long shadows of death where meaning was mute, her whispers sounded. Thank you Emory for the opportunity to research questions that excite me, always supported by frameworks rooted in our anthropological and biological heritage. I hope to make even a small difference with the tools and drive that you provided for me.” Gabriela Sheets
An article featured on NPR discusses the complications that arise when rodents are commonly used to test medications intended for humans: namely, a disappointingly high failure rate once medications are tested on human subjects.
Todd Preuss, an anthropologist at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University and Associated Professor of Anthropology, indicates that rats were initially studied to learn about rats. At some point they transitioned to “prototypical mammals.” Dr. Preuss points out that rodents have not only developed quite differently from humans, but the specific test subjects can also be described as lacking genetic diversity.
Dr. Bisan Salhi is one of Emory’s medical faculty recognized on Doctors’ day. After reviewing 160 Emory physicians nominated by their peers, the recognition committee honored six outstanding faculty of the Emory School of Medicine.
Dr. Salhi is an emergency room physician at Grady Memorial Hospital, faculty in the Emory School of Medicine department of Emergency Medicine, and a PhD candidate in the Anthropology department. She researches homelessness, vulnerable populations, and emergency medicine.
Emory’s eScience Commons reported on Dr. James Rilling’s research at the Laboratory for Darwinian Neuroscience. In order to study the neurological reasons for differing care-giving behaviors, Dr. Rilling administered either oxytocin or a placebo to fathers of toddlers. When shown photos of their child, those fathers who had received the oxytocin showed increased neural activity in areas of the brain that are associated with reward and empathy.
This Summer, Anthropology PhD candidate Tawni Tidwell, the first Westerner to be certified in Tibetan medicine in Tibet, was featured in Emory News, with an interview in eScienceCommons. Tawni’s dissertation research focuses on how Tibetan physicians diagnose diseases, particularly cancer.
“I see myself as a bridge between Tibetan medicine and Western science,” says Tidwell, who became a Tibetan physician in 2015. “I feel like each has something to offer the other.”