Evolutionary medicine

Professor Galloway has a formidable background in research in theoretical and molecular biology. His previous experiences in teaching modules for the foundations of Medicine course, at the University of Sheffield, lead him to develop a course unified through the evolutionary theory. Accordingly, a programme which fused the evolutionary account of health and healthcare was developed and has been running for over the last 6 years.

Professor Galloway teaches the course, Evolution:What every doctor needs to know, to groups of second year medical students at University College London. As he teaches medical students the course tends to start with medicine and work ‘backwards’ rather than with evolution and work ‘forwards’. This course explores the emerging field of Evolutionary Medicine and seeks to provide answers to why humans are venerable to certain diseases or conditions. The course focuses on theories which diverge away from clinical medicine and the proximate causes of diseases. This allows comparisons to be drawn between the approaches made on topics such as ageing, lower back pain, mental health, sudden-infant death syndrome, and diseases associated with the modern epidemiological transition, e.g. atherosclerosis, diabetes and obesity.

With Professor Galloway’s many years of experience teaching the Evolutionary Medicine course, he is currently working on a book. The book will be largely built around the course and strongly influenced by what the students have found particularly interesting. The rationale for the book stems from the power the evolutionary theory holds in biology but its lack of use it has had in the explanatory framework of medicine. Professor Galloway strongly believes that by studying the evolutionary origins of medicine will help in deepening our understanding of various diseases and their causes.

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BROMAGE Conference Group Photo