New Horizons in Science 2008 Speakers
Atkinson has done extensive work for the Federal Aviation Administration and the Transportation Security Administration on aviation security and is currently on a temporary assignment with the Department of Homeland Security, working on explosives detection.
Robert Sapolsky is the John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn Professor at Stanford University, holding joint appointments in several departments, including Biological Sciences, Neurology & Neurological Sciences, and Neurosurgery. A neuroendocrinologist, he has focused his research on issues of stress and neuronal degeneration, as well as on the possibilities of gene therapy strategies for protecting susceptible neurons from disease. Currently he is working on gene transfer techniques to strengthen neurons against the disabling effects of glucocorticoids. Sapolsky also spends time annually in Kenya studying a population of wild baboons in order to identify the sources of stress in their environment, and the relationship between personality and patterns of stress-related disease in these animals. More specifically, Sapolsky studies the cortisol levels between the Alpha male and female and the subordinates to determine stress level. He is the author of Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers: An Updated Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases and Coping (1994), which explores the effects of prolonged stress and its contribution to damaging physical and mental afflictions. His other books include The Trouble with Testosterone and Other Essays on the Biology of the Human Predicament (1997), Junk Food Monkeys (1997), A Primate’s Memoir (2002) and Monkeyluv and Other Essays on Our Lives as Animals (2005).
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