Director: Ed Hagen
Our primary research focus is evolutionary models of substance use, specifically tobacco and cannabis use in central African foragers. This project is described here. The lab itself assays biomarkers related to drug use, immune function, and life histories. These include drug metabolites, such a cotinine, a metabolite of nicotine; immunoglobulin E (IgE), a class of antibodies that are important in immune responses to macroparasites, such as intestinal worms; testosterone, which plays an important role in development and is an immunomodulator; and cortisol, which plays an important role in stress responses, and is also an immunomodulator.