Randolph M. Nesse
Randolph M. Nesse
Research Professor , Arizona State University
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Biography

Randolph M. Nesse is Research Professor of Life Sciences at Arizona State University, where he was the founding director of the Center for Evolution and Medicine in 2014. He was previously professor of psychiatry and of psychology at the University of Michigan, where he led the Evolution and Human Adaptation Program and helped to establish one of the first anxiety disorders clinics.

His research on the neuroendocrinology of anxiety evolved into studies on why aging exists. Those studies led to collaboration with the evolutionary biologist George Williams on Why We Get Sick: The New Science of Darwinian Medicine. He studies how selection shapes mechanisms that regulate defenses such as pain, fever, anxiety, and low mood. His larger mission is to establish evolutionary biology as a basic science for medicine.

Dr. Nesse is the founding president of the International Society for Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health, a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and a fellow of the Association for Psychological Sciences and AAAS. His new book, Good Reasons for Bad Feelings: Insights from the Frontier of Evolutionary Psychiatry, shows how evolutionary questions about why mental disorders exist can make psychiatry more effective.

He got his BA in social psychology from Carleton College and MD from the University of Michigan Medical School.

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