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Media Contact: Lisa Newbern 06 April 2005    
  (404) 727-7709   Print  | Email ]

Great Teachers Lecture: Yerkes Psychobiologist Speaks on Primate Research and Child Growth
As part of Emory's Great Teachers Lecture Series, Mark Wilson, PhD, a leading researcher at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center for more than 20 years, will describe how primate research has and continues to contribute to our understanding of child growth and development.

His lecture, entitled "Timing Is Everything: Understanding Human Development Through Primate Research," will be given on Thursday, April 14, at 7:30 p.m. in Emory's Miller-Ward Alumni House at 815 Houston Mill Road. The lecture is free and open to the public. Call 404-727-6000 for more information. Dr. Wilson is Research Professor, Chief, Division of Psychobiology and Director, Yerkes Endocrine Core Laboratory in the Yerkes National Primate Research Center. He will highlight research conducted by a number of scientists at the Center's field station to illustrate how social context and environmental constraints can affect the timing of key maturational events that influence an individual's emergence into adulthood, such as how genes may interact with social context to alter the timing of puberty and the eventual expression of adult behavior. Dr. Wilson also will describe how research with female monkeys is providing insight into how childhood obesity affects the timing of puberty and sets individuals on a trajectory toward health-related problems as adults.

Dr. Wilson received his PhD in biological psychology from the University of Georgia in 1979. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at Emory's School of Medicine, he joined the Yerkes Research Center in 1982. His research has focused on the regulation of puberty and fertility and how social context influences the hormonal control of behavior.

The Yerkes National Primate Research Center of Emory University is one of eight National Primate Research Centers funded by the National Institutes of Health. The Yerkes Research Center is a recognized leader for its biomedical and behavioral studies with nonhuman primates, which provide a critical link between research with small laboratory animals and the clinical trials performed in humans. Yerkes researchers are on the forefront of developing vaccines for AIDS and malaria, and treatments for cocaine addiction and Parkinson's disease. Yerkes researchers also are leading programs to better understand the aging process, pioneer organ transplant procedures and provide safer drugs to organ transplant recipients, determine the behavioral effects of hormone replacement therapy, prevent early onset vision disorders and shed light on human behavioral evolution.

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