BARBARA NATTERSON-HOROWITZ, M.D.
Tools and Techniques: cardiac imaging, comparative medicine, behavioral assessment
Interests: cardiac imaging, comparative medicine, evolution, autonomic nervous system, fear, sudden death, obesity, anxiety disorders, veterinary medicine, life history, evolution, microbiome.
I am a cardiologist interested in developing interdisciplinary and novel methods to investigating health using a species-spanning approach. Over the past 7 years, I have developed programs that bring together the fields of veterinary medicine, human medicine, evolutionary and wildlife biology to explore the potential for investigating health and disease from an evolutionary perspective. My research interests include exploring the potential for comparative clinical medicine and evolutionary medicine to yield new approaches and novel hypotheses for important health challenges ranging from cancer to obesity, cardiovascular disease, sexual health, and infectious diseases. In addition to cardiology, I am also a completed my training in psychiatry. I’d like to utilize a comparative approach to investigate mental and behavioral disorders like anxiety and eating disorders in humans and animals. I have a particular interest in the impact of fear on sudden cardiac death in human and wildlife populations.
I serve as a cardiovascular consultant to the Los Angeles Zoo and am a member of its Medical Advisory Board. I’m also a part of the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) working group whose charge is to infuse evolutionary perspectives into medical education.
Some of the initiatives I have developed to expand these diverse and interdisciplinary collaborations include: 1) The Zoobiquity Conferences which bring physicians and veterinarians together to discuss the shared diseases of different species; 2) Medical school course on comparative clinical medicine, 3) Novel research initiative pairing UCLA medical students with UC Davis veterinary students to explore important health concerns relevant to both humans and animals, and 4) Evolutionary Medicine Month at UCLA – “Darwin on Rounds” Project.