Research Professor of Biomedical Anthropology
PhD, Pennsylvania State University, 1973
Science 1, Room 113
Ralph Garruto is a human population biologist whose research focus is on natural experimental models of disease, using both field and laboratory approaches. His cross-disciplinary research and interests include studies of neurodegenerative disorders including Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease and Alzheimer's Disease, also food chain disorders, health transition studies, obesity and bionutrition, malaria, Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, and prion diseases, especially Chronic Wasting Disease. Currently he has field research projects in Micronesia, Vanuatu, Ukraine, China, Siberia, and upstate New York. His laboratory focus is on cellular and molecular mechanisms of neuronal degeneration, host-pathogen interactions, experimental modeling, use of mitochondrial DNA in biomedical and evolutionary studies, and the study of gene-environment interactions in health and disease.
PublicationsSpathis R, Roome A, Al-Feghali V, Hill L, Cruz T, Leighton A, Monroe N, Pabafikos C, Parwez R, Tyurin S, Zeitz H, Darcy II JM, Garruto RM. 2014. Prevalence and Spread of Borrelia burgdorferi in Built Environments into the Southern Tier Region of New York State. Emerging Infectious Diseases. (IN REVIEW).
Olszowy KM, Lavelle J, Rachfal K, Hempstead S, Drouin K, Darcy II JM, Reiber C, Garruto RM. 2014. Six-year follow-up of a point-source exposure to CWD contaminated venison in an Upstate New York community: Risk behaviors and health outcomes 2005-2011. Public Health. IN PRESS.
Mohammad A, Kazim SF, Grundke-Iqbal I, Garruto RM, Iqbal K. 2014. Tau pathology involves protein phosphatase 2A in Parkinsonism-dementia of Guam. PNAS. 111(3): 1144-1149.
Olszowy KM, Roome A, Bower K, Ngwele D, Tarivonda L, Lum JK, Dancause KN, Garruto RM. 2014. Understanding the impact of maternal obesity on childhood nutritional status in an urban Ni-Vanuatu community. Thirty-ninth annual meeting of the Human Biology Association, Calgary, Canada, April 9-10. American Journal of Human Biology. 26(2): 276.
Roome A, Bower K, Murnock CG, Hill L, Ho B, Tyurin S, Al-Feghali V, Zeitz, H, Rios,
D, Parwez R, Li I, Leighton A, Lupo K, Hao Y, Pabafikos C, Goodsell J, Scher N, Daivs
S, Lamendola T, Singh R, Ma J, DeLeon N, Darcy II JM, Spathis R, Garruto RM. 2014. Prevalence of tick-borne pathogens and human behavioral risk factors in built
environments of upstate New York suggest a necessity for the development of risk management
models. Thirty-ninth annual meeting of the Human Biology Association, Calgary, Canada,
April 9-10. American Journal of Human Biology. 26(2): 279.
Cruz T, Keppler H, Thomas J, Kommareddy D, Hempstead S, Valentine E, Spathis R, Darcy II JM, Garruto RM. 2013. Assessing prevalence of tick-borne infectious agents on a university campus. Thirty-eighth annual meeting of the Human Biology Association, Knoxville, Tennessee, April 10-11. American Journal of Human Biology 25:254-255. (March/April) American Journal of Human Biology 25:255. (March/April).
Darcy II JM, Spathis R, Schmidt J, Keppler H, Hempstead S, Cruz T, Kommareddy D, Thomas J, Riddle M, Sayama H and Garruto RM. 2013. Emergence, transmission, and risk of Lyme disease and other tick-borne infections: a community based natural experimental model. Thirty-eighth annual meeting of the Human Biology Association, Knoxville, Tennessee, April 10-11. American Journal of Human Biology 25:255. (March/April).
Kommareddy D, Schmidt J, Darcy II JM, Garruto RM, Sayama H. 2013. Modeling Lyme disease risk using a biobehavioral and ecological approach. Thirty-eighth annual meeting of the Human Biology Association, Knoxville, Tennessee, April 10-11. American Journal of Human Biology 25:263. (March/April).
Weitz CA, Liu JC, He X, Chin CT, Garruto RM. 2013. Responses of Han migrants compared to Tibetans at high altitude. American Journal of Human Biology 25:169-178. (March/April)
Dancause KN, Vilar M, Wilson M, Soloway L, DeHuff C, Chan CW, Tarivonda L, Reganvanu R, Kaneko A, Lum JK, Garruto RM. 2013. Behavioral risk factors for obesity during health transition in Vanuatu, South Pacific. Obesity 21:E98-E104. (January)
Vilar MG, Chan CW, Santos DR, Lynch D, Spathis R, Garruto RM, Lum JK. 2013. The origins and genetic distinctiveness of the chamorros of the Marianas Islands: An mtDNA perspective. American Journal of Human Biology 25:116-122. (Jan/Feb)
Dancause KN, Vilar M, Chan CW, DeHuff C, Wilson M, Soloway LE, Tarivonda L, Regenvanu R, Kaneko A, Garruto RM, Lum JK. 2012. Patterns of childhood and adolescent overweight and obesity during health transition in Vanuatu. Public Health Nutrition. 15:158-166.
Chan CW, Spathis R, Reiff DM, McGrath SE, Garruto RM, Lum JK. 2012. Diversity of Plasmodium falciparum Chloroquine Resistance Transporter (pfcrt) Exon 2 Haplotypes in the Pacific from 1959 to 1979. PLoS ONE 7: e30213.
Reiff DM, Spathis R, Chan CW, Vilar MG, Sankaranarayanan K, Lynch D, Ehrlich E, Kerath S, Chowdhury R, Robinowitz L, Lum JK, Garruto RM. 2011. Inherited and somatic mitochondrial DNA in Guam amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and parkinsonism-dementia. Neurological Sciences 32(5):883-892.
Dancause KN, DeHuff C, Soloway LE, Vilar M, Chan CW, Wilson M, Tarivonda L, Regenvanu R, Kaneko A, Garruto RM, Lum JK. 2011. Behavioral Changes Associated with Economic Development in the South Pacific: Health Transition in Vanuatu. Thirty-sixth annual meeting of the Human Biology Association, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 13-14. American Journal of Human Biology 23:366-376.
Dancause KN, Yevtushok L, Lapchenko S, Shumlyansky I, Shevchenko G, Wertelecki W, Garruto RM. 2010. Chronic Radiation Exposure in the Rivne-Polissia Region of Ukraine: Implications for Birth Defects. American Journal of Human Biology 22:667–674.
Dancause KN, Vilar M, DeHuff C, Wilson M, Soloway LE, Chan CW, Lum JK, Garruto RM. 2010. Relationships between body size and percent body fat among Melanesians in Vanuatu. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 19:421-425.
Garruto RM, Weitz CA. 2010. Chapter 16 Impact of Natural Environmental Stressors on Physiological and Morphological Processes: Methodological Approaches in the Field and the Laboratory. In: Human Variation - From the Laboratory to the Field, ed. by CGN Mascie-Taylor, SJ Ulijaszek, and A Yasukouchi. Taylor and Francis Group, London, pp. 269-289.
Lee HS, Zhdanova SN, Vladimirtsev VA, Platonov FA, Osakovskiy VL, Subbotina EL, Broytman O, Danilova AP, Nikitina RS, Chepurnov AA, Krivoshapkin VG, Gajdusek DC, Savilov YD, Garruto RM, Goldfarb LG. 2010. Epidemiology of Viliuisk encephalomyelitis in Eastern Siberia. Epidemiology 21:24-30.
Garruto RM, Yanagihara R. 2009. Contributions of isolated Pacific populations to understanding neurodegenerative diseases. Folia Neuropathologica 47: 149-170.
Garruto RM, Reiber C, Alfonso MP, Gastrich H, Needham K, Sunderman S, Walker S, Weeks J, DeRosa N, Faisst E, Dunn J Fanelli K, Shilkret K. 2008. Risk behaviors in a rural community with a known point-source exposure to chronic wasting disease. Environmental Health. 17:31. doi: 10.1186/1476-069X-7-31.
Hermosura MC and Garruto RM. 2007. TRPM7 and TRPM2 – Candidate susceptibility genes for western Pacific ALS and PD? Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 1772: 822-835.
Lichtenfeld MJ, Worne H, Walker S, Tavares A, Lynch D, Chan C, Arber C, Gebo D, S, Soloway L, Needham K, Edwards CA, Delafield S, Little MA, and Garruto RM. 2007. Health transition in school children: Obesity and overweight in Broome County, New York. American Journal of Human Biology 19: 264-265.
Weitz CA and Garruto RM. 2007. A comparative analysis of arterial oxygen saturation among Tibetans and Han born and raised at high altitude. High Altitude Medicine and Biology 8: 13-26.
Chan CW, Garruto RM, Lum JK. 2006. Paleoparasite Populations from Archived Sera: Insights into Chloroquine Drug-Resistance in Papua New Guinea. Journal of Infectious Disease. 194: 1023-1024.
Plato CC, Garruto RM, Galasko D, Craig U-K, Plato M, Gamst A, Torres JM, and Wiederholt W. 2003. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and parkinsonism-dementia complex of Guam: changing incidence rates during the past sixty years. American Journal of Epidemiology 157: 149-157.
Garruto RM, Chin C-T, Weitz CA, Liu J-C, Liu R-L, and He X. 2003. Hematological differences during growth among Tibetan and Han Chinese born and raised at high altitude in Qinghai, China. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 122: 171-183.
Uspensky I, Garruto RM, and Goldfarb L. 2003. The taiga tick Ixodes persulcatus (Acari: Ixodidae) in the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) of Russia: distributional and reproductive ranges. Journal of Medical Entomology 40: 119-122.
Garruto RM, Little MA, James GD, and Brown DE. 1999. Natural experimental models: the global search for biomedical paradigms among traditional, modernizing and modern populations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 96: 10536-10543.