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Anthropology Faculty

Ralph Garruto  Ralph Garruto

   Research Professor of Anthropology
   PhD, Pennsylvania State University, 1973
   Biomedical anthropologist
   Science 1, Room 211


Research interests

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 and HIV/AIDS, and prion diseases, especially Chronic Wasting Disease. Currently he has field research projects in Micronesia, Vanuatu, Cambodia, Saba Island (Netherland Antilles), China, Siberia and upstate New York. His laboratory focus is on cellular and molecular mechanisms of neuronal degeneration, experimental modeling, use of mitochondrial DNA in biomedical and evolutionary studies, and the study of gene-environment interactions in health and disease.


Chan CW, D Lynch, R Spathis, RM Garruto, and JK Lum . Flashback to the 60s: Utility of archived sera to explore the origin and evolution of Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance in the Pacific. Acta Tropica (IN REVIEW).

Hermosura MC, Nayakanti H, Dorovkov MV, Calderon FR, Ryazanov AG, Haymer DS, Garruto RM. 2005. A TRPM7 variant shows altered sensitivity to magnesium that may contribute to the pathogenesis of two Guamanian neurodegenerative disorders. PNAS 102: 11510-11515.

Garruto RM, Little MA, Weitz CA. 2004. Environmental stress and adaptational responses: consequences for human health outcomes. Collegicum Anthropologicum 28: 509-540.

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.

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Last Updated: 10/9/12