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headshot of Ralph M. Garruto

Ralph M. Garruto

Professor Emeritus/Director, BU Biospecimen Archive Facility



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 and Parkinson’s disease, food chain disorders, health transition studies, obesity and bionutrition, Lyme and other tick-borne illnesses, and prion diseases, especially Chronic Wasting Disease. Currently he has research projects in Micronesia, Vanuatu, Ukraine, and the Northeast U.S. His wet laboratory focus is on cellular and molecular mechanisms of neuronal degeneration, host-pathogen interactions, experimental modeling, and gene-environment interactions in health and disease.


  • PhD, MA, BS, Pennsylvania State University

Research Interests

  • Natural Experimental Models
  • Population Health
  • Biomedical Anthropology
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases
  • Health Transitions
  • Infectious and Chronic Disease

Research Activities

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