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Binghamton University
Department of Anthropology

Laboratory for Anthropometry and Biomarkers

Laboratory Director  Katherine Wander
Laboratory Manager  Rita Spathis


The Laboratory for Anthropometry and Biomarkers supports health research conducted outside of a clinical setting, particularly in the developing world. We specialize in gathering biological information through techniques that are minimally-invasive and robust to challenging field conditions, including unreliable or absent electricity, limited or absent clean water, long travel times and poor road conditions, and high humidity and dust.

To facilitate population-based research in challenging and remote field settings, we rely on “rough-tech”, cost-effective tools—such as minimally-invasive specimen collection techniques, analysis of alternative biological specimen types, and point-of-care microdevices—to collect data in remote and challenging settings.

Katherine Wander working at lab bench


Anthropometry: We use robust, transportable, low-cost instruments to measure physical characteristics such as height, weight, and skinfold thickness in a non-invasive manner in remote settings.

Enzyme Immunoassays: We use both traditional and multiplex assay systems to evaluate a variety of biomarkers—measurable characteristics, including biological products circulating in blood, secreted in saliva, or excreted in urine, that provide information about an entire physiological system—including indicators of inflammation, nutrition, and stress.

Specimen Types: We support use of alternative specimen types—urine or saliva instead of serum—and specimen collection and storage techniques—dried blood spots instead of serum—to facilitate population-based research in remote settings.

Point-of-Care Measurement: We use “point of care” (POC) diagnostic tools—such as hemoglobinometers to identify anemia and hematofluorometers to identify iron deficiency—in remote settings to minimize needs for cold storage and transportation of specimens and to provide useful information to our local healthcare provider partners.

Current Projects

Child Health and Development in Kilimanjaro

The Immune System of Milk

Katherine Wander field photos collage


Describing immune responses in human milk via in vitro stimulation


The Laboratory for Anthropometry and Biomarkers supports graduate student training and independent research. Interested current and prospective students should contact Katherine Wander (Laboratory Director,

Some images of Katherine Wander's lab





Last Updated: 6/23/17