Molecular & Biomedical Anthropology Stream

Molecular anthropology is about taking a genetic approach to understanding human evolution and biological diversity. Our genetics provides insight into the history of populations (how migrations and other demographic events have structured human populations), and how we have have been evolving to adapt to different environments and the risk posed by diseases. In the Molecular & Biomedical Anthropology research stream, students learn how to design and conduct genetic research projects to address specific questions in these areas. Our current research specifically focuses on two main topics: human genetic diversity in the understudied populations of the Middle East and Oceania, and genetics of Lyme disease bacteria and other tick-borne diseases. In order to do so, members of our laboratories utilize genetic data from numerous large databases as well as an extensive archive of biological specimens housed at our [Binghamton University’s] Biospecimen Archive Facility.

Molecular & Biomedical Anthropology is cross-disciplinary in nature 

Molecular & Biomedical Anthropology

Molecular Biology
Public Health
Infectious Diseases
History & Anthropology

Molecular & Biomedical Anthropology research intersects disciplines of anthropology, genetics, microbiology, medicine, and ecology. The research questions our FRI students investigate are in the context of understanding human populations' histories, as well as their evolution relative to infectious and non-infectious diseases.

Molecular & Biomedical Anthropology Research Educator

Image: Dr. Michel Shamoon-Pour in the lab
Dr. Michel Shamoon-Pour in the lab
Dr. Michel Shamoon-Pour is a molecular anthropologist specializing in population genetics and paleogenomics. Shamoon-Pour is the Research Educator for the Molecular and Biomedical Anthropology stream. His research primarily focuses on the genetics of understudied populations of the Middle East and Oceania. A microbiologist by training, Shamoon-Pour's research also focuses on the diagnostics of Lyme diseases as well as the genetics of Lyme disease bacteria and its tick vectors. A member of the FRI program since 2016, Shamoon-Pour prioritizes science education and undergraduate research mentorship. In training his students, Shamoon-Pour highlights the multidisciplinary nature of research in Biomedical Anthropology, the ethical challenges in genetic research, and the significance of socioeconomic factors as determinants of health.