Dr. Sharon Moalem is poised to become a leading voice in contemporary medicine. Moalem received his Ph.D. in the emerging fields of neurogenetics and evolutionary medicine from the University of Toronto. His research uncovered a new genetic association for familial Alzheimer disease. Moalem has published papers in a wide variety of fields and topics from what happens to honeybees when they get sick, to the evolutionary advantages of both hemochromatosis and diabetes. He was also an associate editor for the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Through a fresh and engaging examination of our evolutionary history, Survival of the Sickest: A Medical Maverick Discovers Why We Need Disease, Moalem’s first book, reveals how many of the conditions we think of as diseases or health problems – including diabetes, high cholesterol, and sickle cell anemia – actually gave our ancestors a leg up in the survival sweepstakes. They may have helped our ancestors survive catastrophic events such as famine, plague, or severe climate change – or they simply may have helped them to thrive in their local environment. Survival of the Sickest endlessly fascinates, surprises, and informs – it demonstrates just how little modern medicine really understands about human health, and offers a new way of thinking that can help all of us live longer, healthier lives.
For Survival of the Sickest, Moalem was interviewed on NBC’s Today Show, Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, and NPR’s Diane Rehm. In Survival of the Sickest he delves back into the evolution of man to reveal the heretofore unknown and astonishing ways the human body is built to survive. Drawing from the most cutting-edge scientific research, Moalem answers the riddles behind many diseases that seem to be inexplicably wired into our genetic code, starting with the biggest riddle of them all: If natural selection is supposed to get rid of harmful genetic traits, why are there so many hereditary diseases in the first place?
In his next book, How Sex Works: Why We Look, Taste, Feel, and Act the Way We Do (Harper), Moalem explores the ways in which the struggle to survive and create healthy offspring has determined -- and continues to influence -- our sexuality. Beginning with the sexual practices of various animals and plants, Moalem traces the evolution of sex across species and time periods to discuss its current role in human societies. From the finely tuned structure and function of human sex organs, to the developmental mysteries of having both male and female sexes, to the peculiar biology of sexual attraction, this book presents a series of strange and fascinating discoveries about the human mating game. Moalem's research also examines recent discoveries related to contraception, pregnancy, sexuality, and sterility.
While in college he was presented as a gift to His Majesty King Bhumibol Rama IXth of Thailand, for his 50th year of reign, to help improve the care of young children at an HIV-positive orphanage. This experience further spurred his interest in infectious disease and evolutionary biology.He continues his research while finishing his medical training at New York’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine.