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Institute of Advanced Study

Dr Fabio Zampieri

IAS Fellow at Trevelyan College, Durham University (October 2011)

Fabio Zampieri has a degree in Philosophy of Science from Padua University, and a PhD in the History of Medicine from Geneva University. He was a Research Associate at the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine in London between 2007 and 2008, and now works at the Padua University Medical School, where he is a Researcher in the Section of Medical Humanities, in which he is involved with the history and epistemology of medicine and bioethics.

As an historian and epistemologist, Dr Zampieri has published extensively on the history of Darwinism and on the history of medicine in 19th Century, in particular he has worked on the history of relationships between Evolutionary Biology and Medical Sciences. His PhD thesis was on the history and origin of Darwinian medicine, a subject on which he has also published in the prestigious American journal The Quarterly Review of Biology. Dr Zampieri is a member of several societies of the history of medicine and science, and is currently involved in the preparation of a Museum of the History of Medicine in Padua. He is also working on a research project on the mechanistic approach to medicine from 18th to 19th Century, in particular to pathological anatomy and pathophysiology.

Whilst at the IAS, Dr Zampieri will be involved in Durham's new Evolutionary Medicine programme, in which he will contribute to the contextualising of the contemporary Evolutionary Medicine approach, in particular to the period between 1880 and 1940. He will share his data about the history of evolutionary theories of disease from the first diffusion of Darwinism, and in particular about the problems of genetic pathological predisposition, of the genes-environment relationship, of the evolution of germs and virulence, and of the so-called diseases of civilisation.


Dr Fabio Zampieri Publications

IAS Insights Paper


Evolutionary medicine is a new discipline characterized by a holistic approach to health and disease based on the theories and concepts of evolutionary biology. Unlike many previous medical holisms, evolutionary medicine seems to integrate medical and biological specialities without pretending to be an alternative view to ‘orthodox science.’ The holism of this approach, in fact, is based on a unifying rational principle – natural selection – that can produce hypotheses and previsions which are experimentally testable. In this text, I investigate aspects of the human body and mind, as well as the principles and the methods through which evolutionary medicine found a holistic perspective of health and disease. The aim is to underline the epistemological structure of this approach, shaping a context for further discussions about its nature, legitimacy and applicability.

Insights Paper