Young Evolutionary Biology Lab

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Orthopaedic Trauma Institute
2550 23rd Street, Building 9, 3rd Floor
San Francisco, CA, 94110
Tel: (415) 206-8812


The Laboratory for Evolutionary Anatomy is directed by Nathan Young, PhD.

Dr. Young is an evolutionary biologist with a background in biological anthropology, anatomy and embryology, and developmental biology.

The Young Laboratory addresses biomedical basic research through the lens of evolution, utilizing functional compromise and historical constraint as fundamental explanatory principles. When combined with mechanistic insights from experimental systems, this approach yields significant insights into the generation of individual phenotypes, both normal and abnormal.
The lab research program combines classical embryology, modern experimental and genetic tools, and advanced methods for quantifying and comparing phenotypes at a range of scales. This approach has significance for understanding not only the processes that contribute to and constrain evolutionary diversity, but also the individual phenotypic differences found within species and among individuals, including dysmorphologies associated with human disease states. Research includes the study of normal mechanisms of development as well as the etiology of congenital developmental defects, and is strongly relevant to longstanding goals of providing personalized and predictive medicine.

Orthopaedic Trauma Institute (OTI)

The Orthopaedic Trauma Institute (OTI) is a collaboration between the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Zuckerberg San Francisco General (ZSFG). The OTI is the only trauma center in San Francisco specializing in the treatment and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries. Regardless of where you live or which health insurance policy you carry, if you suffer a life- or limb-threatening injury in San Francisco, the ambulance will bring you to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center. Once there, you’ll find our team of UCSF Orthopaedic Department surgeons, specially trained to mend complex fractures all over the body.

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