Jeffrey Epstein: Studying Evolution Helps with Understanding of Medicine

A new article notes the ways in which understanding evolution leads to a better understanding of medicine—a finding that has won the attention of prominent scientific philanthropist Jeffrey Epstein.

Nov 13, 2012, 06:00 ET from Jeffrey Epstein

NEW YORK, Nov. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Though evolution has been the subject of controversy for many decades, a recent article from The Philadelphia Inquirer notes that, for all of the cultural trappings that the topic of evolution entails, its impact on the world of science and medicine is undeniable. Specifically, the article notes that, while some Americans may remain skeptical about evolutionary links between humans and apes, this link is actually vital for understanding how diseases work. The article, and its implications, has won the attention of Jeffrey Epstein, a science philanthropist whose donations have supported important scientific research around the world.

According to the Inquirer article, viruses can effectively recognize the similarities that exist between the cells of people, and the cells of primates. The more closely two species are related, new research shows, the easier it is for a virus to be transmitted from one of those species to the other. The article notes that there are numerous examples of diseases jumping from primates to human beings, with different strands of HIV emerging as obvious examples.

The article affirms that many diseases that seem to come "out of nowhere" and effect human beings in fact have their origins in other species—and that when a new disease truly "goes viral," scientists are quick to conduct research among these "reservoir species."

The article has won the attention of Jeffrey Epstein, whose Jeffrey Epstein IV Foundation established The Program for Evolutionary Dynamics at Harvard University under the eminent theoretical biologist and mathematician, Martin Nowak. The Foundation has also supported scientific and evolutionary research around the world and numerous eminent scientists of all kinds including Stephen Hawking and Nobel laureates, Gerard 't Hooft, David Gross and Frank Wilczek. Epstein affirmed the Inquirer article. "Articles like this remind us is that studying evolution at the micro level is important, not just in a theoretical capacity but also in a practical sense," he said. "Evolution reveals how diseases spread between cells and provides clues as to how we can prevent them."

In addition to the work done by his Foundation, Jeffrey Epstein is also a former member of the NY Academy of Science, a former board member of Rockefeller University, and a current member of the Mind, Brain and Behavior Committee at Harvard University. He is also a current member of the prestigious Edge Organization, an exclusive think tank for scholars in the sciences. Jeffrey Epstein also continues to support numerous research facilities and medical organizations around the world.


Jeffrey Epstein is a money manager and philanthropist whose passion is for investing in scientific inquiry and education, throughout the world. Through the work of his Jeffrey Epstein IV foundation, he has made significant contributions to universities, hospitals, museums, laboratories, individual scientists and numerous charitable organizations. He is also the organizer of the Jeffrey Epstein Forum, an online avenue for the exchange and development of ideas related to science, technology, economics, and culture. In addition to founding the Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation, Jeffrey Epstein is a former member of Rockefeller University, the New York Academy of Science, the Trilateral Commission, and the Council on Foreign Relations, and  currently sits on the board of the Mind, Brain and Behavior Committee at Harvard University.

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