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Jay Kaplan

KaplanJayJay Kaplan has primary appointments as Professor of Pathology (Comparative Medicine) and Translational Medicine. He also serves as Director of the Wake Forest University Primate Center and the Head of the Section on Comparative Medicine. He received his BA from Swarthmore College and then earned an MA and PhD in Biological Anthropology from Northwestern University. Dr. Kaplan’s career-long research interest has been in evaluating behavioral and hormonal effects on disease vulnerability, particularly in relation to cardiovascular disease. He began his studies with male monkeys, demonstrating that behaviorally-induced arousal of the sympathetic nervous system could exacerbate atherosclerosis; he evaluated the underlying mechanisms with several studies involving beta-adrenergic blocking agents. He also has maintained a career-long interest in women’s health, especially as influenced by psychosocial factors. At present he explores the relationship between behaviorally-induced impaired premenopausal ovarian function and the increased trajectory of risk for the chronic and degenerative diseases that comprise the majority of the postmenopausal health burden.

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