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Personal profile

Research Interests

Evolution of primate immunity, innate immunity, severe bacterial infections, sepsis, plague, Toxoplasma, host-pathogen interactions, immunogenomics, evolutionary medicine

Professional Information

My research addresses the physiological consequences of the human experience and evolutionary past, particularly those that affect innate immune system function.  Current projects focus on the functional divergence and diversification of primate immune systems, how past epidemics affect present day immune function diversity and how life experienceaffects the innate immune response.


2012, PhD, City University of New York Graduate Center, Anthropology

Honors & Awards

2013-2015 Quebec Network of Applied Genetic Medicine (RGMA) Fellow



ANTH 241 - Human Variation and Race
ANTH 499 - Topics in Anthropology (Evolution and Ecology of Immune Systems)/Evolutionary Immunology
ANTH 249 - Evolution and Human Disease
ANTH 499 - Topics in Anthropology (Anthropological Functional Genomics lab)
ANTH 499 - Topics in Anthropology (Anthropological Functional Genomics lab)
ANTH 499 - Topics in Anthropology (Anthropological Functional Genomics lab)

Office Address

109 Davenport Hall
607 S. Matthews Ave.
M/C 148
Urbana, IL 61801

Office Phone

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Research Output

Behavioral immune system activity predicts downregulation of chronic basal inflammation

Gassen, J., Prokosch, M. L., Makhanova, A., Eimerbrink, M. J., White, J. D., Proffitt Leyva, R. P., Peterman, J. L., Nicolas, S. C., Reynolds, T. A., Maner, J. K., McNulty, J. K., Eckel, L. A., Nikonova, L., Brinkworth, J. F., Phillips, M. D., Mitchell, J. B., Boehm, G. W. & Hill, S. E., Sep 2018, In : PloS one. 13, 9, e0203961.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Immune system promiscuity in human and nonhuman primate evolution

    Brinkworth, J. F. & Babbitt, C. C., Sep 1 2018, In : Human biology. 90, 4, p. 251-269 19 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Infectious disease and the diversification of the human genome

    Brinkworth, J. F., Dec 1 2017, In : Human biology. 89, 1, p. 47-65 19 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Social status alters immune regulation and response to infection in macaques

    Snyder-Mackler, N., Sanz, J., Kohn, J. N., Brinkworth, J. F., Morrow, S., Shaver, A. O., Grenier, J. C., Pique-Regi, R., Johnson, Z. P., Wilson, M. E., Barreiro, L. B. & Tung, J., Nov 25 2016, In : Science. 354, 6315, p. 1041-1045 5 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Widespread Shortening of 3’ Untranslated Regions and Increased Exon Inclusion Are Evolutionarily Conserved Features of Innate Immune Responses to Infection

    Pai, A. A., Baharian, G., Pagé Sabourin, A., Brinkworth, J. F., Nédélec, Y., Foley, J. W., Grenier, J. C., Siddle, K. J., Dumaine, A., Yotova, V., Johnson, Z. P., Lanford, R. E., Burge, C. B. & Barreiro, L. B., Sep 2016, In : PLoS genetics. 12, 9, e1006338.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle