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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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  • 2 Similar Profiles
Primates Medicine & Life Sciences
Immune System Medicine & Life Sciences
immune system Agriculture & Biology
Innate Immunity Medicine & Life Sciences
pathogens Agriculture & Biology
Immunity Medicine & Life Sciences
Host-Pathogen Interactions Medicine & Life Sciences
cytokines Agriculture & Biology

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Research Output 2008 2018

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
DNA Damage
immune system
Immune System

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

immune system
Immune System

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

infectious disease
immune system
Human Genome
infectious diseases
Communicable Diseases

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

Genetic Fitness
Gene Expression
Toll-Like Receptor 4

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

3' Untranslated Regions
3' untranslated regions
immune response
Innate Immunity