Gerszten Lab Research
Paleopathology - The study of diseases in antiquity
The investigation of human disease in antiquity has been an ongoing project in the Department of Pathology since 1969. The materials, derived from the autopsy of more than 3,000 Andean mummies covers the entire spectrum of human disease utilizing the latest medical laboratory techniques.
The MCV Paleopathology Laboratory is world-renowned as a center for the study of soft human tissue and provides consultation to specialists and students in many branches of medicine. Numerous contributions in the history of disease have been made to the fields of physical anthropology and forensic medicine. The department is a clearinghouse for paleopathology research through its sponsorship of the Paleopathology Club of the International Academy of Pathology, contributing many papers, books, and book chapters. Our department hosts international seminars in paleopathology, and our faculty members actively participate in academic seminars here and abroad. We develop computer-based educational materials, including several CDs. Our department has become an international leader in Paleopathology studies utilizing modern laboratory methodology for diagnosis and identification of early Americans' pathology.