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Neurobiologist Robert Sapolsky to Speak March 25 at UW-Eau Claire

RELEASED: March 9, 2009

Robert Sapolsky
Robert Sapolsky

EAU CLAIRE — Stanford University neurobiologist Robert M. Sapolsky will speak March 25 on The Forum at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. His presentation, "Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers," will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Zorn Arena.

Recipient of a MacArthur Foundation genius grant, Sapolsky is known for his work on the effects of stress on brain chemistry and human health. In his book, "Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers," he explains the human response to stress and its effects. The physiological responses experienced by humans and animals are identical, but because humans do not resolve conflict as animals do, through fight or flight, years of unresolved stress can make the human body ill. His lecture will include the human capacity for preventing problems associated with stress.

For 25 years, Sapolsky has combined his research in the field with highly technical neurological research in the laboratory. His experience as a naturalist in the field began when at 21 he joined a troop of baboons in Africa to study their responses to stress. Like humans, baboons live in large and complex social groups and have lots of free time. Through his research, he found that stressed baboons have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and hardened arteries.

In addition to being a professor of biology and neurology at Stanford University and a MacArthur Fellow, Sapolsky is a research associate with the Institute of Primate Research at the National Museum of Kenya. He has written fiction and nonfiction books and his articles appear in publications including The New Yorker and Discover. He was featured in an hourlong special on stress by National Geographic and PBS. He lectures widely on topics ranging from stress, baboons, the biology of our individuality, the biology of religious belief, the biology of memory, schizophrenia, depression, aggression and Alzheimer's disease.

The Forum program will be interpreted for the deaf and hard of hearing. Sapolsky's presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer session and an informal reception and book signing.

Tickets for The Forum are $8 for the public, $6 for those 62 and older and UW System or Chippewa Valley Technical College faculty and staff, and $4 for those 17 and younger and UW System or CVTC students. Student tickets are half-price ($2) until the day of the event. On the day of the event, students will be required to pay the full student ticket price.

Tickets are available at the Service Center in the east lobby of Davies Center and will be sold at the door. Patrons may charge tickets to MasterCard or Visa when they order by phone. Call 715-836-3727 or, outside the immediate Eau Claire area, call toll-free 800-949-UWEC. A $3 handling fee will be added to all telephone charge orders.

Wisconsin Public Radio and Community Television have contributed generous promotional support. Best Western Trail Lodge Hotel & Suites (715-838-9989) at 3340 Mondovi Road is the exclusive accommodations partner for The Forum.

In its 67th season, The Forum is funded by the students of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and administered by the Activities and Programs office of the University Centers.

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JS/NW

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