Dr. Nicole Torosin, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Genetics here at Rutgers University, presented a lecture today, "Genetic Variation in Howler Monkey TLR7 and TLR8: Potential Implications for Susceptibility to Yellow Fever Virus." Dr. Torosin's research focused on determining the genetic profiles of two sympatric species of wild howler monkeys in Argentina, before and after an outbreak of yellow fever virus. For reasons that are not entirely known, these primates are significantly more vulnerable than other New World Monkeys to contracting this disease, which was introduced to South America about 400 years ago. Dr. Torosin's study provided some intriguing evidence of some genetic change in these populations, as well as some behavioral changes. Very few other studies of this kind have been done on wild nonhuman primates.
Nicole Torosin Lecture