Zebras Never Get Ulcers. Why Not? Annual Hunter Lecturer Will Answer

Zebras experience stress in extremely short and potentially deadly spans. It is exclusively reactionary such as to a predatory attack - minutes of terror after which the animal either is dead or once again contently roaming the grassland. Human beings, on the other hand, experience anticipatory stress response. Humans can get stressed simply with thought. And when that stress response is chronic, illness (as well as anxious and paranoid labeling) results.

This comparison premises Why Zebras Dont Get Ulcers: Stress, Disease and Coping - Stress and Where Stress-Related Diseases Come From, the title of Robert Sapolskys March 29 Hunter Lecture at 12:30 p.m. in CSUs Fine Arts Hall Auditorium.

The talk is derived a book that helped confirm Sapolsky as a popular and leading expert on the correlation between chronic stress, physical health and brain activity.

The Harvard-educated Sapolsky is a dynamic lecturer and accomplished writer and communicator of science to non-scientists. The New York Times has acclaimed him as one of the finest natural history writers around.

A MacArthur Genius Fellow, Sapolsky is a professor of biology and neurology at Stanford University where he directs a lab of about 20 investigators exploring causes for brain cell degradation - particularly, how stress and the related stress hormones affect a neurons ability to survive after trauma.

He and his colleagues were among the first to show that stress can damage cells in an area of the brain called the hippocampus, a structure essential for memory, said CSU Psychology Professor Mark Schmidt.

Sapolsky also has researched on the grasslands of Kenya, where he observed baboon behavior for more than 20 years. The work yielded another book A Primates Memoir in 2002.

Schmidt said Sapolskys visit will provide the community a unique opportunity to hear from a leading researcher in neuroscience and biological psychology. Our students will have a chance to interact with Dr. Sapolsky and discuss his research. This is a rare opportunity often available only to students at the larger research universities.

The Hunter Lecture Series, in its fifth year, is made possible by a gift from Madge Hunter in memory of her husband James W. Hunter.

For more information, call 568-2030 or visit www.colstate.edu/hunterlecture/.

Several campus events are planned to prime students and other audiences for the lecture.

The following pair of events are free and open to the public and designed to serve as primer for Sapolksys presentation.

Living with Stress: Health and Coping
Dr. Cheryl Yatsko (Student Counseling Center), and Dr. Mark Sexton (Student Health Center)
12:30-1:30 p.m. Thursday, March 17
Stanley 205

The Biology of Stress: Aging, Addiction, and Memory
Professors Glenn Stokes, Lou Anne Lucas, and Mark Schmidt
12:30-1:30 p.m. Monday, March 28
Columbus Room, Davidson Center

CSU Student Forum with Robert Sapolsky from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 29 in the Center for Commerce and Technology Room 237.