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The Snodgrass Human Biology Research Laboratory

The Snodgrass Human Biology Research Laboratory is directed by Dr. Josh Snodgrass and focuses on the development and application of minimally invasive techniques (e.g., dried blood spots [DBS], saliva, and urine) for assessing health and physiology in population-based research. The lab is managed by Dr. Geeta Eick.

Click below to jump to:
Location and Resources
Research Projects
Undergraduate Research Opportunities
Community Outreach
How to Donate to the Lab
Publications
Conference Presentations
Lab Members


dbs prep
Lab Manager Dr. Geeta Eick preparing dried blood spot (DBS) samples for analysis of C-reactive protein (CRP)

lab freezers and fridges
Lab freezers and fridges for storage of samples and assay materials

Location and Resources
The Snodgrass Lab is located on the 2nd floor of the Center for Medical Education and Research (CMER) building on the campus of  PeaceHealth University District/Sacred Heart Medical Center in Eugene, Oregon (1 block west of UO). The lab is an endocrinology and immunology lab that provides equipment that allows for the analysis of hormones and various health markers from human blood, saliva, and urine samples. The lab also provides facilities for data analysis. An additional lab space, shared with Drs. Kirstin Sterner and Nelson Ting and their students, is located on the 1st floor of CMER and provides facilities and computers for data analysis and freezers for long-term storage.

Contact Information:
Center for Medical Education and Research (2nd floor)
Sacred Heart Medical Center 
722 E. 11th Avenue
Eugene, OR  97401

Click here for directions to the lab.

Lab Phone: 541-346-0849

peace health university
                  district
The PeaceHealth/Sacred Heart Medical Center University District Hospital where the Snodgrass Lab
is located in the Center for Medical Education and Research (CMER)

cmer map
Map showing the location of the CMER Building and the Snodgrass Lab
(Click on the image for a high-resolution map)


The lab also houses portable metabolic equipment for studies of human biology, including a MedGraphics VO2000 unit, which allows the measurement of energy expenditure in lab or field conditions. Additional equipment is available for assessment of physical activity (e.g., Actical and Actigraph activity monitors and Polar heart rate monitors), body composition (e.g., bioelectrical impedance analysis instruments), body temperature (Vitalsense telemetric physiological monitoring systems), and cardiovascular/metabolic health (e.g., blood pressure monitors, Cardiochek PA, Cholestech LDX & GDX, and Hemocue instruments).

The Snodgrass Lab is located in the same lab cluster as other several other UO labs and shares resources with a number of human physiology labs, including Andrew Lovering's Cardiopulmonary and Respiratory Physiology Lab, Hans Dreyer's Muscle Physiology Lab; Kirstin Sterner and Nelson Ting's Molecular Anthropology Lab; and Pranjal Mehta's Social Psychoneuroendocrinology Lab.

molecular anthropology lab
UO Molecular Anthropology Laboratory

Research Projects
Our primary research in the lab involves the use of biomarkers, such as cortisol, amylase, and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) antibodies, to better understand how psychosocial stress contributes to the development and progression of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.
For more information on the types of biomarker analyses performed in the lab click here. This publication also contains information on the biomarkers that can be measured from DBS samples.

The Couples Project

Since 2007, the lab has been involved with a large-scale collaborative project (Couples) funded primarily by an NIH NICHD R01 grant. The project, which builds on a multi-decade longitudinal project conducted by the Oregon Social Learning Center (OSLC), uses multiple biomarkers to trace the pathways from conflictual and dysfunctional romantic relationships to chronic psychosocial stress to the development and progression of chronic disease. The lab is completing immunoassay analysis of >10,000 biomarker samples (including cortisol, amylase, CRP, and EBV antibodies) from two waves of data collection. A particularly important finding from the research focuses on the effects of intimate partner violence on the dysregulation of cortisol rhythms; this research was published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology (Kim et al., 2015).

Couples Project OSLC

Stress, discrimination, and health among Latin American immigrants in Oregon
The lab has been involved with a collaborative effort with scientists from the UO College of Education's
Center for Equity Promotion (Drs. Heather McClure and Charles Martinez) and community partner Farmworker Housing Development Corporation (FHDC) to study various dimensions of discrimination, chronic psychosocial stress, and health among Latino residents (including farmworkers) in Oregon (McClure et al. 2010 a&b, 2013, 2014 a&b; Squires et al. 2012). The project has been funded by UO, OSLC, and an NIH National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities R24 grant.

fhdc mural
Mural painted by residents at the Farmworker Housing Development Corporation
 
WHO's Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE)
The Snodgrass Lab plays a key role in the World Health Organization's Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE),
an ongoing NIH National Institute on Aging funded study that compiles comprehensive longitudinal information on the health and well-being of adult populations (n=~42,000) and the aging process in six countries (China, Ghana, India, Mexico, Russia, and South Africa). The lab supports SAGE’s goal of building lab capacity in the study nations by providing coordination and support for labs in the six SAGE countries. In addition, we are actively developing new DBS assays (e.g., apololipoprotein B [apoB] and cystatin C [CyC]) and optimizing others (interleukin-6 [IL-6] and telomere length [TL]) for application in SAGE. Click here for additional information on other work pursued by the Eugene office of the SAGE project.

sage
                        south africa lab training
  Dr. Josh Snodgrass conducting a lab training in South Africa as part of the WHO's SAGE project

video protocol
Lab Manager Dr. Geeta Eick demonstrates an assay step as part of the filming of a CRP video assay protocol,
which was developed for the WHO's SAGE project; graduate students Melissa Liebert and Elisabeth Goldman,
and undergraduate Tyler Fording, watch the process


The Shuar Health and Life History Project
The lab also supports research by the Shuar Health and Life History Project, a long-term study in Ecuador co-directed by Snodgrass and Dr. Larry Sugiyama that involves several UO graduate students (Melissa Liebert, Theresa Gildner, and Tara Cepon-Robins) and Harvard graduate student Sam Urlacher. That project involves studies of the effects of stress on health that include major lab components. Furthermore, the Snodgrass Lab allows the study of human life history trade-offs in growth and immune function using biomarkers such as C-reactive protein and immunoglobulins E and G.

Melissa Liebert saliva collection
Graduate student Melissa Liebert collecting a salivary cortisol sample from a Shuar girl

The Indigenous Siberian Health and Adaptation Project
The Indigenous Siberian Health and Adaptation Project is an international collaborative research project directed by Snodgrass and Dr. Bill Leonard that focuses on two primary issues related to metabolic adaptation and health change among indigenous Siberians: 1) adaptation to the circumpolar environment, with a focus on evaluating evidence for metabolic adaptation to cold stress; and 2) how social and economic changes among native Siberians influence contemporary population health with an emphasis on cardiovascular and metabolic disease. The project has collected biological samples since 2001 but all analyses since 2007 have been conducted in Russia in collaboration with the Yakutsk Medical Center (Yakutsk, Russia) and the State Scientific Center of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences (Novosibirsk, Russia).

siberia 2011 research team
Dr. Josh Snodgrass and the Indigenous Siberian Health and Adaptation Project research team in
Berdygestiakh, Sakha Republic/Yakutia (Russia) in January 2011


Non-Human Primate Endocrinology and Sociosexual Behavior

The lab supports several nascent research projects on non‐human primates, including a study led by Dr. Frances White and graduate student Klaree Boose that examines links between sociosexual behavior and urinary cortisol and oxytocin among captive bonobos from the Columbus Zoo.

bonobo

Undergraduate Research Opportunities
The Snodgrass Lab
creates research opportunities for undergraduates, including through the support of senior theses and other original research projects. This includes students from UO's Clark Honors College:
  • Kathryn Schweber (graduated 2013): "Health effects of social change among the indigenous Yakut (Sakha) of Siberia: The influence of chronic psychosocial stress on Epstein-Barr virus antibodies, C-reactive protein, and blood pressure"
  • Sierra Thompson (graduated 2013): "Diet, market integration, and chronic inflammation among an indigenous Amazonian Ecuadorian population"
  • Will Olson (graduated 2014): "The Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE): Depression and body composition among aging populations"

will olson at ser conference
                  2014
Undergraduate Will Olson presents his thesis research--part of the WHO's SAGE project--
at the annual meeting of the Society for Epidemiologic Research (Seattle, June 2014)

In addition, the lab supports a number of students who are not part of the Clark Honors College. In the past few years, these students have done original research that they have presented at national conferences. These include:
  • Heather Shattuck-Faegre (graduated 2010): "The Shuar Health and Life History Project: Immune pathways and Epstein-Barr virus" presented at the 2011 annual meeting of the Human Biology Association in Minneapolis, MN (with co-authors Julia Ridgeway-Diaz, Aaron Blackwell, Felicia Madimenos, Melissa Liebert, Erica Squires, Larry Sugiyama, and Josh Snodgrass). Heather is currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University.
  • Liz Streeter (graduated 2013): Liz worked in my lab for two years and presented the results of her research at two national conferences--the 2012 and 2013 annual meeting of the Human Biology Association (in Portland and Knoxville, respectively). The papers were: 1) "The Indigenous Siberian Health and Adaptation Project: Adiponectin, body composition, and cardiovascular health among the Yakut (Sakha) of Siberia" (2012, with coauthors Erica Squires, Bill Leonard, Larissa Tarskaia, Tatiana Klimova, Valentina Fedorova, Marina Baltakhinova, Vadim Krivoshapkin, and Josh Snodgrass) and 2) "The Indigenous Siberian Health and Adaptation Project: Tissue hypoxia, adiponectin dysregulation, and hemoglobin levels among the Yakut (Sakha) of Siberia" (2013, with coauthors Erica Squires, Bill Leonard, Larissa Tarskaia, Tatiana Klimova, Valentina Fedorova, Marina Baltakhinova, Vadim Krivoshapkin, and Josh Snodgrass).
  • Lauren Hawkins (graduated 2012): "The Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE): Socioeconomic status, urban-rural differences, and sleep in older adults from five middle income countries" presented at the 2013 annual meeting of the Human Biology Association in Knoxville, TN (with Josh Snodgrass, Theresa Gildner, Melissa Liebert, Paul Kowal, and Somnath Chatterji).
  • Vimal Balu (graduated 2014): "The Indigenous Siberian Health and Adaptation Project: Seasonal variation in autoimmune thyroid disorders among the Yakut (Sakha) of Siberia" presented at the 2013 annual meeting of the Human Biology Association in Knoxville, TN (with coauthors Tara Cepon, Stephanie Levy, Bill Leonard, Larissa Tarskaia, Tatiana Klimova, Valentina Fedorova, Marina Baltakhinova, Vadim Krivoshapkin, and Josh Snodgrass).
  • Tyler Barrett (current student): "Physical activity, functional abilities, and health: Results of a WHO SAGE sub-study among older adults in an urban setting in India" presented at the 2014 annual meeting of the Society for Epidemiologic Research in Seattle, WA (with coauthors Melissa Liebert, Tara Cepon-Robins, Arvind Mathur, Paul Kowal, and Josh Snodgrass).
heather s-f at the lab
Former undergraduate Heather Shattuck-Faegre running an assay
Community Outreach
The Snodgrass Lab has regularly supported several community outreach activities, including the annual Huerto de la Familia (The Family Garden) health fair, which serves low income Latino families in the Eugene/Springfield area. Snodgrass co-sponsors this event along with Head Start of Lane County, Volunteers in Medicine, and White Bird Clinic. In March 2014, the Snodgrass Lab worked closely with Anthropology undergraduate Blanche Blumenthal to develop and administer an intensive training program for volunteers and health care professionals. Together, we closely mentored 20 UO undergraduate students who participated in the event as part of the Holden Leadership Center team and as members of the UO Alternative Spring Break program.
 
huerto health fair
A University of Oregon undergraduate learns how to collect blood from a finger prick in preparation for
Huerto de la Familia's annual health fair (Photo by Nicolette Dent)


Donations to the Lab
The Snodgrass Lab welcomes gifts from donors to enhance its research activities and its training programs and research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. The lab is currently looking for donations for:
  • Equipment (including a Luminex instrument, a blood chemistry analyzer, and -80C freezers for biobanking)
  • Support for research experiences for undergraduates
  • Support for graduate research
  • Materials and supplies for community outreach activities
Please contact Anthropology Department Head Dr. Frances White by phone (541-346-5278) or by e-mail at fwhite@uoregon.edu to discuss contributing.

If you would like to donate by credit card, please click here to be taken directly to the University Foundation online donation form. Make sure to note that the donation is for the Snodgrass Human Biology Research Laboratory.

If you prefer to make a donation by check, mail your check directly to the UO Foundation using the following address. Your check should be made payable to the UO Foundation.

University of Oregon Foundation
1720 E. 13th Avenue, Suite 410
Eugene, OR 97403-2253
Make sure to reference the Anthropology Department and Snodgrass Human Biology Research Laboratory on the memo line.

Selected Lab Publications
Kim HK, Tiberio SS, Capaldi DM, Shortt JW., Squires EC, and Snodgrass JJ. Intimate partner violence and diurnal cortisol patterns in couples. Psychoneuroendocrinology.

McClure HH, Snodgrass JJ, Martinez CR, Squires EC, Jimenez RA, Isiordia LE, Eddy JM, and McDade TW. Stress, place, and allostatic load among Mexican immigrant farmworkers in Oregon. J Immigr Minor Health, in press.


McClure HH, Shortt JW, Eddy JM, Holmes A, van Uum S, Russell E, Koren G, Sheeber L, Davis B, Snodgrass JJ, and Martinez CR. Mother-child contact and maternal hair cortisol and adjustment during and following incarceration. Adv Child Family Policy, in press.

Levy SB, Leonard WR, Tarskaia LA, Klimova TM, Fedorova VI, Baltakhinova ME, Krivoshapkin VG, and Snodgrass JJ. 2013. Seasonal and socioeconomic influences on thyroid function among the Yakut (Sakha) of Eastern Siberia. Am J Hum Biol.

Liebert MA, Snodgrass JJ, Blackwell AD, Madimenos FC, Cepon TJ, and Sugiyama LS. 2013. Implications of market integration for cardiovascular and metabolic health among an indigenous Amazonian Ecuadorian population. Ann Hum Biol 40: 228-242.

McClure HH, Snodgrass JJ, Martinez CR, Eddy JM, McDade TW, Hyers MJ, and Johnstone-Diaz A. 2013. Integrating biomarkers into research with Latino immigrants in the United States. Adv Anthropol 3: 112-120.

McDade TW, Tallman PS, Madimenos FC, Liebert MA, Cepon TJ, Sugiyama L, and Snodgrass JJ. 2012. Analysis of variability of high sensitivity C-reactive protein in lowland Ecuador reveals no evidence of chronic low-grade inflammation. Am J Hum Biol 24: 675-681.
 
Squires EC, McClure HH, Martinez CR, Eddy JM, Jimenez RA, Isiordia LE, and Snodgrass JJ. 2012. Diurnal cortisol rhythms among Latino immigrants in Oregon, USA. J Physiol Anthropol 31: 19.

Cepon TJ, Snodgrass JJ, Leonard WR, Tarskaia LA, Klimova TM, and Krivoshapkin VG. 2011. The effects of circumpolar adaptation and lifestyle on the development of autoimmune thyroid disorders among the Yakut of Siberia. Am J Hum Biol 23: 703-709.

Blackwell AD, Gurven M, Sugiyama LS, Madimenos FC, Liebert MA, Martin MA, Kaplan HS, and Snodgrass JJ. 2011. Evidence for a peak shift in humoral responses to helminths: Age profiles of IgE in the Shuar of Ecuador, the Tsimane of Bolivia, and the U.S. NHANES. PLoS Neglect Trop Dis 5: e1218.

Blackwell AD, Snodgrass JJ, Madimenos FC, Sugiyama LS. 2010. Life history, immune function, and intestinal helminths: Trade-offs among immunoglobulin E, C-reactive protein, and growth in an Amazonian population. Am J Hum Biol 22: 836-848.

Snodgrass JJ, Leonard WR, Tarskaia LA, et al. 2010. Impaired fasting glucose and the metabolic syndrome among an indigenous Siberian population. Int J Circumpol Health 69: 87-98.

McClure HH, Martinez CR, Snodgrass JJ, Eddy JM, Jimenez R, Isiordia L, McDade TW. 2010. Discrimination-related stress, blood pressure, and immune function among Latin American immigrants in Oregon. J Biosoc Sci 42: 433-461.

McClure HH, Snodgrass JJ, Martinez CR, Eddy JM, Jimenez RA, Isiordia LE. 2010. Discrimination, psychosocial stress, and health among Latin American immigrants in Oregon. Am J Hum Biol 22: 421-423.

McDade TW, Williams SR, Snodgrass JJ. 2007. What a drop can do: Dried blood spots as a minimally-invasive method for integrating biomarkers in population-based research. Demography 44: 899-925.

Selected Lab Published Abstracts (for Conference Presentations)
Liebert et al. The Shuar Health and Life History Project: The role of market integration and life history trade-offs on diurnal cortisol among Indigenous Shuar children of Amazonian Ecuador (meeting abstract). Am J Hum Biol 26: 270-271.

Urlacher et al. 2014. Childhood immune function and growth: Insights from repeat measures among the Amazonian Shuar (meeting abstract). Am J Hum Biol 26: 283-284. (Note: Paper won E.E. Hunt Prize for best graduate student paper presented at the Human Biology Association meeting)

Cepon-Robins et al. 2014. The Shuar Health and Life History Project: Chronic and infectious disease burden among the Shuar – The complicated nature of epidemiological transitions (meeting abstract). Am J Hum Biol 26: 261-262.


Boose et al. 2014. Urinary oxytocin, sociosexual behavior, and grooming in bonobos (Pan paniscus): Preliminary analyses (meeting abstract). Am J Phys Anthropol (Suppl) 58: 243.

Liebert et al. 2013. The Shuar Health and Life History Project: The psychosocial stress response of children from varying degrees of market integration in an indigenous lowland Ecuadorian population (meeting abstract).  Am J Hum Biol 25: 264-265.

Schweber et al. 2013. The Indigenous Siberian Health and Adaptation Project: Chronic stress and its relation to lifestyle change, Epstein-Barr virus, blood pressure, and C-reactive protein among the Yakut (Sakha) of Siberia (meeting abstract). Am J Hum Biol 25: 273-274.

Streeter et al. 2013. The Indigenous Siberian Health and Adaptation Project: Tissue hypoxia, adiponectin dysregulation, and hemoglobin levels among the Yakut (Sakha) of Siberia (meeting abstract). Am J Hum Biol 25: 276-277.

Balu et al. 2013. The Indigenous Siberian Health and Adaptation Project: Seasonal variation in autoimmune thyroid disorders among the Yakut (Sakha) of Siberia (meeting abstract). Am J Hum Biol 25: 252.

Liebert et al. 2012. The Shuar Health and Life History Project: The relationship between market integration and diurnal salivary cortisol rhythms of children in an indigenous lowland Ecuadorian population (meeting abstract). Am J Hum Biol 24: 232.

Snodgrass et al. 2012. Acculturation, chronic psychosocial stress, and health among Latino mother-child pairs in Texas (meeting abstract). Am J Phys Anthropol (Suppl) 54: 274.

Ridgeway-Diaz et al. 2011. The Shuar Health and Life History Project: Epstein-Barr virus and market integration in the indigenous Shuar of Ecuadorian Amazonia (meeting abstract). Am J Hum Biol 23: 274.

Shattuck-Faegre et al. 2011. The Shuar Health and Life History Project: Immune pathways and Epstein-Barr virus (meeting abstract). Am J Hum Biol 23: 276.

Liebert et al. 2011. Immunoglobulin E, C-reactive protein, and cardiovascular and metabolic health among the indigenous Shuar of Ecuador (meeting abstract). Am J Hum Biol 23: 264.
(Note: Poster won E.E. Hunt Prize for best student paper presented at the Human Biology Association meeting)

Lab Members

Director:


josh snodgrass profile picture

Lab Director/Postdoc:

geeta eick photo
Dr. Geeta Eick (Lab Manager)

Members:

tyler barrett
Tyler Barrett (Undergraduate)

Klaree Boose
Klaree Boose (PhD student)

camera shy
Robyn Brigham (Undergraduate)
tara cepon pic

melissa liebert
Melissa Liebert (PhD candidate)

devan
Devan Pennington (Undergraduate)

callie porter
Callie Porter (Undergraduate)


josh schrock
Josh Schrock (PhD student)


erica squires
Erica Squires (PhD student)


camera shy
Austin Wong (Undergraduate)


Former Lab Members:
Vimal Balu (BS, Oregon, 2014)
Aaron Blackwell (PhD, Oregon, 2009; now an Assistant Professor at UC Santa Barbara)

Lauren Hawkins (BS, Oregon, 2012)
Chelsey Iida (BS, Oregon, 2011; now in a graduate program in Biology at Oregon)
Sasha Johnson-Freyd (South Eugene High School graduate 2011)
Felicia Madimenos (PhD, Oregon, 2011; now an Assistant Professor at CUNY--Queens College)
Will Olson (BS, Oregon 2014)
Julia Ridgeway-Diaz (MS, Oregon, 2011; now in medical school at UCSF)

Katie Schweber (BS, Oregon, 2013)
Heather Shattuck-Faegre (now in a PhD program at Harvard University)
Liz Streeter (BS, Oregon, 2013)
Sierra Thompson (BS, Oregon, 2013)


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