Edward Westen

Department Chair of Health & Physical Education

More about Edward Westen

B.A., University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (1997)
Ph.D. Indiana University School of Medicine (2002)
Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of California-San Diego School of Medicine (2003)

Current Research / Area of Interest

I am interested in various biological and cultural aspects of food and nutrition. From a biological standpoint, these include: how the human body processes calories, the extent to which it adjusts energy utilization to match consumption, how muscle mass affects resting metabolic rate, what metabolic and body compositional changes accompany weight loss, why some people are overweight despite their best efforts, how the microbiota of the human gut influences nutrition and metabolism, and how our evolutionary history has shaped us to deal (or not deal) with our current nutritional landscape. From a cultural perspective, my interests include: nutrition and food security in East Africa, nutrition and AIDS in East Africa, the interaction between socio-economic state and nutrition, the way in which different cuisines meet the nutritional needs of the human body, and the history of food migration between civilizations. I have several groups of students studying these issues and I will be discussing them in some depth on a blog that will be developed during my sabbatical in the Winter Term of 2011.

Advising Expertise


A Reexamination of the Mechanisms Underlying the Arteriovenous Chloride Shift. Edward Westen and Henry Prange. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology. 2003.

Physiological Consequences of Oxygen-dependent Chloride Binding to Hemoglobin. Prange HD, Shoemaker JL Jr., Westen EA, Horskotte DG, Pinshow B. Journal of Applied Physiology, July 2001.

Courses Taught
BI 133 How Animals Work
BI 311 Mammalian Anatomy and Physiology I
BI 311 Mammalian Anatomy and Physiology II
ID 340 History of Western Medicine
ID 359 Tanzania and the Global AIDS Crisis
BI 440 Teaching Practicum in Biology
BI 455 Methods of Biological Research
BI 456 Student Research

Other Activities with Students
Advisor for Students for Peace and Justice
Advisor for The Rock Climbing Club
Course Leader for MCAT Prep Class
Course Leader for GRE Prep Class