Haagen Dietrich Klaus

Grant Type

Post PhD Research Grant

Institutional Affiliation

George Mason U.

Grant number

Gr. 10470

Approve Date

April 6, 2023

Project Title

Klaus, Haagen (George Mason U.) "The Bioarchaeology-Osteoimmunological Connection: Integrating Skeletal Inflammatory Phenotypes and Early Life Stress on the North Coast of Peru, 900-1750 C.E."

New understandings demonstrate that human skeletal biology, immune function, and chronic inflammatory disorders appear interlinked along a deep biological axis involving an intertwined, functionally unified ‘osteoimmune system.’ Many common diseases generate persistent and body-wide ‘hyper-inflammatory’ states affecting skeletons long after the actual disease is gone. Predispositions to such overreactions appears ‘preprogrammed’ by biological stress earlier in life involving. Evolutionary mechanisms shaped by ecology-immunological interplays promote early life survival ‘ but bear a cost involving later morbidity, abnormal inflammation, and mortality. Bioarchaeological studies of disease can leverage their ‘classical strengths’ while interacting with new theories and methods in biology and biomedicine. This proposal requests support for a study of 465 late pre-Hispanic and postcontact skeletal individuals. The work tests three hypotheses exploring links between osteological markers for chronic inflammation (periodontal disease and abnormal periosteal bone formation) and osteological markers reflecting childhood stress across two contrasting biocultural settings in Lambayeque, Peru, from 900-1750 CE. H ypotheses will be tested through detailed skeletal analyses and proteomic observation of inflammatory protein biomarkers. This project will establish foundations of an unexplored area of research and demonstrate the transformative potential of osteoimmunology for bioarchaeological theory, methods, and interpretations of skeletal diseases in the past and present.