Michael R. Zimmerman, MD, PhD is an anthropologist and retired pathologist. He obtained his medical degree and training in pathology from New York University as well as a degree in anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania. He has combined a full career in academic medicine with research in paleopathology, the study of diseases found through the examination of mummies and ancient skeletal human and prehuman remains. Recognized as one of the world’s experts in this field, he is currently Adjunct Professor of Biology at Villanova University, Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania and Visiting Professor in the UK at the University of Manchester’s KNH Centre for Biomedical Egyptology. He teaches courses in paleopathology, history of disease, medical anthropology and forensic anthropology. His studies have involved working with three archeologic expeditions in Egypt, where he examined mummies in the area of Luxor and the Dakhleh Oasis in the Western Desert. He has also examined a number of frozen mummies in Alaska as well as mummies from the Penn Museum and the Royal Ontario Museum. He has served as a consultant on the find of the Iceman, for the National Archives and Records Administration Special Access and Freedom of Information Act Unit, College Park, MD, President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Review Board, and the National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA, Office of Polar Programs. He has been invited to lectures at many museums, among them the British Museum, the Manchester Museum, Penn Museum, the University of Zurich’s Institute of Evolutionary Medicine and the Institute for Mummies and the Iceman. His recent publications include: “Cancer: A New Disease, an Old Disease, or Something in Between?” in Nature Reviews Cancer; “Studying Mummies: Giving Life to a Dry Subject,” in Palaeopathology in Egypt and Nubia: A Century in Review; and “PUM I Revisited: Tradeoffs in Preservation and Discovery,” in The Anatomical Record. My Patients Were Mummies follows the many adventures of a career that took him to exotic parts of the world and has contributed to our understanding of the role that the evolution of diseases has had in human biological and cultural history. (Imprint: Nova)
“Dr. Michael Zimmerman has written a fascinating account of his globe-trotting adventures in the field of paleopathology – the study of mummies and other ancient human remains and what they can teach us about modern-day human diseases. As he explains the process of unwrapping and analyzing mummies found everywhere from the deserts of Egypt to the frozen tundra of Alaska, this renowned pathologist and archaeologist proves himself a true Indiana Jones of the medical profession.” - Philip Shenon, former Washington correspondent for The New York Times for more than twenty years, bestselling author of The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation
Senior Research Fellow, Long Island University, NY, USA. To read the review, click here
International Journal of Paleopathology
- Reviewed by Ken Nystrom, Department of Anthropology, State University of New York, New Paltz, USA
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