College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

About the KU Laboratory of Biological Anthropology

The Laboratory of Biological Anthropology was founded in 1975, after the Student Health Center vacated its space and was relocated to a new facility. Administratively, the LBA was established as a research center of the Graduate School and the Research Sector of the University of Kansas.

In 1985, the Midwest Twin Registry was organized and housed in the LBA. Periodic twin fairs were held at the University of Kansas and in various locations throughout the State of Kansas and Iowa. The Editorial Office of the international journal, Human Biology, was added to the LBA in 1988 and remained there until 2000, when Professor Crawford stepped down as editor-in-chief.

Since its inception in 1975, the LBA has supported graduate and undergraduate students in their theses and Ph.D. dissertation research. Many of the graduates from the LBA have gone on to distinguished careers in biological anthropology, human genetics, and genetic epidemiology.

These graduates are located at the following universities and institutions: Texas Biomedical Research InstituteUniversity of Utah (Departments of Anthropology and Pediatrics); Department of Epidemiology, University of North CarolinaUniversity of Cincinnati Medical CenterSouth Florida UniversitySmithsonian InstitutionUniversity of MiamiUniversity of ChicagoUniversity of Texas Medical Center-San AntonioUniversity of AlabamaMuseum of Natural History, NYIllinois State University; Idaho State University; Lander University; and  University of Houston.

Dr. Michael Crawford with current and former students of the LBA at the 2015 AAPA conference in St. Louis, MO.

During the last decade, the LBA has hosted scores of visiting international scientists. Post-doctoral fellows that have conducted research at the LBA came from: the Indian Statistical Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, University of Ohio, Western Washington University, University of Florida, National University of Argentina, Cordoba.

Support for the research programs come from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, National Geographic Society, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, General Research Funds from the University of Kansas, National Academy of Sciences, Chiang Chang Kao Foundation, and the Settlement Fund from the State of Kansas Attorney General's Office.