• Nothing can prepare you...


    October 15-18, 2020

    Arizona State University

  • About ZAMM

    The Zombie Apocalypse Medicine Meeting (ZAMM) is a radically interdisciplinary meeting that bridges science and the arts to grapple with the most pressing challenges of the present and the future. We define a zombie as an entity that is fully or partially under the control of another entity. This includes host-parasite interactions, autonomous technology, and coercion/control in human interactions. These dynamics - where one entity controls another - can lead to unanticipated biological, technological and social consequences. ZAMM brings together scientists, artists, doctors, lawyers, ethicists and futurists to engage with the challenges of zombification and the apocalyptic conditions that may be generated by or contribute to zombification. We use the zombie apocalypse as a lens through which we can engage about potentially frightening aspects of our present and future without fear and anxiety, but instead with imagination and creativity. The goal of ZAMM is to reduce the global burden of zombification and contribute to apocalypse prevention and preparedness through interdisciplinary engagement.

  • Zombie Apocalypse Medicine

    ZAMM covers all topics related to survival during the zombie apocalypse

    Translational Zombie Theory

    The etiology and treatment of zombie-related diseases and disorders. Topics include rabies, toxoplasma gondii, resuscitation, trauma, microchimerism, parasite-associated mental illness, sickness behavior, sleep deprivation, predator/prey adaptations, mind control, manipulation, and eating behavior.

    Evidence Based Zombie Medicine

    Medical challenges during the zombie apocalypse. Topics include zombie survival toolkit, treatment of mammalian bites, wound care and repair, thermoregulation, solar injury, and empirically proven strategies for resisting mind-control.

  • Conferences

    The first Zombie Apocalypse Medicine Meeting was held October 18 - 21, 2018, Arizona State University

    The second Zombie Apocalypse Medicine Meeting will be held October 15 - 18, 2020, Arizona State University

  • News

    ZAMM 2018 in the news

    Max Brooks

    Author & Public Lecture Speaker at ZAMM 2018

    Athena Aktipis, Conference Chair

    Assistant Professor, Arizona State University

  • ZAMM 2018 Zombie Arts

    Zombie Arts: Making Monsters, toxoplasma gondii, a mock trial, and grrr...more

    Make me a Monster

    Featuring Mario Munguia Jr

    Graduate Student, Art, Herberger Institute, Arizona State University

    Friday, October 19 - Sunday, October 21

    Memorial Union, Apache Room, Arizona State University


    Workshops throughout the conference:

    From scary diseases like cancer and schizophrenia to perceived technological demons such as cell phones and the internet, to mythologies mined from our imagination like zombies, werewolves, and vampires, we are besieged with monsters. What (or who) do you consider a monster? Here’s your chance to make and take home your very own monster.


    Sign up sheet at the registration desk.

    Take a snapshot of your creation and post it on Instagram/ Twitter: #ZAMM18

    The Life Cycle of Toxoplasma Gondii

    by artist Rachel Mayeri

    Friday, October 19 - Sunday, October 21

    Memorial Union, Arizona State University


    A 29-screen video installation presents the life cycle of the toxoplasma gondii parasite, spread by oral-fecally by cats, causing a "fatal attraction" in mice and entrepreneurial behavior in humans. The artwork explores the proliferation of cat videos on the internet in tandem with the mind-controlling disease.

    Patient Zero

    by artist Jillian McDonald

    Friday, October 19 - Sunday, October 21

    Memorial Union, Arizona State University

    He stops in his tracks, forgetting his way to the office. In line for coffee, she stops and stares at the sun as the line moves on without her. A ringtone sounds and they twitch to the tune, talking to themselves and plants and digging in the dirt. Is something controlling their minds? Are they lost in the desert? Is this The Rapture? Or the beginning of the Zombie Apocalypse we've all been waiting for?

    Photo credit: Stephen Gittins

    Not Guilty Due to Zombification? Law & Forensic Psychiatry After the Apocalypse

    Friday, October 19, 10 am

    Memorial Union, Arizona State University

    Featuring forensic psychiatrists Praveen R. Kambam, M.D., Vasilis K. Pozios, M.D., and H. Eric Bender, M.D., this mock trial of a now “cured" zombie explores criminal responsibility in a post-apocalyptic society.


    Broadcast Thought is a group of three physicians, specializing in forensic, child and adolescent, and adult psychiatry, who provide expert consultation to the media and entertainment industries. As creative consultants, subject matter experts, and co-producers of mental health related content, Broadcast Thought adds new dimensions to portrayals of mental illness, evolves perceptions of mental health matters, and advances popular media in innovative directions.

  • About ZAMM

    Organizing Committee

    ZAMM is organized by an interdisciplinary team based primarily at ASU

    Athena Aktipis, Psychology, Conference Chair

    Joe Alcock, Emergency Medicine, Organizing Committee

    David Guston, Political Science, Organizing Committee

    Carlo Maley, Evolutionary Biology, Organizing Committee

    Pamela Winfrey, Sci-Arts, Organizing Committee


    Cristina Baciu, Support Staff, Conference Logistics Coordinator

  • Code of Conduct

    For Humans, Zombies and all other Monsters


    The Zombie Apocalypse Medicine Alliance (ZAMA) is committed to providing a positive and respectful environment for humans, zombies and all other monsters. This means creating and maintaining an environment at the Zombie Apocalypse Medicine Meeting (ZAMM) that is free of coercion, discrimination, cannibalism, harassment and any other non-consensual zombification dynamics. ZAMA’s mission includes reducing the global burden of zombification and that begins at our meetings. All participants are expected to be respectful to individual autonomy, engage in constructive professional discussion and help create an environment that is inclusive and equitable to all participants.

    Inclusion and diversity

    ZAMA is dedicated to supporting and cultivating diversity in all its forms: interdisciplinary diversity, microbial diversity and the many dimensions of human diversity. By participating in ZAMM you are agreeing to provide equal opportunity and treatment to all other participants regardless of gender, gender identity or expression, race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion or religious belief, political beliefs, age, marital status, sexual orientation, physical features, disabilities, veteran status, or any other reason. You are also agreeing to refrain from any and all forms of harassment, including unwelcome words, actions, gestures, symbols, attention, or behavior. You agree to refrain from using zombification tactics including aggressive pressure, offensive behavior, face eating, intimidation, physical or verbal abuse, persecution, force; coercion, or hostility of a sexual, social, or other nature. ZAMM is not the place for testing or utilizing your capacities to zombify other humans through your resources, power, physical formidability or irresistible charisma.

    What to do if you experience coercive zombification attempts

    If you experience or witness discrimination, harassment or coercive zombification attempts, should notify the ZAMM conference chair (Athena Aktipis, aktipis@asu.edu) or contact a ZAMM program committee member (anyone at http://www.zombiemed.org/#conference-program). Such communications, and the identities of the parties involved, will be kept in confidence to the extent that it does not compromise the rights of other individuals. After ZAMM staff have been notified, they will first discuss the details with the person making the complaint, then with any witnesses, and then with the alleged offender, before determining appropriate action. All reports will be treated and investigated seriously and promptly.


    Persons who act contrary to the values and expectations expressed in this policy statement may be warned, or asked to leave the event in which the behavior occurred; may be excluded from access to current and/or future ZAMM conferences and/or other events; and/or may be subject to other appropriate disciplinary or corrective action, at the discretion of ZAMM. In other words, don’t be an asshole or you will be asked to leave.

    Dress code

    Apocalypse Casual. Zombies welcome.

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Zombie Apocalypse Medicine FAQs

    Is this for real?

    Yes, this is for real. We are having an academic meeting about zombies and the apocalypse.

    What is a zombie?

    The Zombie Apocalypse Medicine Alliance defines a zombie as "An individual whose physiology and behavior are (fully or partially) under the control of a genetically distinct individual or population of individuals."

    What is the apocalypse?

    The Zombie Apocalypse Medicine Alliance focuses on understanding and treating diseases that arise from extreme physical, and social conditions. This includes the study of the genetic and evolutionary basis for our strengths and vulnerabilities in extreme environments

    How is Zombie Apocalypse Medicine different from regular medicine?

    Zombie Apocalypse Medicine (ZAM) is a theoretically grounded approach to understanding and treating disease in extreme conditions. These conditions include post-disaster environments, challenging ecological settings such as high altitude and extreme cold, social conditions conditions characterized by mind control and manipulation and scenarios characterized by highly contagious infectious disease. ZAM employs theoretical frameworks including genetic conflict theory, game theory, evolutionary theory, and adaptationism in order to understand how humans and other species have evolved to counter both the physical challenges of apocalyptic conditions and psychological challenges of zombie mind control.

    Is there a 'zombie gene'?

    No, zombies arise from complex interactions between the genetics of the susceptible individual (host) and the genetics of the individual (or population of individuals) that takes full or partial control of the susceptible individual. Research is currently underway to elucidate the co-evolutionary dynamics underlying zombie susceptibility genes in hosts and corresponding zombie promotion genes in parasites.

    What is zombie resistance evolution?

    Humans and most other species have been shaped by billions of years of zombie resistance evolution. Zombie resistance evolution is a co-evolutionary process wherein hosts evolve mechanisms of resistance to mind control/manipulation and parasites evolve increasingly sophisticated strategies in response. This evolutionary arms-race means that hosts must continue evolving in response to manipulation strategies. In other words, we are always on the run. ZAM utilizes computational modeling, genomics and evolutionary methods to quantify these dynamics and test alternative treatment strategies.

    Is being a zombie necessarily a bad thing?

    Zombies arise when one individual succumbs to control by a genetically distinct individual or population of individuals. If the fitness interests of the host and controller are sufficiently aligned (either because of genetic similarity or sources of fitness interdependence), the resulting zombie may actually become capable of achieving even higher levels of fitness than would be possible in the absence of infection. Theoretical models suggest that becoming a super-fit zombie may be an effective zombie resistance strategy. Research is underway to determine whether humans and other species have undergone positive selection to become super-fit zombies in order to counter the constantly evolving zombie threat.

  • Contact Us

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