William Parker, PhD, has studied biochemistry and immunology at Duke University since 1993. Best known for the discovery of the function of the human vermiform appendix (a safe-house for bacteria), he has spent the last 15 years looking at fundamental cultural causes of inflammation in Western societies. His work on biota alteration, a concept that evolved from the hygiene hypothesis, has led to the discovery that intestinal worms, called helminths, are very supportive of healthy neuropsychiatric function in adults and children. Work includes collaborative studies with Staci Bilbo, using laboratory animal models, and socio-medical studies with Janet Wilson, evaluating the practices and outcomes of people self-treating with helminths. William has published more than 120 peer-reviewed papers, including a number of widely acclaimed studies comparing the immune function of wild rats with that of their cleaner and more “Westernized” cousins—laboratory rats.