Dr. Tim Behrens is Senior Vice President of Human Genetics at the biotech company Maze Therapeutics and Adjunct Professor of Medicine in Rheumatology at the Medical College of Wisconsin. In his research, Tim is working to apply lessons and insights from human genetics to develop new drugs for different diseases. For example, Tim and the team at Maze Therapeutics are working on developing a drug that activates the immune system in new ways to fight cancer. Tim is an avid outdoors enthusiast, so he loves spending his free time canoeing, fishing, and going on wilderness trips. He also enjoys spending time playing the guitar, hanging out with his wife and two children, and playing fetch with the family dogs. Tim received his B.S. in biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his M.D. from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Rheumatology/Immunology at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Afterwards, Tim worked as an emergency room physician at Brookfield Memorial Hospital in Wisconsin for about a year before accepting a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health. Tim joined the faculty at the University of Minnesota Medical School in 1992, and he worked there until 2006 when he accepted the position of Senior Director and Head of the Department of Human Genetics at Genentech, Inc. After over a decade at Genentech, Tim became an independent consultant and later accepted his current position at Maze Therapeutics.Tim has received numerous awards and honors over the course of his career, including recognition for one of the Top 10 Advances in Rheumatology in 2003 and 2004 by the Arthritis Foundation, being named the John F. Finn Arthritis Foundation Land Grant Endowed Chair at the University of Minnesota Medical School, as well as receipt of the Edmund L. Dubois Memorial Award for Research in Lupus from the American College of Rheumatology, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Scholar Award, the Feltl Family Award for Research in Rheumatic Disease, and other honors. In our interview, Tim shares more about his life and science.

Direct download: 551_Tim_Behrens_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Paul Changelian is Vice President of Biology at Aclaris Therapeutics and Director of Biology at Confluence Life Sciences. He is working to discover new drugs to treat autoimmune disease and inflammation in conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, and multiple sclerosis. In these conditions, the immune system inadvertently attacks cells in your body. He and his team are working to identify and test small molecule drugs that patients could take by pill that would inhibit this abnormal activation of the immune system to slow down damage to joints or other areas that may be under attack. They have also recently begun working on potential cancer treatments that can impact inflammation around tumors to improve the body’s ability to clear tumors. Some of Paul’s passions outside of science include exercising, walking around in nature, and music. He listens to hard rock and jazz music, and he enjoys playing jazz music on the trumpet. Paul received his B.S. in chemistry from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and his Ph.D. in immunology from Harvard University in Cambridge. Afterwards, he conducted postdoctoral research in neurobiology at Washington University in St. Louis. Paul then worked in various roles at Pfizer for about 18 years. He served briefly on the faculty at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor before becoming Director of Biology at Lycera Corporation. From 2012 - 2014, Paul served as Senior Director of Pharmacology at Infinity Pharmaceuticals before accepting his current positions.

Direct download: 550_Paul_Changelian_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Verónica Pérez Rodríguez is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY). Verónica is an archaeologist and anthropologist who is interested in studying people and life in cities over time. Through her work, she examines how people lived many years ago, what brought them to cities, what made them stay, what were the tradeoffs, and what were the environmental impacts. Her work focuses on the highlands of the Mixteca Alta in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. This region was a cradle of urbanism, innovation, and complex societies as early as 300 BC. When she’s not working, Verónica loves relaxing at home, watching movies, and hiking with her children and her husband. She also loves running outdoors, knitting, and reading fiction books in her free time. She earned a B.A. in Anthropology as well as a B.A. in Linguistics from the University of Texas at El Paso. Verónica then attended graduate school at the University of Georgia where she was awarded her Ph.D. in Ecological and Environmental Anthropology. She served on the faculty at Northern Arizona University before joining the faculty at the University at Albany, SUNY in 2013. In our interview, Verónica shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 549_Veronica_Perez_Rodriguez_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. R. Douglas Fields is Chief of the Nervous System Development and Plasticity Section at the National Institutes of Health and Adjunct Professor in the Neuroscience and Cognitive Science Program at the University of Maryland, College Park. In addition, Doug is the author of numerous books and magazine articles about the brain, including the recently released book Electric Brain: How the New Science of Brainwaves Reads Minds, Tells Us How We Learn, and Helps Us Change for the Better. Doug studies how the brain develops and the mechanisms involved in changes to the brain’s structure and function (plasticity). He is particularly interested in how experience regulates development and plasticity in the brain as well as the mechanisms at a cellular level that are involved in learning. When he’s not doing research or writing about science, Doug enjoys rock climbing, mountain climbing, building acoustic guitars, and making his own beer and wine. He received his B.A. in biology from the University of California, Berkeley, his M.A. degree in marine biology from San Jose State University, and his Ph.D. degree in marine biology from the University of California, San Diego, working jointly in the Medical School and Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Afterwards, Doug conducted postdoctoral research at Stanford University, Yale University, and the NIH before starting his research laboratory at the NIH in 1994. Doug is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and he is the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of the scientific journal Neuron Glia Biology. In our interview, Doug tells us more about his life and science.

Direct download: 548_Douglas_Fields_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT






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