Dr. Yasmin Hurd is Professor of Psychiatry, Neuroscience and Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics as well as the Ward-Coleman Chair in Translational Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine in New York. She is also Director of the Center for Addictive Disorders in the Mount Sinai Behavioral Health System. Yasmin studies the brain and addiction. She wants to know how drugs impact the brain, as well as how genetics and other characteristics shape disease vulnerability. Her work also has applications for developing new therapeutic treatments for substance abuse. Outside of work, Yasmin loves cooking, including the challenge of assembling meals from the random ingredients in her pantry and hosting elaborate dinners for her friends. She has also developed a passion for painting. She received her PhD in Medical Science from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and spent time as a Pharmacology Research Associate Fellow with the NIH and Staff Fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health. Afterward, Yasmin returned to the Karolinska Institute where she remained as a faculty member for 13 years before coming to Mount Sinai. She is also a member of the American Society for Neuroscience, New York Academy of Sciences, and the College on Problems of Drug Dependence. Yasmin shares more about her journey through life and science in this interview.

Direct download: 594_Yasmin_Hurd.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Dr. George Hajishengallis is a Professor in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. Through his research, George is trying to understand how the immune system interacts with oral bacteria. He is curious about why you see destruction of gums and the bone that supports the teeth in some people. They are also working on treatments to prevent gum disease called periodontists. Outside of his work life, George spends his time watching soccer, reading books, and hiking and swimming with his wife. He received his Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree from the University of Athens in Greece and his PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Following postdoctoral studies in Immunology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University at Buffalo, George served on the faculty at Louisiana State University Health Science Center and the University of Louisville before joining the Faculty at the University of Pennsylvania. George has been elected as a Fellow of the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science and was a recipient of the Distinguished Scientist Award in Oral Biology from the International Association of Dental Research (IADR) in 2012 and the AADR/IADR William J. Gies Award in the Biological Research Category in 2014. In this interview, George shares more about his life and science.

Direct download: 593_George_Hajishengallis_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Dr. John Whyte is the Founding Director and Institute Scientist Emeritus at the Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute (MRRI), as well as the Founding Director of the Responsiveness Program at the Drucker Brain Injury Center at MossRehab. The goal of John’s research is to help people perform the tasks and roles they are interested in doing, regardless of any diseases or disabilities. Much of his work has focused on people with traumatic brain injury (TBI), especially more severe traumatic brain injury. He is also dedicated to advancing the field of rehabilitation research through developing novel methods, new assessment tools, and a specification system to more systematically describe and deliver rehabilitation treatments. Beyond science and medicine, John enjoys cooking, music, and going for long walks in the city. In pre-pandemic days, he also enjoyed going to the theater, but he hasn’t been able to do this lately. John was awarded his MD and PhD in cognitive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. Afterwards, he completed a residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Minnesota followed by a fellowship in traumatic brain injury at Tufts University. Among his many awards and honors, John is a Fellow of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and recipient of their Gold Key lifetime achievement award. In addition, he has received the Distinguished Academician Award from the Association of Academic Physiatrists, the Moody Prize for contributions to brain injury research and practice, and he is an elected Member of the National Academy of Medicine. In our interview, John shares more about his life and work.

Direct download: 592_John_Whyte_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Dr. Amy Vollmer is Professor and Department Chair of Biology at Swarthmore College. Amy is interested in understanding how bacteria sense and respond to their environment. In addition to her research, she is passionate about teaching through her classroom lectures and public science literacy efforts. Family is really important for Amy, and she likes to spend her spare time on the phone with her sisters and two grown children. Amy and her husband own a small Italian deli and market, and you can often find her at the store when she's not in the lab. She received her Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry from Rice University and her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Afterward, Amy conducted postdoctoral research in Immunology at Stanford University and served on the faculty at Mills College before joining the faculty at Swarthmore where she is today, conducting research and teaching students. In this interview, Amy shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 591_Amy_Vollmer_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Dr. Luke O'Neill is Professor and Chair of Biochemistry in the School of Biochemistry and Immunology at Trinity College Dublin. He is also an author of three popular science books, including the recently released book Never Mind the B#ll*cks, Here's the Science: A Scientist's Guide to the Biggest Challenges Facing Our Species Today. In addition, Luke co-founded Inflazome, a company dedicated to developing therapeutics to address unmet needs in inflammatory diseases. Luke is an immunologist. He studies the immune system, focusing mainly on inflammatory diseases like Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease. His lab aims to understand the underlying mechanisms of these diseases and develop new medicines to treat them. Recently, Luke’s lab has also been studying COVID-19 and potential therapeutics. In his free time, Luke enjoys music. He sings and plays guitar in a band called The Metabollix, and they have played a wide variety of gigs over the years, including at scientific conferences. He was awarded his B.A. in Natural Sciences with an emphasis in Biochemistry from Trinity College Dublin and his PhD in Pharmacology from the University of London. Afterwards he accepted a Medical Research Council postdoctoral fellowship to conduct research at Strangeways Research Laboratory in Cambridge. Luke has received numerous awards and honors for his exceptional research, including the Royal Dublin Society & The Irish Times Robert Boyle Medal for scientific excellence, the Royal Irish Academy Gold Medal for Life Sciences, and the European Federation of Immunology Societies Medal. Luke is also an elected Member of the Royal Irish Academy, a Member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation, and a Fellow of the Royal Society. In our interview, Luke shares more about his life and research.

Direct download: 590_Luke_ONeill_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Dr. Cassandra Extavour is a Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard University. Scientifically, Cassandra spends her time examining the evolution of embryonic development. Her lab seeks to understand how genes direct cells during development to become different kinds of cells. They are also interested in the evolutionary origin of these genes. In addition to her passion for science, Cassandra is also passionate about music. She enjoys listening to music and is a professional singer as well. Other activities that occupy her free time are dancing, hosting parties, and cooking for her friends. She received her PhD from the Severo Ochoa Center for Molecular Biology at the Autonomous University of Madrid. Cassandra then conducted postdoctoral research at the Institute for Molecular Biology and Biotechnology in Crete, Greece as well as at the University of Cambridge. Afterward, she worked as a Research Associate in the Department of Zoology at Cambridge before joining the faculty at Harvard. In this interview, Cassandra shares more about her journey through life and science.

Direct download: PBTS_589_Cassandra_Extavour_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Dr. Aleix Martinez is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Director of the Computational Biology and Cognitive Science Laboratory at the Ohio State University. He is also affiliated with the Department of Biomedical Engineering and to the Center for Cognitive and Brain Sciences. The work in Aleix's lab focuses on cognitive science. They hold the view that the brain operates like a big (very complicated) computer. To understand the brain, they need to understand the algorithms that are encoded in that computer. His lab uses fMRI and computational methods to understand what areas of the brain are activated or work together to solve certain problems. Some of Aleix's favorite activities are hanging out with his family, reading, and running (he runs 50-60 miles per week!). Aleix received a Master's degree and PhD in Computer Engineering from the Autonomous University of Barcelona and a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Paris. Afterward, he conducted postdoctoral research at Purdue University, and also spent some time working as a Researcher at the Sony Computer Science Laboratory in Paris before joining the faculty at OSU. Aleix and his research have been widely featured in the media by sources like CNN, The Huffington Post, Time Magazine, CBS News, NPR, and The Guardian. During our interview, Aleix discussed his research, his career, and his life outside of science.

Direct download: 588_Aleix_Martinez_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Dr. Rebecca Richards-Kortum is the Malcolm Gillis University Professor of Bioengineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rice University. She is also Director of the award-winning Rice 360 Institute for Global Health and founder of Beyond Traditional Borders Program at Rice University. Rebecca and her colleagues are developing technologies to improve healthcare as well as improve access to healthcare. They are dedicated to making medical technology less expensive and finding ways to modify medical technology so it can be used in different environments and settings across the world. When she’s not working, Rebecca loves to spend time with her children. Rebecca also enjoys getting up early in the morning to go running, and she often participates in half marathon and marathon races. Rebecca received her B.S. in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln and went on to receive her M.S. in Physics and PhD in Medical Physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She served as a faculty member at the University of Texas at Austin, where she was the Cockrell Family Chair in Engineering, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and a Distinguished Teaching Professor. Rebecca has received many awards and honors during her career, including very recently being named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow. Some of her other recent awards include the Pierre Galletti Award (the highest honor from The American Institute for Medical and Biomedical Engineering), the Lemelson-MIT Award for Global Innovation, and the Michael S. Feld Biophotonics Award from the Optical Society of America. She is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Biomedical Engineering Society, the Optical Society of America, and the National Academy of Inventors. Rebecca is with us today to tell us all about her journey through life and science.

Direct download: 587_Rebecca_Richards_Kortum_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Dr. Carolyn Bertozzi is the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Chemical and Systems Biology and Radiology at Stanford University. She is also an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Carolyn’s research combines chemistry and biology. Her lab develops tools from chemistry that can be used to study biology with the goal of ultimately creating new molecules that can cure diseases and help us live better, healthier lives. She has three young boys, and she keeps busy when she’s outside of the lab taking them to swimming lessons, gymnastics, and out to the movies. Carolyn received her undergraduate training in Chemistry at Harvard University and was awarded her PhD in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. She went on to complete postdoctoral research at the University of California, San Francisco and then accepted a faculty position at UC, Berkeley. Carolyn just recently joined the faculty at Stanford in 2015. She is the recipient of the UCSF 150th Anniversary Alumni Excellence Award, the Hans Bloemendal Award from Radboud University, the Heinrich Wieland Prize, the Royal Society of Chemistry Organic Division Bioorganic Chemistry Award, the Lemelson-MIT Prize for Inventors, a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, and many other national and international awards and honors. In addition, Carolyn is an elected Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. In this interview, Carolyn shares her journey through life and science.

Direct download: 586_Carolyn_Bertozzi_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

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