Dr. Ralph Dewey is the Philip Morris Professor of Crop and Soil Sciences and Adjunct Professor of Plant and Microbial Biology at North Carolina State University (NCSU). Ralph uses the tools of molecular biology to identify and characterize genes of agronomic importance in crop species. When possible, he and his team alter those genes in ways that add value to the crop above and beyond what can be attained with traditional breeding approaches. Ralph and his team have done important work on the genetics of tobacco plants to decrease the hazards of smoking for people who still smoke. When Ralph has free time, he enjoys hanging out with his wife at their nearby beach condo and also watching college sports (particularly football and basketball). In addition, Ralph is working on writing his first novel. He was awarded his B.S. degree in biology from Utah State University, followed by his M.S. and Ph.D. in Crop Science from North Carolina State University. Afterwards, Ralph received an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Plant Biology to conduct postdoctoral research at the Waksman Institute at Rutgers University. Ralph joined the faculty at NCSU in 1991. He has been issued 34 U.S. Patents for his discoveries in plant biotechnology, with several more pending, and he was awarded NCSU's Philip Morris endowed Professorship in 2009 for his research on harm reduction in tobacco. In this interview, Ralph shares more about his life and science.

Direct download: 732_Ralph_Dewey_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. C. Denise Okafor is an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and of Chemistry at Pennsylvania State University. Many of the medications we take work by binding to a particular target and either turning off whatever is causing a problem or turning something on that is not working correctly. Denise’s research examines how small molecules like drugs find and interact with the targets they are supposed to interact with. She is particularly interested in proteins that can be turned on or off by the small molecules/drugs that they bind with. While science is a large part of Denise’s life, she also enjoys reading and writing fiction. Lately, she has been spending much of her free time with her kids, learning dances from Youtube videos and hanging out together. She received her B.S. in biomedical chemistry from Oral Roberts University and was awarded her M.S. in chemistry and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Georgia Institute of Technology. Afterwards, Denise was selected to complete an Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award from the NIH to conduct postdoctoral research at Emory University and teach at Morehouse and Spelman colleges in Atlanta. Denise has received a variety of awards and honors for her work, including a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award at the Scientific Interface, an NSF CAREER Award for early investigators, and the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award. In addition, she has been named a Keystone Symposia Fellow and a Kavli Foundation Fellow. In our interview, Denise talks more about her life and science.

Direct download: 731_Denise_Okafor_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Laura Kiessling is the Novartis Professor of Chemistry at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Member of the Broad Institute. Laura’s research focuses on carbohydrates, particularly all of the different carbohydrates found on the surfaces of cells. We still know relatively little about the functions of these carbohydrates, and Laura is eager to learn more. When she’s not doing science, Laura likes being active through rowing, kayaking, cycling, lifting weights, or doing yoga. She also likes to spend her free time cooking, hiking, camping, and enjoying art. She received her BS degree in chemistry from MIT and her Ph.D. degree in organic chemistry from Yale University. After two years at the California Institute of Technology as an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow, she joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1991. She returned to MIT in 2017. Laura has received numerous awards over the course of her career, including the Ronald Breslow Award in Biomimetic Chemistry, the Centenary Prize from the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Tetrahedron Prize for creativity in Organic Chemistry or Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, the Gibbs Medal, from the Chicago Chapter of the American Chemical Society, the Vilas Distinguished Faculty Award from UW-Madison, and others. Laura is an elected Member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Microbiology, and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and American Philosophical Society, as well as an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, an American Cancer Society Fellowship, a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, and an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship. She is also the founding Editor-In-Chief of the journal ACS Chemical Biology. In this interview, Laura shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 730_Laura_Kiessling_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:02am EDT

Dr. Nicole Calakos is the Lincoln Financial Group Distinguished Professor of Neurobiology and Chief of the Movement Disorders section in Neurology at Duke University Medical Center. Research in Nicole’s lab examines how the brain learns and adapts to experiences. She studies synaptic plasticity, from the levels of molecules, cells, cell circuits, and behaviors, to understand what goes wrong in disease and how we can harness brain processes to address disease. When she’s not working, Nicole enjoys being outdoors, playing sports, running, going mountain biking, and participating in mountain bike races. Her favorite indoor activities include creative cooking and spending time with family and friends. Nicole was awarded her MD and PhD degrees from Stanford University. Afterwards, she completed an internship in Medicine and Residency in Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. She conducted postdoctoral research at Stanford University before joining the faculty at Duke University in 2005. Nicole has received numerous awards and honors in her career, including the 2023 Korsmeyer award from the American Society of Clinical Investigation and being named an elected Member of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Investigators. In our interview, Nicole shares more about her life and science.

Direct download: 729_Nicole_Calakos_Final_V2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Dr. Alex Spyropoulos (“Dr. Spy”) is a Professor of Medicine at the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine as well as System Director of Anticoagulation and Clinical Thrombosis Services for the multi-hospital Northwell Health System. In addition, Dr. Spy is a Professor of the Merinoff Center for Patient-Oriented Research as part of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. As a thrombologist, Dr. Spy studies blood clots. Many people worldwide are either at risk for blood clots or have existing clots. He focuses on venous thromboembolism primarily in the lungs and legs. These blood clots could cause morbidity or mortality, and many people are not familiar with the risks, common symptoms, or the situations in which clots may occur. Outside of work, Dr. Spy loves spending time with his wife and his young kids. Lately, they’ve been enjoying apple picking, hay rides, pumpkin carving, and apple carving. His other hobbies include sailing, snowboarding and mountain biking. He received his MD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and he completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center. Dr. Spy is a recipient of the Lovelace Clinic Foundation Excellence in Education Award, as well as a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, the American College of Chest Physicians, the International Academy of Clinical and Applied Thrombosis/Haemostasis, and the Royal College of Physicians in Canada. In this interview, he speaks with us about his life and science.

Direct download: 728_Alex_Spyropoulos_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT






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