Episodes
Dr. Suzana Herculano-Houzel is a Professor of Psychology and Biological Sciences at Vanderbilt University. In the lab, she compares brains to find out what they are made of and what difference that makes for the organism in terms of its abilities. She is interested in finding out how many neurons and other cell types brains have, determining whether brain size matters, and examining how numbers of cells correspond to cognitive abilities. Suzana is not only a scientist, but also a musician....
Published 05/23/22
Dr. Stanley Maloy is Dean of the College of Sciences, Associate Director of the Center for Microbial Sciences, and Professor in Biology at San Diego State University. Stanley’s lab is working on a new approach for delivering vaccines that may be beneficial for the development of new types of vaccines. They are also collaborating with colleagues in the biotech industry to investigate new approaches for developing antibiotics. When he's not working, Stanley loves traveling, reading, cooking,...
Published 05/16/22
Dr. Tara Alvarez is Professor of Bio-Medical Engineering at New Jersey Institute of Technology and Chief Scientific Officer at OculoMotor Technologies. Tara’s research focuses on how we move our eyes, how visual information is brought in through our visual system, and how the brain changes. In particular, she studies a condition called convergence insufficiency. In this condition, people have difficulty and discomfort when reading or maintaining focus on near objects. She is working to better...
Published 05/09/22
Dr. Malia Gehan is an Assistant Member at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center. Her research examines how to improve crops in terms of their response to temperature stress and other abiotic stresses. She is does this through examining natural variation in plants. There are many plants that are highly resilient in different environmental conditions but are not edible. Malia is investigating how to take useful traits from these hardy, weedy plants and incorporate them into crops. Outside of...
Published 05/02/22
Dr. Aruni Bhatnagar is the Smith and Lucille Gibson Professor of Medicine, Director of the Christina Lee Brown Envirome Institute, Co-Director of the American Heart Association Tobacco Regulation and Addiction Center, and a Distinguished University Scholar at the University of Louisville. Much of Aruni’s work has focused on understanding how the heart and blood vessels work and how they become diseased. He developed a new field called environmental cardiology where he examines how exposure...
Published 04/25/22
Dr. Franck Polleux is a Professor of Neuroscience and member of the Zuckerman Mind, Brain, Behavior Institute at Columbia University. Franck’s research focuses on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie brain and neuronal development, how neural connectivity may be different in the human brain compared to other mammals, and signaling pathways affected in the early stages of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. Outside of his research, Franck is an...
Published 04/18/22
Dr. Pat Hutchings is a Senior Principal Research Scientist at the Australian Museum Research Institute. She is a marine biologist who studies sea worms called polychaetes. Pat describes new species and works to understand where they live, what they do, and how diverse they are. These worms play an important role in the food chain and she has been devoted to studying them her entire career. Outside of science, Pat tries to spend her free time outdoors with activities like sailing and...
Published 04/11/22
Dr. Nicholas Oberlies is the Patricia A. Sullivan Distinguished Professor of Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). Nick’s lab is working to discover compounds in fungi that may be able to be used for medicines, particularly new therapeutics to treat cancer in humans. Outside of research, Nick’s interests include exercising, playing soccer, and playing guitar. He also enjoys reading a wide variety of books. Nick was...
Published 04/04/22
Dr. Christine McCarthy is the Lamont Assistant Research Professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University. She studies the mechanical and geological features of ice and rocks. Even though on the surface rocks appear static, deep within the earth they undergo dynamic deformations, and she studies these processes, as well as how ice moves and flows. Outside of work, Christine enjoys visiting zoos, museums, and playgrounds with her family. Some of her other favorite...
Published 03/28/22
Dr. Nathan Smith will soon be starting his new roles as Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion in Research and Research Education as well as Associate Professor of Neuroscience in the School of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Rochester. Currently, Nathan is Director of Basic Neuroscience Research and a Principal Investigator in the Center for Neuroscience Research at Children's National Research Institute as well as an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Pharmacology &...
Published 03/21/22
Dr. Louis Schipper is a Professor in the School of Science at the University of Waikato. Research in Louis’s group focuses on how we can work with the land to achieve the food and other things we need while minimizing negative environmental impacts. To do this he looks at microorganisms in the soil and the cycling of nutrients in soil. Louis likes to spend his free time with his family. He and his wife are involved in Cub Scouts with their two kids, and they enjoy getting outdoors, hiking,...
Published 03/14/22
Dr. Verónica Di Stilio is a full Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Washington. As a plant evolutionary biologist, Verónica is interested in understanding how the diversity of plant life came to be. In particular, she studies the evolution of plant innovations, like fruits and flowers. She is working to identify how the gene networks for these innovations evolved as well as how specific innovations related to fruits and flowers have evolved. When she’s not at work,...
Published 03/07/22
Dr. Bonney is a Professor and Director of the Research Division in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the University of Vermont. She studies the immune systems of pregnant women. Dr. Bonney is trying to understand why the female body doesn't reject the growing baby, even though it carries unfamiliar proteins from the father. Elizabeth is an enthusiastic gardener in her spare time. She has been cultivating carrots, radishes, herbs, mint, and more in her...
Published 02/28/22
Dr. Angelique C. Johnson is Founder and CEO of the startup company MEMStim LLC which is dedicated to reducing the cost of cochlear implants to treat hearing loss. She is also an adjunct faculty member in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Louisville. Angelique develops microfabricated arrays of wires for use in cochlear implants that can restore hearing loss and speech recognition. When she has free time, she loves engaging in great conversations with friends, enjoying a...
Published 02/21/22
Dr. Cullen Buie is an Associate Professor and the Esther and Harold E. Egerton Career Development Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In Cullen’s lab, they are working on a variety of projects that involve putting new nucleic acids or DNA into cells. For the most part, they use bacteria or other microbial cells and insert DNA that allow the cells to produce different things. When he’s not working, Cullen likes spending time with...
Published 02/14/22
Since recording this episode, Dr. Karmella Haynes has joined the faculty in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech School of Engineering and Emory University School of Medicine. At the time of recording, Karmella was an Assistant Professor in the Ira A. Fulton School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering at Arizona State University. She was also a senior judge for the International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition. Karmella studies...
Published 02/07/22
Dr. Laurie Santos is a Professor of Psychology and Director of the Comparative Cognition Laboratory at Yale University. She studies the cognitive abilities, strategies, and decision-making processes we use to see if any non-human species share these, or whether they are uniquely human. In her free time, Lori enjoys nature through leisurely hikes. She is also fascinated by celebrity autobiographies and memoirs, and she likes singing karaoke. Laurie received her B.A. in Psychology and Biology...
Published 01/31/22
Dr. Lewis Cantley is the Director of the Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medical College as well as the Stanton Clinical Cancer Program at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. In addition, he is Co-Founder of Petra Pharma and Agios Pharmaceuticals. His research investigates signal transduction. He has spent most of his career trying to improve our understanding of cell signaling pathways at a molecular level since many diseases, such as cancer, involve defects in signaling. Outside science,...
Published 01/24/22
Dr. Jon Butterworth is a Professor of Physics at University College London. He works on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva. They are smashing particles together at extremely high energies and measuring what happens. Collecting data on these particle collisions provides information about the smallest and most basic components of our universe. Outside of science, Jon has two kids, and he spends most of his leisure time hanging out with them. He is also an avid writer and finds that...
Published 01/17/22
Dr. Maria Marco is an Associate Professor in The Department of Food Science & Technology at The University of California, Davis. Research in Maria’s lab focuses on understanding the good bacteria in the food that we eat. People tend to only think of the bacteria that can make us sick, but there are a lot of useful microbes in foods like yogurt and sauerkraut. Maria tries to identify the bacteria that are present in food and understand how they help change our food and contribute to our...
Published 01/10/22
Dr. Sandra Encalada is the Arlene and Arnold Goldstein Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular Medicine and a Dorris Neuroscience Center Investigator at Scripps Research Institute in California. Sandra is a cell biologist whose research focuses on how proteins and other materials travel from the cell bodies of nerve cells all the way to the tips of the nerve cells. This process (called “transport” or “trafficking”) is critical for proper function of nerve cells, and it is highly...
Published 01/03/22
Dr. Russell Foster is Professor of Circadian Neuroscience at Brasenose college at the University of Oxford. His work focuses on how body clocks, circadian rhythms, and sleep/wake cycles are are generated within the central nervous system, how they are regulated, and how these systems are regulated by light in health and disease. Russell spends his free time enjoying the company of his family and listening to music. He can also often be found swimming and kayaking at his cottage by the sea in...
Published 12/20/21
Dr. Spencer Barrett is the University Professor, Canada Research Chair, and Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto. He is an Evolutionary Biologist who specializes in ecological and evolutionary genetics, as well as plant reproductive biology. He also considers himself a plant explorer because he is able to go out to exotic places to find cool plants. When he's not out exploring, Spencer enjoys spending time in his garden with his wife.
Published 12/13/21
Dr. Jill Pruetz is a Professor of Anthropology at Iowa State University, a National Geographic Society Emerging Explorer, and founder of the non-profit organization NeighborApe. She studies chimpanzees as a model system to understand behaviors in species that are related to us that existed millions of years ago. Jill loves being outdoors, whether it’s spending time with chimpanzees in the field or hiking near home. She also enjoys traveling to tropical places, reading books, and spend time...
Published 12/06/21