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Ep. 42: Neuronal Apoptosis- The Cautious and the Willing with Dr. Mohanish Deshmukh and Connor Wander

This episode is all about neuronal apoptosis. In Dr. Mohanish Deshmukh's eyes, some cells are willing to undergo apoptosis, while others are very cautious. Understanding these differences could be the key to understanding, treating, or curing diseases that haunt us in modern times. Research in Dr. Deshmukh’s lab at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, focuses on pathways for neuronal apoptosis and the ways that survival and death work in different cells. Apoptosis is programmed...


Ep. 41: Alzheimer’s Disease Research roundtable with Drs. Cynthia Lemere, Charles Glabe, and Lea T. Grinberg

This week’s episode marks the 2nd of a series focused on Alzheimer’s disease (AD) research. All episodes were recorded in San Diego, CA, where Connor Wander attended the BrightFocus Alzheimer’s Disease Fast Track conference, followed by the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting. The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) is a well-known conference, which drawing 28 thousand people annually. In contrast, AD Fast Track is a much smaller conference put on by BrightFocus, a foundation built to...


Ep. 40: Roundtable on the Importance of Science Communication with Dan and Gabe from TheSciCommunity

To honor our recent collaboration with TheSciCommunity, we sat down with the founders Dan and Gabe and discussed the importance of science communication. Dan and Gabe share their values and mission to spread science in a transparent and direct way. Also in this episode, we discuss our pathways into science, how to improve the dialogue between scientists and the public, and fake news. We also talk about the Skype A Scientist program that connects scientists with classrooms around the world....


Ep. 39: Alzheimer’s Disease Research Part I with Drs. Diane Bovenkamp, Frank LaFerla, and Bruce Lamb

This week’s episode marks the 1st of a series focused on Alzheimer’s disease (AD) research. All episodes were recorded in San Diego, CA, where Connor Wander attended the BrightFocus Alzheimer’s Disease Fast Track conference, followed by the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting. The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) is a well-known conference, which drawing 28 thousand people annually. In contrast, AD Fast Track is a much smaller conference put on by BrightFocus, a foundation built to...


Ep. 38: Wood Thrushes and Canadian Wildlife Ecology with Alex Israel

For Part Two in our wildlife ecology series, we talked with Alexandra Israel, a Master's student at York University. As a field biologist, Alex works long days in Canada researching species like the Wood Thrush and the worrying decline of songbird populations. So listen in to hear about her experience with field work, as well as issues such as nest predation and bird parasites that hurt songbird populations. Learn about small things people can do to help songbird populations, including...


Ep. 37: Conservation and Rainforest Ecology with Stephanie Martin

This week we kick off part one of a two part series on conservation and ecology. We talked to Stephanie Martin, a Tropical Rainforest Ecologist. So listen in to hear about Stephanie's field research in rainforests around the world, as well as what individuals can do to aid in conservation efforts. Stephanie works to help preserve endemic species, plants and animals that exist only in one geographic region. Also, we talk about the ethics of ethnobotany and a recent World Wildlife Fund study...


Ep. 36: Behavioral Nutrition and Weight Management with Rachel Paul

For this episode, we talked to Dr. Rachel Paul, also known as The College Nutritionist, about her work in behavioral nutrition. Listen in to hear about practical strategies Rachel uses with her clients to manage weight effectively. Rachel dispels some myths and misconceptions about healthy eating and weight management. We also talk about different types of diets and whether or not current scientific research recommends them. For example, we cover ketogenic diets, fasting, and the potential...


Ep. 35: Meta Roundtable with Learning With Lowell and Connor Wander

Another special episode for the SFS podcast this week: a collaborative show between Lowell Thompson, the host of the Learning with Lowell Podcast, and Connor from Straight from a Scientist. Listen in to hear a relaxed discussion about the motivations behind and the ups and downs of podcasting. We also talk about our backgrounds, personal histories and interests, and cool things planned for both the Learning with Lowell and Straight from a Scientist Podcasts! About Lowell After being...


Ep. 34: Lab to Life 1 with Dr. Lisa Crose from Camargo Pharmaceutical Services

This episode is part of a new series put on by UNC Pharmacology. Lab to Life exposes students, staff, and faculty to the journey of alumni as they navigate their career post-PhD. It’s inspirational, informative, and a great guide for anyone looking for alternate careers in science. Special thanks to Nicole Arnold at UNC Pharmacology for letting us record, and of course to Lisa for coming to talk to us! About Lisa Lisa is a Scientific and Regulatory Specialist at Camargo Pharmaceutical...


Ep. 33: Brain Imaging of Chronic Pain with Anton Rogachov and Connor Wander

This week we talked with Anton Rogachov, a 5th year PhD student in Dr. Karen Davis’s Lab at the University of Toronto. The Davis Lab focuses on using brain imaging like resting-state fMRI to understand functional abnormalities in the brains of chronic pain patients. The majority of Dr. Davis’s work looks at the functional communication between different brain regions and networks in order to understand how these communications break down in chronic pain. In comparison, Anton's research looks...


Ep. 32: Search and Destroy in HIV Therapy Part II - with Aaron Devanathan and Connor Wander

In our second interview with Aaron Devanathan, a PhD student in the Kashuba Lab at UNC Pharmacy, we dive deeper into the strategies researchers use on the cutting edge of HIV research, including the technical challenges, tools, and model systems that make the science possible. We cover past, present, and future HIV therapies and also explore the innate immune system in aging and within the context of AIDS. Next, Aaron discusses his recent experience in his clinical rotation at UNC hospitals,...


Ep. 31: The Microbiota-Gut-Brain Axis: From eubiosis to dysbiosis and back: useful biomarkers for clinical treatment with Miguel Mateas

Today, back by popular demand is Miguel Mateas, a Clinical Nutritional Neuroscientist who studies how the microbiota affects the brain. Diversity and abundance in gut microbiota leads to a healthy and balanced system, called eubiosis. But when that balance is lost, the gut’s ability to absorb nutrients suffers, which is called dysbiosis. We discuss his new review article, which covers markers of gut health which can be used to develop personalized treatment for microbiome and neurological...


Ep. 30: Breaking the Vicious Cycle of Pain and Addiction with Waylin Yu

Connor Wander talked to Waylin Yu about his research in the overlap of pain, negative emotion, and addiction. Waylin studies the fundamental roles of neurons in different areas of the brain, such as the amygdala, that may be responsible for these reactions, both independently and in relation to each other. This includes chronic pain, anxiety, and alcohol and drug dependence, looking at activity in dopamine pathways, which play a role in reward-motivated behavior, and GABA, an important...


Ep. 29: Fasting, Keto, and Injuries with Exercise Physiologist Alyssa Olenick

We talked to Alyssa Olenick, also known as Little Lyss Fitness for her online fitness presence and training programs, about her research in metabolic flexibility and nutrition strategies. Listen in to hear about proper health, fitness, and the science behind popular diet plans such as the Ketogenic diet, a high-fat, low-carb diet sometimes used to treat severe epilepsy in children, and Intermittent Fasting, which uses periods of fasting and non-fasting to control caloric intake. About...


Ep. 28: Cognitive Rehab using Virtual Reality with Faviola Dadis

We spoke with Faviola Dadis, the CEO of NeuroReality who is using the company to fund her PhD research. NeuroReality specializes in the development of medical software using VR in order to create an immersive and fun gamified neurorehabilitation program for individuals who experience cognitive deficits following a stroke (and eventually for other clinical populations). Using virtual reality and gamification, Faviola’s main objective is to help train cognitive tasks such as memory, attention,...


Ep. 27: Free and Open Science: Reworking peer review and null results with Sander van Bree

Science isn't perfect and one of it's biggest problems revolves around the publishing process, by which scientists share their findings with the public after peer review. However, this sharing can be quite limited in both what is shared and who gets to see it. Open access science, shared publicly, can enhance the discovery process, but implementing open access can be difficult. We talk about new systems that could accommodate open access publishing, revamped peer review, and even the...


Ep. 26: Traumatic brain injury and CTE Roundtable with Connor and Julian

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that is associated with traumatic brain injury (TBI). CTE is mainly seen in athletes who participate in contact sports such as football, but it also spans to military personnel. In this roundtable episode, we discuss where the latest research stands on this topic as well as explore the clinical and pathological manifestation of the disease. More Information Check out these papers to learn more about chronic...


Ep. 25: Straight from a Scientist Update Episode

Hey SFS listeners! Julian and Connor met up online to discuss the past, present, and future of SFS. Thanks for sticking with the podcast as we learn more about podcasting and science communication in general. We've got a lot in the works for the summer, and are excited to bring you loads of new content! We must ask a favor with this new push to polish SFS! Itunes reviews are one of the best ways to help new podcasts find new audiences. Here's a quick rundown of how to post an Itunes...


Ep. 24: Search and Destroy in HIV Therapy with Aaron Devanathan

Our final ComSciCon interview is with Aaron Devanathan. Aaron studies HIV infection and elimination in the Department of Pharmacy at UNC Chapel Hill in the Angela Kashuba Lab. HIV, or Human Immuno-deficiency Virus, is the virus that causes AIDS, or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. While modern medicine has done wonders in treating the symptoms of an HIV infection, current drugs fail to eliminate the virus entirely. This is because HIV is dispersed widely throughout the body. Aaron...


Ep. 23: The Role of Apoptosis with Georgia Smith

We had the chance to talk with Georgia Atkin-Smith about different types of cell death, autoimmune disorders, and the optimistic future of the field. Georgia is a final year PhD student in Biochemistry and Immunology at the La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science, Melbourne, Australia. Her PhD project focuses on a type of cell death termed apoptosis and the consequence of this process in disease. Specifically, Georgia's research is aimed to understand the role of apoptotic fragments, known...