Keywords like "tissue-engineering", "bio-engineered organs", and "3D printing" were considered to be science fiction until only a decade ago. Today, creating living tissue that can repair or replace damaged organs is rapidly becoming reality. The field of regenerative medicine holds enormous potential in changing the way doctors treat many medical conditions. However, the road to advance lab-grown organs from the bench to the bedside is still a long one and requires scientific superheroes to overcome the challenges posed by the anatomical complexity of the human body. Whether this is your first time learning about regenerative medicine or you’re an expert, you won’t want to miss this episode. Dr. Anthony Atala, a world leader in the field of Regenerative Medicine, discusses his 18-year project of developing a lab-grown uterus that can support live birth in an animal model that may one day soon provide a significant treatment option for women with uterine factor infertility. "Half Mystery" by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under CC BY 4.0.
It’s 10 pm on a Friday night. You already had dinner, and you could swear your stomach couldn’t handle even another crumb of bread. All of a sudden, your friend offers you some chips, and you tentatively pick just one. Twenty minutes later, all the chips are GONE…! Wondered how that happened? You are not the only one! While the mechanisms by which the brain regulates and controls our appetite are still largely unknown, Dr. Scott Sternson and his team have developed cutting-edge tools for integrating molecular and systems neuroscience which hasadvanced our understanding of the neural circuits associated with thirst and hunger. Ready to listen? Well then, sit back, relax and… go grab your chips!
In the 1970s, most company advisory boards were male-dominated, and it was unconventional for an academic scientist to transition to industry. Yet, Dr. Vicki Sato, an accomplished academic scientist at Harvard University, quickly progressed through many executives and leadership positions at numerous companies, including Biogen Inc. and Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Today, she is a chairman of the board at Vir Biotechnology and Denali Therapeutics. As one of the early biopharma pioneers, Dr. Vicki Sato shares her eclectic career journey and some hard-earned lessons, as well as the changing face of the biotech industry and the current urgency of science-driven entrepreneurship. This episode will certainly inspire any aspiring scientist to reflect on their own career journey! This episode is sponsored by the Blavatnik Fellowship in Life Science Entrepreneurship at Harvard Business School. “Inspired” by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under CC BY 4.0
Have you ever wondered what happens in the brain during sleep? Or what regulates which substances can enter your brain and which can’t? When we think of the brain, we think of neurons. However, neurons can’t do all of this work by themselves! The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is a significant player in the brain and helps carry out vital functions, such as cleaning your brain during sleep! So why do we know so little about it? Learn more about the CSF and its fundamental roles in the brain with Dr. Madeline A. Lancaster, a Group Leader in the Cell Biology Division of the Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK. She explains why we should pay more attention to the CSF and how, thanks to the recent in vitro models developed in her lab, we can now study this vital fluid like never before.
Have you ever seen gray hairs on someone? And do they almost immediately blame it on the stress in their life? Well, they could be right! For the first time, researchers have found that key players responsible for the transient flight-and-fight stress response are also involved in permanent stress-induced hair pigment loss. The finding, which was published in the journal Nature, discredited popularly postulated hypotheses regarding stress-induced gray hairs and suggests hopeful pathways to modify the damaging effects of stress on stem cell pools in other organs. Listen to Dr. Ya-Chieh Hsu, an Associate Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at Harvard Stem Cell Institute, as she explains how her team zoomed in from the systemic stress response down to the cellular and molecular dynamics of this exciting biology. “Half Mystery” by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under CC BY 4.0.
This week we are joined by Parkinson’s disease expert and neurosurgeon Jeffrey Schweitzer, MD, PhD, of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He takes us through a recently published case study in the New England Journal of Medicine on a novel autologous transplantation treatment for Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease is a prevalent and debilitating neurodegenerative disease that primarily affects dopaminergic cells in the brain. It has many existing treatments available, but many lose efficacy over time. This single case study presents evidence that transplantation of a patient's stem cells-derived dopamine neurons into the brain may pave the way forward for treatments that have better longevity and reversal of symptoms than other available treatments on the market.
The human immune system is one of the most adaptive systems in human biology. While environmental impact on the immune system is well documented, more recently, immunologists have begun to study the relationship between the central nervous and immune systems. In this episode, Mehdi and Shen hear from immunologist Dr. Hai Qi from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. Dr. Qi’s research explores the impact of behavioral changes on the humoral immune response. He details the inspiration behind his research, his aunt’s dedicated Qigong practice, and the possible drawbacks of using a mouse model to draw parallels to the human immune function.
This week marks our third and final Covid-19 episode of this season (or our final installment, at least until the end of 2020). This episode focuses on coping strategies from healthcare professionals and reflections from our team about their experience of isolation during the pandemic. Special guests joining us in this episode to navigate through this topic include Dr. Michal Elovitz, who specializes in Maternal-Fetal Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and licensed mental health therapist and yoga teacher, Sarah Harmon of Sarah Harmon Wellness in Boston, Massachusetts. Our Science Rehashed team round table includes co-hosts Mehdi Jorfi and Shen Ning and two of our long-term staff members: Producer, Shuang Zhang, and Creative Director, Emma Brand.
We launch our new series WWiSE with an empowering discussion with Dr. Joanne Kamens, the Executive Director of Addgene and the founder of the Massachusetts chapter of Association for Women in Science. She was recognized in the list of 2013 PharmaVOICE 100 Most Inspiring-Commanders & Chiefs and 2014 Forty Over 40 - Women Who are Making an Impact. She is passionate about gender equality, workplace inclusivity, and advocates for women and minorities in STEM fields. In this episode, Dr. Kamens gives us a snapshot of her journey in academia, pharma, and biotech, and let us question our prejudices, calls to act on them. She also gives us insights into Addgene’s efforts to build an equitable workplace environment! “Inspired” by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under CC BY 4.0
In this episode, we explore Dr. George Church’s opinions on CRISPR editing of human embryos, his project to bring back the extinct woolly mammoth, and his journey as a scientific pioneer. Dr. Church is a Professor at Harvard & MIT, a co-author of 537 papers, 156 patent publications, a book, called “Regenesis: How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves,” and significant contributor to developing next-generation genome sequencing technologies. He is a Franklin Bower Laureate for Achievement in Science; some of his honors include election to the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. He is an advocate for cost reduction of technologies, openness in science, and biological automation and multiplexing. Get a peek inside George Church’s brain now! “Half Mystery” by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under CC BY 4.0.