11 Episodes Refresh
May 13, 2020
Emily Nelson on the COVID-19 Literature Surveillance TeamMay 13, 2020
Over 200 papers on COVID-19 are published every day! In this episode we chat with Emily Nelson, PhD, about her work on the COVID-19 Literature Surveillance Team (https://www.covid19lst.org/), a group of 50 individuals who are collecting, annotating, and summarizing the daily deluge of papers. Emily’s work with COVID LST uniquely positions her to give us a 20,000-feet view of trends in the literature, including what the science is telling us (and not telling us) about serology test development,...
Apr 30, 2020
Xueting Qiu on the latest insights from 10,000 SARS-CoV-2 genomesApril 30, 2020
Returning champion Xueting Qiu tells us about the newest findings from analyzing 10,000+ SARS-CoV-2 genomes. We discuss what the genomes tell us about the origins and spread of the outbreak across the US, how fast the virus is mutating, whether different 'strains' of the virus exist, and - the question on everyone's mind - how we can reopen the country.
Mar 15, 2020
Xueting Qiu with a coronavirus updateMarch 15, 2020
Xueting Qiu, a molecular epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, revisits AATB to talk about the current state of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and why we needed to start social distancing yesterday.
Feb 27, 2020
Xueting Qiu on lessons from the COVID19 genomeFebruary 27, 2020
Coronavirus, coming to a neighborhood near you! In this episode we interview Xueting Qiu, a molecular epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. After a brief recap of your fave viruses, including MERS (camels!), bird flu (poultry!) and COVID19 (bats? pangolins?), we chat about how next-generation sequencing and viral genetics are rapidly shaping our understanding of how COVID19 entered into humans, how it is spreading, and how its genome could affect therapeutics and...
Dec 30, 2019
Yarden Katz on how intellectual property affects the scientific questions we pursueDecember 30, 2019
Do we need a Bernie Sanders or AOC for academia? We tackle this question with Yarden Katz, a departmental fellow in Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School, who has written about how the politics and culture of academia influence the scientific questions we pursue. We discuss how intellectual property laws reshaped university and scientific priorities, whether this incentive structure has in fact led to more innovation, and what the barriers are to changing a system that no one is really...
Aug 20, 2019
David Altshuler on how human genetics informs drug discoveryAugust 20, 2019
Genetics field trip! In this episode we hopped in Jenny's car and headed to Vertex Pharmaceuticals where we spoke with Chief Scientific Officer, David Altschuler. Previously, as a core member of the Broad Institute, David's academic research focused on using human population genetics to identify therapeutic targets for complex diseases. In our conversation, David tells us about his transition into industry and how his former research strategy now informs his scientific vision at Vertex...
Jul 03, 2019
Clare Malone on deciding between academia and industryJuly 03, 2019
Decisions, decisions, decisions. Clare Malone, a postdoctoral fellow studying the genetics of neuroblastoma is currently undecided about whether to apply to faculty positions or for jobs in industry. We talk through it all: her thoughts on money, morals, mentors, and the hidden work of being a female PI.
May 22, 2019
Carrie Blout on discovering what's in your genomeMay 22, 2019
What would happen if everyone got their genome sequenced? This question is no longer the stuff of science fiction. Instead, it is a research question that Senior Genetic Counselor Carrie Blout and her colleagues at the Genomes2People initiative at Brigham and Women's hospital are trying to answer. We discuss the medical, psychological, and economic impact of whole genome sequencing, the rollout of a new preventative genomics clinic at Brigham and Women's, and the future of genomic medicine.
Mar 31, 2019
Nyssa Boardman on why a PhD is hardMarch 31, 2019
“PhDs are hard”. We all heard this when we were deciding to apply to PhD programs, but even after completing one it is difficult to articulate why a PhD is difficult. In this episode we tackle this question with Nyssa Boardman, a clinical psychologist who works with graduate students at Harvard’s Counseling and Mental Health Services. In our interview we discuss the “five-year itch”, becoming your work, how to spot a breakdown, and what Nyssa would say if she had all PhD advisors in a...
Feb 26, 2019
Justin Chen on PhD burnoutFebruary 26, 2019
Ever since we read Justin Chen’s article in STAT news about his experience as a PhD student at MIT, we knew we needed to interview him. The article, titled “Coming to terms with six years in science: obsession, isolation, and moments of wonder” poignantly describes the burnout and mental health issues which are all too common amongst PhD students. During our interview we learn more of the backstory; what prompted him to write the article, how it was received, and what he is up to now that...