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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Research

Breakthroughs Podcast Archive

Listen to the people behind the science

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine is a research-intensive medical school that fosters powerful collaborations on a thriving academic medical campus. We are driven by our mission to transform the practice of medicine and profoundly impact human health beyond the individual patient. We believe better answers only come from discovery.

Bioengineered Organs and Kidney Diseases with Susan Quaggin, MD

In the new Louis A. Simpson and Kimberly K. Querrey Biomedical Research Center at Northwestern, tiny bio-artificial kidneys are growing in the lab of Dr. Susan Quaggin. She and a team of scientists, with expertise in stem cells, blood vessels and developmental biology, are accelerating the development of such bioengineered organs. But that’s not all. Dr. Quaggin talks about the projects and science underway that could lead to new treatments to prevent, manage and cure kidney diseases.

Improving Memory Loss in Older Adults with Joel Voss, PhD

As we age, almost all of us have some memory loss. This age-related affliction is normal, but a new Northwestern Medicine study suggests it can be improved with non-invasive brain stimulation that sends electromagnetic pulses into a specific area of the brain. Joel Voss, PhD, an associate professor at Northwestern, led this study, published in the journal Neurology.

New Evidence on Eggs and Heart Health with Norrina Allen, PhD

A large, new Northwestern Medicine study reports adults who ate more eggs and dietary cholesterol had a significantly higher risk of cardiovascular disease and death from any cause. Norrina Allen, associate professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, explains.

Serious Eczema Symptoms Beyond the Skin with Jonathan Silverberg, MD, PhD, MPH

The health issues facing people with severe eczema are not only skin deep. Aside from intense itching and dry, irritable skin, people with a type of eczema known as atopic dermatitis also have significantly higher rates of medical and mental health issues. Why does atopic dermatitis come with so many other health issues and what can be done to give patients relief? Northwestern's Dr. Jonathan Silverberg explains.  

Why Are Food Allergies on the Rise? with Ruchi Gupta, MD

There’s been an uptick in childhood food allergies in recent years, and new evidence from Northwestern shows that they’re also becoming more common in adults. Many of the reactions to these allergies are life-threatening. Why is this increase happening and how can we keep people affected by food allergy safe? Ruchi Gupta, MD, MPH is trying to answer those questions.

Your Ideal Heart Health with Donald Lloyd-Jones, MD, ScM

Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones was named physician of the year in 2017 by the American Heart Association. Through his research and practice as a preventive cardiologist at Northwestern, Dr. Lloyd Jones is chasing a big goal – to improve and preserve the heart health of Americans, one patient at a time.

The Genetics of Coffee Drinkers with Marilyn Cornelis, PhD

Is drinking coffee a healthy habit or a vice? Why can some people drink coffee all day with little consequence while others get jittery after a cup? Marilyn Cornelis, PhD, studies the genetics of coffee consumption, caffeine metabolism and taste preferences and has some new findings to share about one of the most popular beverages in the world.

Precision Medicine for African-Americans with Minoli Perera, PharmD, PhD

The field of pharmacogenomics -- using a patient’s genome to predict how well they will respond to medication -- is a hot area of medicine today. But, almost all data used in these predictions comes from people of European decent. Minoli Perera, PharmD, PhD, wants to change that. She is a pioneer in the area of pharmacogenomics in African-Americans and has some new discoveries to share.

Chronic Pain and the Placebo Effect with A. Vania Apkarian, PhD

Chronic pain, such as lower back pain that lasts for months or years, affects 100 million Americans and costs half a trillion dollars a year in healthcare costs. It is also contributing to the current opioid crisis. A. Vania Apkarian, PhD, explains his recent discoveries related to chronic pain and how placebos may be a very effective option for some.

How to Stop Antibiotic Misuse with Jeffrey Linder, MD, MPH

Physicians are notorious for prescribing antibiotics to people who don't really need them. This can lead to dangerous side effects for patients. Jeffrey Linder, MD, MPH, has developed effective ways to reduce the number of inappropriate prescriptions. He explains how similar interventions can be used to address the prescription opioid crisis.

High BMI and Pregnancy Weight Gain with Alan Peaceman, MD

More than 50 percent of women who are of childbearing age are overweight or obese, which may put them at risk for complications during pregnancy and child birth and affect their babies’ health, too. Alan Peaceman, MD, shares results of a new clinical trial, aimed to help these women safely reduce their weight gain with diet and exercise interventions.

What Makes Someone a SuperAger? with Emily Rogalski, PhD

Some people’s brains are aging at a rate much slower than average. They are called SuperAgers, men and women over the age of 80 with the mental faculties of people decades younger. Emily Rogalski, PhD, has been studying SuperAgers for a decade and reveals some fascinating findings about their brains and lives.

Improving LGBTQ Health with Brian Mustanski, PhD

The health of LGBTQ people has long been understudied in the scientific community. Brian Mustanski, PhD, wants to change that. As the director of the Institute of Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing at Northwestern, he is leading an effort to study, intervene and improve the health of the sexual and gender minority community.

What Causes ALS? with Robert Kalb, MD

Northwestern has long been on the forefront of studying the causes of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease) and treating patients with the disease. Robert Kalb, MD, Director of the Les Turner ALS Center at Northwestern Medicine, is optimistic that more breakthroughs in the basic biology of the disease are on the way and a cure is possible. Photo Credit: Evangelos Kiskinis Lab, Northwestern University

Modern-Day Fatherhood and the Health of Dads with Craig Garfield, MD

As a group, fathers have been understudied by scientists, but a growing body of literature has found that fathers can play an important role in the health of their children. Becoming a father can also impact a man's health, mentally and physically. Craig Garfield, MD, has published dozens of studies about fatherhood. He shares insights about modern-day dads that might surprise you.

A New Way to Diagnose Glioma Brain Tumors with Daniel Brat, MD, PhD

Pathology is a field that’s rapidly evolving, in parallel with advances in precision medicine and a trend toward sub-specialization. Daniel Brat, MD, PhD, a neuropathologist who has spent nearly two decades studying diffuse gliomas, is spearheading this evolution within the arena of brain tumor diagnostics while straddling the line between scientific investigation and the practice of medicine.

Chicago's Zip Code Issue with Melissa Simon, MD

In Chicago, where you live can impact your likelihood to die from cancer. Melissa Simon, MD, wants to change that. Find out how this scientist, educator and advocate for the underserved is working to improve the cancer mortality gap in Chicago.

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