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.
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In this episode, host Erin Spain takes a look and listen back
on some of
the top Feinberg research published in 2020. Hear how Northwestern
scientists responded to COVID-19 while publishing high-impact
papers unrelated to the pandemic and making vital discoveries
across the research enterprise during a difficult time.
Ankit Bharat, MBBS, Chief of Thoracic Surgery at Northwestern
Medicine and director of the Lung Transplant program, shares
findings that support why lung transplantation should be considered
for patients who have developed irreversible lung disease due to
A $30 million
trial is about to begin at Northwestern, investigating whether
exercise can slow
Parkinson's disease progression. Daniel
PhD, a professor
of Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences is leading the
trial and explains what he hopes to accomplish.
A new Northwestern Medicine study shows patients whose colon
cancer surgery was performed by a highly skilled surgeon had a 70
percent lower risk of dying over five years compared to patients
with a lower skilled surgeon.
A Swiss Amish community in Indiana has been the focus of ongoing
studies led by Dr. Douglas Vaughan, chair of the Department of
Medicine at Northwestern. Many members of this Amish community have
a gene mutation that appears to protect against biological aging in
a variety of ways. A new experimental drug that effectively
lowers the level of the protein associated with this mutation is
now being tested as a treatment for people with COVID-19, in a
phase 2 clinical trial at Northwestern.
As flu season begins and COVID-19 continues to spread, Michael
Ison, MD, is here to share some of his latest findings. He is
part of Northwestern research teams running studies on both
COVID-19 and on influenza vaccines and treatments.
Millions of people are now living with COVID-19 and their long-term
outcomes are unknown. Northwestern's Dr. Jeffrey Linder says more
research studies on this group are needed to provide better
information about COVID-19 care before, during, and beyond the
A team of Northwestern scientists have come together from across
disciplines to develop a COVID-19 antibody test designed for
at-home use. Elizabeth McNally, MD, PhD, is part of the team
working on this test to determine prior exposure to the virus.
Although COVID-19 doesn't necessarily discriminate, some
communities are far more susceptible to the disease. People who are
black or African-American are more likely to contract the virus -
and to die from it. Clyde Yancy, MD, discusses reasons for these
outcomes and the need to fully address health care disparities in
Monitoring patients and frontline health care workers for symptoms
of COVID-19 could get much easier with a small wireless sensor
developed by scientists at Northwestern and the Shirley Ryan
AbilityLab. Northwestern’s John A. Rogers explains.
While the world anxiously awaits a vaccine for COVID-19, some
physicians on the front lines are trying new or repurposed
therapies in an effort to help COVID patients. Dr. Benjamin Singer,
a Northwestern physician-scientist, discusses his experiences in
the ICU during this time and his recently published letter warning
against the use of unproven therapies.
This is an update to the
Jan. 28, 2020 episode about Northwestern's Karla Satchell's
effort to lead an investigation into the structure biology of the
components of COVID-19. The goal is to ultimately understand how to
stop it from replicating in human cells through a medication or
mid-March, the early days of Chicago's COVID-19 outbreak,
older adults with multiple chronic
conditions didn’t think the disease would affect them and
reported not changing their behaviors, according to the results of
a Northwestern Medicine. Michael Wolf led this study and explains
Judith Moskowitz, PhD, MPH, is a social psychologist and
professor of Medical Social Sciences at Feinberg who studies the
impact of positive emotion on health-related and other life stress.
She discusses her research and things you can do to increase
positivity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As an epidemiologist and infectious disease physician, Chad
Achenbach, MD, MPH, has shared his expertise on a variety of global
public health crises such as Ebola and Zika outbreaks. In this
episode, he sheds light on the global emergence, epidemiology and
response to COVID-19.
Abel Kho, MD, is the director of the new Institute for Augmented
Intelligence in Medicine at Feinberg. He discusses his vision for
the institute and how AI can enhance healthcare.
This talk was given at Northwestern Medicine on March 17, 2020
by Dr. Michael Ison. He discusses the virology and epidemiology of
COVID-19 as well as predictors of patient outcome and strategies to
manage patients with the infection.
new Northwestern Medicine study published in JAMA Pediatrics has revealed that more
stringent negligence laws, which hold adults responsible for safe
storage of firearms, may have potential to reduce firearm
fatalities in children. Hooman Azad, a third-year medical student
at Feinberg and first author of the study explains.
Most people with peripheral artery
disease, PAD, have great difficulty walking and few treatments to
help. Preliminary results of a new Northwestern Medicine study
suggest that cocoa may have a therapeutic effect on walking
performance in people with PAD. Dr. Mary McDermott led this study
and shares the results.
An important finding detailed in a new Northwestern Medicine
study warns of the role certain kinds of meat may play in
increasing cardiovascular disease risk and premature death. Norrina
Allen, PhD, led this research and shares details about the
Karla Satchell, PhD, is leading a national effort to investigate
the structure biology of the components of the new coronavirus
virus (2019-nCoV) and ultimately understand how to stop it from
replicating in human cells through a medication or
This work is being done with the Center
for Structural Genomics of Infectious
Diseases at Northwestern, which is funded by the
Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
When we read about college and youth sports today, it's usually
about the dangers to health - mainly, concussions. However, a new
study led by Nina Kraus, PhD, director of Northwestern's Auditory
Neuroscience Laboratory, BrainVolts, has found that athletes have
healthier brains than non-athletes.
In this bonus episode, Clyde Yancy, MD, and Donald
Lloyd-Jones, MD, ScM, offer tips for people to consider in the new
year, that can improve their health.
Lloyd-Jones suggests experimenting with different tactics to
lose or maintain weight, such as
"The important thing, if you need to lose weight, is to find out
what works for you. It doesn't really matter how you do it, as long
as you do it," Lloyd-Jones says. "75 percent of Americans are
overweight or obese; we are the fattest nation there has ever been.
It is not anyone's fault, but it is something we have to do
If losing weight feels like an overwhelming goal, Lloyd-Jones
suggests people concentrate on not gaining any additional weight
Yancy often quotes to his patients a phrase coined by
Northwestern physician Neil Stone, MD: "eat less, do more and know
your numbers (such as blood pressure)." But Yancy says he would add
one more idea to that phrase: maintain a healthy social
"Remain engaged with people who matter to you and people for
whom you matter, because it looks like it can add years to your
life expectancy and cognitive function," he says.
Of the thousands of studies published by Northwestern scientists
in 2019, some of the most discussed came from the field of
cardiology. Two Northwestern physician scientists, Dr. Clyde Yancy
and Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones, review some of these findings and share
their thoughts on advances in cardiology to come in 2020.
It is the most common tumor found in women and is the cause of
200,000 hysterectomies in the United States every year. Yet,
uterine fibroids have not been a frequent topic of medical
research. Northwestern’s Serdar Bulun, MD, leads one of the few
research programs focused on the molecular and cellular
abnormalities that may cause uterine fibroids and is investigating
novel targets to treat the condition.
In recent Northwestern Medicine study, published in the New
England Journal of Medicine, women surgical residents reported more
mistreatment than men, which was linked to higher burnout rates and
more suicidal thoughts.
Dr. Elizabeth McNally is a human geneticist, a Northwestern
Medicine cardiologist and the director of the Center for Genetic
Medicine at Northwestern. In this episode, she talks about her
recent discoveries in the genetics of cardiovascular and
neuromuscular disorders and shares what we can expect in the next
few years in the field of genetic medicine.
For those with advanced metastatic prostate cancer, treatments
are limited, but a new phase 3 international trial shows that a
genetically targeted therapy could offer new hope for patients with
specific gene mutations in their tumors. Northwestern's Maha
Hussain, MD, recently presented the results of this landmark trial
and shares her insight.
For three decades, Ali Shilatifard, PhD, has dedicated his
career to revealing the causes of childhood leukemia and providing
detailed molecular insight into the role of epigenetics in cancer.
He hopes his discoveries will lead to a super drug that could end
childhood leukemia and other cancers.
Northwestern scientists are conducting dozens of experiments and
clinical trials aimed at understanding and fighting glioblastoma,
the most common and aggressive primary brain tumor in
Lukas, MD, shares
results of a promising Phase 1 clinical trial and other
Mozziyar Etemadi, MD, PhD, a research assistant professor in
Anesthesiology and Biomedical Engineering is leading deep learning
projects in his lab at Northwestern. He talks about a collaboration
between Northwestern and Google that uses a deep learning system to
predict lung cancer.
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.
Results from a randomized phase three clinical trial published
in The New England Journal of Medicine could change the
way women are treated for later stage endometrial cancer.
Northwestern's Dr. Daniela Matei led the trial and is here with
Death rates due to heart failure are increasing, especially in
people under the age of 65 and specifically among Black men. What
is fueling this upturn? How can it be stopped? Sadiya Khan, MD,
assistant professor of medicine explains.
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
A new approach from the field of ophthalmology shows promise in
detecting non-invasive biomarkers of mild cognitive impairment, the
precursor to Alzheimer’s disease. Northwestern's Amani Fawzi, MD,
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.
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.
Northwestern’s John A. Rogers, PhD, and Amy Paller, MD,
published a study in the journal Science that shows how
ultra thin, electronic sensors developed in Roger’s lab have the
potential to make NICUs wireless.
The landmark Northwestern Juvenile Project, led by Linda Teplin,
PhD, has produced some astonishing findings about health risks and
premature deaths of delinquent youth. These findings are shaping
services and programs that support juvenile detainees, giving them
the help they need to live healthier lives.
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.
A rare blood disorder related to people missing a protein,
called PAI-1, was identified in a small Amish
Vaughan, MD, studies the community and found that those without
the protein seem to live longer and healthier lives.
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.
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.
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.
It is possible to improve and prolong the life of patients with
hormone receptor-positive metastatic breast cancer, according to
the results of a new phase III clinical trial. Massimo
Cristofanilli, MD, principal investigator of the trial
explains the results and the state of breast cancer in America
A common, safe and inexpensive drug for type 2 diabetes,
metformin, decreases the risk of heart attacks and strokes
triggered by particulate matter air pollution. Scott
Budinger, MD, explains the study and other ways the drug could
be used to protect people at risk of heart attack and
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.
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
A new blood test developed at
Northwestern has the potential to advance treatments of a variety
of disorders and diseases. Phyllis Zee, MD, PhD, explains the test, which
can reveal if an individual’s circadian clock is running too fast
or too slow and how circadian clocks impact far more than
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.
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.
Anticipating, preventing and treating suffering is at the heart
of excellent palliative care. Kelly Michelson, MD, MPH, discusses
the importance palliative care in pediatric hospitals and how she
works with young patients and their families when they're facing a
deadly health condition.
John A. Rogers, PhD, has created a fleet of wireless, wearable
devices that have the potential to change the way physicians
collect data and treat patients, from NICU preemies to stroke
patients in recovery.
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
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
Pregnant women get sick, and sick women get pregnant. Katherine
Wisner, MD, has dedicated her scientific career to studying the
psychiatric treatment of women of childbearing age and
understanding how medications can be used to treat mental
illnesses, such as depression, during pregnancy.
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.
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.
Peter Penzes, PhD, says the field of autism neurobiology is ripe
for discovery and his team at the new Center for Autism and
Neurodevelopment at Feinberg is laying the groundwork for new
treatments for the disorder.
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.
Feinberg scientists Mercedes
Carnethon, PhD and Kiarri Kershaw, PhD, MPH, discuss their striking
discoveries in the area of health disparities.