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Breakthroughs Podcast

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.

Recent Podcasts

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Reversing Severe Spinal Cord Injuries with Samuel Stupp, PhD

Regenerative nanomedicine is being used to develop new therapies for devastating conditions such as severe spinal cord injuries. Northwestern's Dr. Samuel Stupp is a pioneer in the field of regenerative nanomedicine and recently published a paper in the journal Science that details how a new injectable therapy uses synthetic nanofibers to reverse severe spinal cord injuries in animals and how this therapy could soon be used in humans.

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Earliest Signs of Parkinson's Disease with D. James Surmeier, PhD

Northwestern Medicine scientists have discovered one of the earliest signs of Parkinson's disease, proving that damaged neuronal mitochondria alone can cause symptoms of the disease, according to a study published in Nature. Senior author D. James Surmeier, chair of the Feinberg department of Neuroscience, who has over 30 years of experience in the field, explains the importance of these findings for future Parkinson's research and therapeutics. 

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The Northwestern Medicine African American Transplant Access Program with Dinee Simpson, MD

People who are Black make up the largest group of minorities in need of an organ transplant. In 2019, Northwestern Medicine launched the African American Transplant Access Program to help address this problem. Founding director of the program Dinee Simpson, MD, talks about the barriers to organ transplant for Black patients and how she is working to bring down those barriers in Chicago with innovative outreach, community-engaged research and more. 

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Variants of Interest and of Concern with Judd Hultquist, PhD

This spring, the World Health Organization began using the Greek alphabet to label key variants of SARS-CoV-2. The Greek names make it easier to talk about variants with the public, but in the scientific community these variants are being discussed and studied at the molecular level to learn as much as possible about their evolution, replication and mutation. Judd Hultquist, PhD, shares insight on SARS-CoV-2 variants. He is an assistant professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Feinberg and an HIV scientist whose lab has shifted many resources to study SARS-CoV-2, to track the origin of its variants and also understand how antiviral proteins found in humans can protect against COVID-19 and other viruses.
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Advancing Muscular Dystrophy Research with Elizabeth McNally, MD, PhD

While there are more treatments now than ever before for neuromuscular diseases like muscular dystrophy, patients who have very specific gene mutations associated with these diseases have few options. Dr. Elizabeth McNally says a discovery in her lab could lead to a new therapy for muscular dystrophy, including its rare forms.

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Next-Generation COVID Vaccines with Pablo Penaloza-MacMaster, PhD

As the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 is causing breakthrough infections in some vaccinated people around the world, scientists at Northwestern Medicine are developing and studying potential next-generation COVID-19 vaccines that could be more effective at preventing and clearing breakthrough infections. Pablo Penaloza-MacMaster, assistant professor of Microbiology-Immunology at Feinberg, discusses recent studies from his lab that aim to improve current COVID-19 vaccines. 

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Past Breakthroughs Podcasts

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Continuing Medical Education Credit

Physicians who listen to this podcast may claim continuing medical education credit after listening to an episode of this program.

Target Audience

Academic/Research, Multiple specialties

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify the research interests and initiatives of Feinberg faculty.
  2. Discuss new updates in clinical and translational research.
Accreditation Statement

The Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Credit Designation Statement

The Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine designates this Enduring Material for a maximum of 0.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

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