Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Research

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.

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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.
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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.
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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.
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Improving Survival for Advanced Breast Cancer with Massimo Cristofanilli, MD

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 today. 
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Diabetes Drug Could Help Prevent Air Pollution Deaths, Scott Budinger, MD

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
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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.
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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.
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New Ways to Diagnose Sleep and Circadian Rhythm Disorders with Phyllis Zee, MD, PhD

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 sleep.
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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.
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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.
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When Children Need Palliative Care with Kelly Michelson, MD, MPH

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.
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Wearable Technology in Medicine with John A. Rogers, PhD

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.
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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.
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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
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Medication and Mental Health During Pregnancy with Katherine Wisner, MD

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.
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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.
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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.
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Understanding the Biology of Autism with Feinberg Scientist Peter Penzes, PhD

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.
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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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Health Disparities with Mercedes Carnethon, PhD & Kiarri Kershaw, PhD, MPH

Feinberg scientists Mercedes Carnethon, PhD and Kiarri Kershaw, PhD, MPH, discuss their striking discoveries in the area of health disparities.
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