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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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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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The Evolution of Cardiac Monitoring with Rod Passman, MD

As heart conditions like arrhythmia become increasingly common, heart monitoring is becoming an even more important tool for disease prevention and treatment. Northwestern Medicine cardiac electrophysiologist Rod Passman, MD, who has over three decades of experience in the field, reviews the history of cardiac monitoring and looks to the future. He details his pioneering use of implantable heart monitors for arrhythmia in stroke patients and his partnership with a consumer electronics company to bring wearable cardiac monitors to patients.

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Esophageal Diseases and Symptom Anxiety and Hypervigilance with John Pandolfino, MD

Esophageal diseases are extremely common, and symptoms such as trouble swallowing, chest pain, regurgitation and choking diminish quality of life. There can also be psychosocial effects for patients with these diseases that includes hypervigilance — a heightened focus on physical symptoms — and symptom-specific anxiety such as fear of choking. Identifying patients with issues could help providers better treat their disease. That's according to a new Northwestern Medicine study published in the journal Gastroenterology.

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Kids, Mental Health and COVID-19 with Tali Raviv, PhD

A recent survey of more than 32,000 caregivers of Chicago Public School students found that around a quarter children and adolescents were described as stressed, anxious, angry or agitated in the months after remote learning began. Black and Latinx participants experienced significantly more of these stressors. Dr. Tali Raviv, associate professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Feinberg explains the results and offers insight.

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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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