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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

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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Cover image for episode 25

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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COVID-19 Vaccine Safety with Eric G. Neilson, MD and Robert L. Murphy, MD

Dean Eric G. Neilson, MD, and Robert Murphy, MD, talk about COVID-19 vaccine safety and effectiveness. This conversation was recorded May 7, 2021. 

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COVID-19 Vaccines and Pregnant Women with Emily Miller, MD, MPH

Recently, the director of the CDC officially recommended that pregnant women receive the vaccines for COVID-19. However, pregnant women are less likely than non-pregnant women to get vaccinated and are at greater risk of hospitalization and death from the disease. Emily Miller, MD, MPH, has been caring for pregnant patients at Prentice Women's Hospital since the onset of the pandemic. She shares results from a new study on the benefit of maternal vaccination and speaks to the history of excluding pregnant women from clinical trials.

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Pediatric Eczema and Scratch Sensors with Steve Xu, MD, MSc

A wearable sensor developed by Northwestern University scientists could help better monitor scratching in children with eczema and assess the effectiveness of therapies for eczema and other conditions that cause itch. Steve Xu, MD, explains the results of a study of the sensors published in Science Advances. 
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Neurological Complications of COVID-19 with Igor Koralnik, MD

COVID-19 can be a multi-system disease, impacting many organs and the entire nervous system. Igor Koralnik, MD, has been investigating the neurologic symptoms of the disease and published the first study focused on long-term neurological symptoms in COVID-19 “long haulers.” He explains the study and what he is seeing in the Neuro COVID-19 Clinic at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

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Kidneys, COVID-19 and ACE2 Connection with Daniel Batlle, MD

At the beginning of the pandemic, Daniel Batlle, MD, professor of medicine in the Division of Nephrology-Hypertension at Northwestern, proposed a hypothesis that soluble ACE2 could treat the SARS-CoV-2 virus and lead to full recovery and survival. Now, he has exciting preliminary results to share.

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Black Men and Prostate Cancer with Edward Schaeffer, MD, PhD

Black men are more likely to get prostate cancer and more than twice as likely to die from the disease than other men. Dr. Edward Schaeffer has developed a research team to better understand this problem. In this show he talks about his latest discoveries, which are paving the way to precision medicine for aggressive prostate cancer. Dr. Schaeffer is the Chair of the Department of Urology at Northwestern and a Northwestern Medicine urologist with a specialized practice in prostate cancer. 

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Northwestern Drug Kills Glioblastoma Tumor Cells with Priya Kumthekar, MD

An early clinical trial in individuals with the deadly brain cancer glioblastoma showed an experimental spherical nucleic acid drug developed by Northwestern University scientists was able to penetrate the blood-brain barrier and trigger the death of tumor cells. Lead investigator Priya Kumthekar, MD, explains the results of the study.

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Children and COVID-19 Vaccines with William Muller, MD, PhD

COVID-19 vaccines are being doled out across the nation, almost exclusively to adults. Pfizer's vaccine has been authorized for ages 16 and up and Moderna's vaccine for 18 and up. So when might younger children be vaccinated for COVID-19? And what needs to happen before then? Northwestern's William Muller, MD, PhD, offers insight. 

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A Promising Obesity Drug with Robert Kushner, MD

The drug semaglutide, typically prescribed for treatment of Type 2 diabetes, was used in a phase 3 clinical trial as a treatment for obesity with very promising results. Northwestern's Robert Kushner, MD, led this study, recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine and shares the results.

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Tracking COVID-19 Variants with Ramón Lorenzo Redondo, PhD

Since SARS-CoV-2 was discovered in Illinois over a year ago, Northwestern scientists have been tracking the evolution of the disease in the Chicago area. Ramón Lorenzo-Redondo, PhD, research assistant professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases, is part of the team leading this work. He talks about the team's research, the new COVID-19 variants and how the vaccines on the market today stand up to them.

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COVID-19 and Vulnerable Communities with Mercedes Carnethon, PhD

Mercedes Carnethon, PhD, a Northwestern Medicine epidemiologist and a population science expert, talks about how COVID-19 is affecting Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other people of color the most, as the pandemic continues and vaccine rollouts lag behind.

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Year in Review: How Feinberg Scientists Persevered in 2020 with Erin Spain, MS

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.

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How Lung Transplants Are Saving COVID-19 Patients with Ankit Bharat, MBBS

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 COVID-19.

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Can Exercise Slow Parkinson's Disease Progression? with Daniel Corcos, PhD

A $30 million dollar, phase 3 clinical trial is about to begin at Northwestern, investigating whether exercise can slow Parkinson's disease progression. Daniel Corcos, PhD, a professor of Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences is leading the trial and explains what he hopes to accomplish.

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Skilled Surgeons and Colon Cancer Survival with Karl Bilimoria, MD and Brian Brajcich, MD

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. 

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How Amish People Informed a COVID-19 Clinical Trial with Douglas Vaughan, MD

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.

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Influenza and COVID-19 with Michael Ison, MD

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.

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At-Home Care for COVID-19 Patients with Jeffrey Linder, MD, MPH

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 hospital.

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COVID-19 Antibody Testing with Elizabeth McNally, MD, PhD

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.

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COVID-19 Deaths and Health Racial Disparities with Clyde Yancy, MD

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 America.

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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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