STH – E8 Dr. Bo Shopsin

Summary

Dr. Bo Shopsin is an Assistant Professor in the departments of medicine and microbiology at the NYU School of Medicine. His research focuses on adaptive changes in the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus that take place during infection. One of his studies addresses the within-host variation in the agr (accessory gene regulator) locus, a global regulator of virulence in S. aureus. In genetics, a locus is a specific location of a gene or genes that work together. Dr. Shopsin’s work is motivated by practical questions in infectious diseases (such as the best use of antimicrobials that target agr and virulence), as well as more basic yet closely intertwined questions, such as how to explain the alterations that are responsible for adaptive changes at different stages of S. aureus infections. Visit his lab page for more information: Shopsin Lab

STH – E7 Dr. Nathalie Scholler

Summary

Dr. Nathalie Scholler is the Director of Cancer Immunology at the Center for Cancer and Metabolism at SRI International, a nonprofit research institute in Menlo Park, California. Her research is centered around studying the role of the immune system in tumor development and designing novel diagnostic and immunotherapeutic approaches against cancer. She has studied cancer biomarkers of ovarian cancer and tumor immunity for more than a decade. Prior to working at SRI, Dr. Scholler was a tenure-track assistant professor in the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. There, her laboratory investigated the role of innate immunity in ovarian cancer and identified novel recombinant antibodies (which are antibodies created in the lab using yeast or viruses) for targeted imaging and therapy of cancer. In addition to her cancer and antibody research, in this episode we discuss zombie films and mad scientists as portrayed by Hollywood. Visit her web page for more informaiton: Scholler SRI

STH – E6 Dr. Carmen Melendez-Vasquez

Summary

Dr. Carmen Melendez-Vasquez is an Assistant Professor of Biology at Hunter College of the City University of New York. Her research focuses on actomyosin regulation and the mechanism of myelin formation. Actomyosin is a protein complex crucial for cell motility and contractile force in muscle and other tissues. Myelin is a highly specialized membrane, which wraps around nerve fibers in the peripheral (PNS) and central (CNS) nervous systems, facilitating rapid propogation of nerve impulses. The overall goal of Dr. Melendez-Vasquez’s research is to provide novel insights into the mechanisms that regulate myelin morphology and formation in the PNS and CNS. She believes that a basic understanding of the molecular machinery of myelination should aid in the development of new therapeutic strategies to promote remyelination in pathological conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS), which we discuss in this episode. Visit her lab page for more information: Melendez-Vasquez Lab

STH – E5 Dr. Maryam Modjaz

Summary

Dr. Maryam Modjaz is an Assistant Professor in Astrophysics at the Center for Cosmology and Particle Physics at New York University. Her research addresses forefront problems in stellar death astrophysics through extensive and panchromatic observations of various types of massive stellar explosions, specifically Gamma Ray Bursts and Supernovae, which are among the most powerful explosions in the universe. In this episode we discuss both of these stellar death events, as well as how stars are born. Visit her lab page for more information: Modjaz Lab

STH – E4 Dr. Kirk Deitsch

Summary

Dr. Kirk Deitsch is a microbiologist/immunologist and professor of microbiology and immunology at the Weill Cornell Medical College. His research focuses on Plasmodium falciparum, the most virulent of the parasites that cause malaria in humans. P. falciparum infects red blood cells, causing disease through anemia resulting from red cell destruction, and also through modifications that are made to the surface of infected red cells. Two of the processes Dr. Deitsch studies in this parasite are its cytoadhesion and antigenic variation, which are among the reasons P. falciparum is so deadly – we discuss both in this episode. Visit his lab page for more information: Deitsch Lab

STH – E3 Dr. Matthew Kleban

Summary

Dr. Matthew Kleban is a theoretical physicist and professor of physics at New York University. His research focuses on the intersection between string theory, cosmology, and particle physics. He is interested in the physics of black holes and gravitational thermodynamics, early universe cosmology and its implications for fundamental physics, and in formal aspects of string theory and quantum gravity. Dr. Kleban has done some fascinating research into cosmic wakes, which we discuss in this episode. Visit his web site for more information: Kleban NYU

STH – E2 Dr. Jayne Raper

Summary

Dr. Jayne Raper is a Professor of Biological Sciences at Hunter College of the City University of New York. Her research focuses on trypanosome lytic factors (TLFs), which are antimicrobial high-density lipoproteins that contribute to the innate immunity of primates. TLFs have the ability to to kill African trypanosomes, a parasite, via their unique protein components, such as apolipoprotein L-I. Dr. Raper’s research is at the center of the Transgenic Cattle Project, discussed in this episode. Visit her lab page for more information: Raper Lab

STH – E1 Dr. David Amodio

Summary

Dr. David Amodio is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Neural Science at New York University. His research examines the psychological and neural mechanisms of intergroup relations and self-regulation, considering the roles of social cognition, emotion, and motivation as they relate to implicit processes and mechanisms of control in social behaviors. He is the director of the NYU Social Neuroscience Lab. Visit his lab page for more information: Amodio Lab