20 episodes

A podcast at the crossroads of microbiology, immunology, evolution, computational biology and more. Through informal interviews with researchers and students, I explore how biological organisms are "holobionts": super-organisms formed by a host and all of its communities of micro-organisms ( bacteria, viruses, fungi...)

Holobiont Ursule Demael

    • Wissenschaft
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

A podcast at the crossroads of microbiology, immunology, evolution, computational biology and more. Through informal interviews with researchers and students, I explore how biological organisms are "holobionts": super-organisms formed by a host and all of its communities of micro-organisms ( bacteria, viruses, fungi...)

    #20 Philosophy of Immunology and the Biological Self (Thomas Pradeu)

    #20 Philosophy of Immunology and the Biological Self (Thomas Pradeu)

    Thomas Pradeu is a CNRS Research Director in Philosophy of Science, leading a group at the ImmunoConcept called Conceptual Biology and Medicine. His group explores conceptual aspects spanning immunology, evolutionary biology, ageing and the microbiome. 

    We discuss:


    What Philosophy of Immunology is 
    How to assess the influence of an idea
    Misconceptions about the immune system
    The usefulness of the self/non-self framework
    Definitions of cancer in multicellular organisms
    How to integrate philosophy in science

    The ImmunoConcept lab page: https://immunoconcept.cnrs.fr

    • 53 min
    #19 Stochastic Models of Evolution (Amaury Lambert)

    #19 Stochastic Models of Evolution (Amaury Lambert)

    Prof Amaury Lambert is a mathematician, leading a research group called SMILE (Stochastic Models for Inference of Life Evolution) at the Collège de France in Paris. He is also a Professor at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris. 



    In this conversation, we discuss


    Mathematical definition of species
    Modelling the birth and death of species
    Using DNA sequences to infer common ancestors and species history
    Contingency in evolution
    Beauty in mathematics vs biology





    SMILE webpage: https://smile.cnrs.fr

    SMILE webpage at the Collège de France : https://www.college-de-france.fr/site/en-cirb/lambert.htm

    • 50 min
    #18 Tracking Emerging Viruses (Miles Carroll)

    #18 Tracking Emerging Viruses (Miles Carroll)

    Miles Carroll is leading a research group on High Consequence Emerging Viruses at the University of Oxford, and has previously worked at Oxford Biomedica and as head of research at Public Health England (PHE).

    This episode focuses on emerging viruses, which are viruses like coronaviruses and Ebola virus that have rising incidence or are increasing in distribution. We discuss:


    What makes an emerging virus successful
    Fieldwork during the West African Ebola outbreak (2013-2016)
    Using Nanopore sequencing and molecular epidemiology to track emerging viruses
    How to deal with the threat of future spillover events



    Miles Carroll Lab Page : https://www.well.ox.ac.uk/research/research-groups/carroll-group

    • 53 min
    #17 Bacteriophage Therapy against Cholera (Minmin Yen)

    #17 Bacteriophage Therapy against Cholera (Minmin Yen)

    Dr Minmin Yen (PhD) is the co-founder and CEO of PhagePro, an early stage bio-tech company spun out of the Camilli lab at Tufts University developing bacteriophage prophylactics against cholera, a diarrhoeal disease caused by Vibrio cholerae. Minimin Yen has been recognised by the MIT's Tech Review as 35 innovators under 35 for her work bridging biological engineering and public health. 

    In this conversation we discuss:


    The evidence that bacteriophages play a role in cholera epidemics
    The strategy of delivering lytic bacteriophages to prevent person-person transmission
    How we can compound the emergence of resistance in cholera bacteria
    Building trust in communities for adoption of experimental therapies
    The challenges of developing a biotech and manufacturing bacteriophage prophylactics

    Link to the PhagePro website: https://www.phageproinc.com

    Minmin Yen's MIT Tech Review article : https://www.innovatorsunder35.com/the-list/minmin-yen/

    • 43 min
    #16 Trained Immunity (Mihai Netea)

    #16 Trained Immunity (Mihai Netea)

    Prof. Mihai Netea is Head of the Division of Experimental Medicine at Radboud University (Netherlands) and group leader associated with the LIMES Institute in Bonn (Germany). He was the first to describe trained immunity, the ability of the innate immune system to display enhanced responsiveness to secondary stimuli. His group has studied the epigenetic modifications and metabolic reprogramming in trained immunity, especially in the context of BCG vaccination. 

    We discuss:


    Challenging dogma in immunology
    The epigenetic signatures and metabolic reprogramming occurring in trained immunity
    The evolutionary importance of trained immunity 
    Drug repurposing and nano-biologics to therapeutically target trained immunity 
    Rational use of trained immunity in vaccination strategies 

    • 38 min
    #15 Atypical T cell responses: HLA-E Immunology (Sir Andrew McMichael)

    #15 Atypical T cell responses: HLA-E Immunology (Sir Andrew McMichael)

    Sir Andrew McMichael is a Professor of Immunology at the University of Oxford and previously Director of the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine. He is a fellow of the Royal Society and Academy of Medical Sciences and has been a leader in human immunology for decades, notably  focusing on responses to viral infections including influenza and HIV.

    We discuss:


    Prof McMichael's career in immunology spanning from his work in the 1980s on HLA restriction and recognition of viral peptides to the study of a HLA-E, an atypical MHC-Ib molecule that is involved in immunosurveillance 
    How HLA-E is involved in detection of the "missing self" by Natural Killer (NK) cells 
    The discovery of a class of CD8+ T cells recognising HLA-E complexes and their role in protection against SIV infection 
    The opportunities and unanswered questions in  HLA-E immunobiology
    Advice to scientists 

    • 50 min

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