726 episodes

Are you searching for great stories to ignite your curiosity, teach you to perform better in life and career, inspire your mind, and make you laugh along the way? In this science podcast, Dr. Marie McNeely introduces you to the brilliant researchers behind the latest scientific discoveries. Join us as they share their greatest failures, most staggering successes, candid career advice, and what drives them forward in life and science.

Our website with show notes]]

Greetings science fans!

We’re elated to welcome you to People Behind the Science where we explore the lives and experiences of the people behind the research and scientific discoveries of today.

People Behind the Science’s mission is to inspire current and future scientists, share the different paths to a successful career in science, educate the general population on what scientists do, and show the human side of science.

In each episode, a different scientist will guide us through their journey by sharing their successes, failures, and passions. We are excited to introduce you to these inspiring academic and industry experts from all fields of science to give you a variety of perspectives on the life and path of a scientist.

Our esteemed guests will tell you:

what motivates them and how they balance their competing responsibilities
how they worked through some of the most challenging times in their careers
advice to help you through your own journey through life and science


Our Podcast

People Behind the Science is a podcast focused on the people doing fascinating research through interviews with top scientists. We are proud to have interviewed so many inspiring scientists, including U.S. National Academy scientists like Josh Sanes, Nick Spitzer, Lou Muglia, Jacob Israelachvili, Gene Robinson, Larry Squire, John Dowling, James Berger, and David Spergel, as well as popular scientists in the media like Donna Nelson (science advisor for the TV show Breaking Bad) and Jack Horner (science advisor for the Jurassic park movies). We are honored to have shared their amazing stories with people in all 50 states in the USA and in over 120 countries across the world.

People Behind the Science Podcast - Stories from Scientists about Science, Life, Research, and Science Careers Dr. Marie McNeely, featuring top scientists speaking about their life and c

    • Science
    • 4.7 • 3 Ratings

Are you searching for great stories to ignite your curiosity, teach you to perform better in life and career, inspire your mind, and make you laugh along the way? In this science podcast, Dr. Marie McNeely introduces you to the brilliant researchers behind the latest scientific discoveries. Join us as they share their greatest failures, most staggering successes, candid career advice, and what drives them forward in life and science.

Our website with show notes]]

Greetings science fans!

We’re elated to welcome you to People Behind the Science where we explore the lives and experiences of the people behind the research and scientific discoveries of today.

People Behind the Science’s mission is to inspire current and future scientists, share the different paths to a successful career in science, educate the general population on what scientists do, and show the human side of science.

In each episode, a different scientist will guide us through their journey by sharing their successes, failures, and passions. We are excited to introduce you to these inspiring academic and industry experts from all fields of science to give you a variety of perspectives on the life and path of a scientist.

Our esteemed guests will tell you:

what motivates them and how they balance their competing responsibilities
how they worked through some of the most challenging times in their careers
advice to help you through your own journey through life and science


Our Podcast

People Behind the Science is a podcast focused on the people doing fascinating research through interviews with top scientists. We are proud to have interviewed so many inspiring scientists, including U.S. National Academy scientists like Josh Sanes, Nick Spitzer, Lou Muglia, Jacob Israelachvili, Gene Robinson, Larry Squire, John Dowling, James Berger, and David Spergel, as well as popular scientists in the media like Donna Nelson (science advisor for the TV show Breaking Bad) and Jack Horner (science advisor for the Jurassic park movies). We are honored to have shared their amazing stories with people in all 50 states in the USA and in over 120 countries across the world.

    Mechanical Engineer Making Miniature Mobile Robots - Dr. Sarah Bergbreiter

    Mechanical Engineer Making Miniature Mobile Robots - Dr. Sarah Bergbreiter

    Dr. Sarah Bergbreiter is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering with a joint appointment in the Institute for Systems Research at the University of Maryland. Sarah’s research involves building and conducting experiments with tiny locomoting robots that are about the size of ants. They also apply the same technologies used in their tiny robots to build better sensors and actuators for bigger robots to help improve performance of these robots. Spending time with her family is a big part of Sarah’s life outside of work. Her kids enjoy swimming, playing with legos, and building things. Sarah also spends her free time swimming and playing water polo. She received her B.S.E. degree in electrical engineering from Princeton University and was awarded her M.S. and Ph.D degrees in electrical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley where she focused on microrobotics. Sarah has been the recipient of multiple awards for her outstanding work including the DARPA Young Faculty Award, an NSF CAREER Award, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, and Sarah gave a TED Talk in 2015. Sarah joins us for an interview to discuss her life and work.

    • 40 min
    Improving How We Diagnose and Treat Certain Blood Clotting Conditions - Dr. Anand Padmanabhan

    Improving How We Diagnose and Treat Certain Blood Clotting Conditions - Dr. Anand Padmanabhan

    Dr. Anand Padmanabhan is a pathologist, transfusion medicine physician, and Associate Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the Mayo Clinic. Anand studies blood clotting, also known as “thrombosis”. He is working on a particular type of blood clotting that can occur when our bodies produce antibodies for proteins or other molecules inside or on the surface of blood platelets. Anand is interested both in finding better ways to diagnose and to treat patients with these potentially deadly diseases. When he’s not working, Anand loves spending time with his wife, their 15-year-old son, and their two dogs. They enjoy watching movies and traveling together across the U.S. and around the world. He received his Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (M.B.B.S.) degree from Thanjavur Medical College and completed a Clinical Internship in Medicine and Surgery at LLR and Associated Hospitals in India. He was awarded his PhD in biochemistry from Brown University. Afterwards, Anand completed his residency in clinical pathology at Columbia University and New York Presbyterian Hospital and transitioned into a Fellowship in transfusion medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. Anand worked at the Blood Center of Wisconsin and the Medical College of Wisconsin from 2010 - 2019, and he joined the Mayo Clinic in 2020. Anand has received various awards and honors over the course of his career, including the JN Tata endowment for the higher education of Indians, National Blood Foundation Award for Innovative Research, ASFA Lecturer award, and Choosing Wisely Champion Award from the American Society for Apheresis, and he was recently inducted into the National Blood Foundation Hall of Fame. In this interview, he shares more about his life and science.

    • 42 min
    Heading Up Research Designing New Materials for Helmets to Prevent Brain Injury - Dr. Ellen Arruda

    Heading Up Research Designing New Materials for Helmets to Prevent Brain Injury - Dr. Ellen Arruda

    Dr. Ellen Arruda is the Maria Comninou Collegiate Professor of Mechanical Engineering with joint appointments as Professor of Biomedical Engineering, as well as Macromolecular Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan. Ellen studies the mechanical behavior of soft materials, including polymers, plastics, and soft tissues of the body. Her research group focuses on understanding how to design with soft materials so the materials don’t break in different applications, as well as how to design replacements for soft tissues in our bodies when they are damaged. Ellen’s hobbies include running, cooking, and knitting. Running is one of her favorite ways to get exercise and generate great ideas for her work. She is a skilled sweater knitter who learned how to crochet from her mother and picked up knitting from her mother-in-law. She received her B.S. with Honors in Engineering Science and her M.S. in Engineering Mechanics from Pennsylvania State University. Ellen was awarded her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She joined the faculty at the University of Michigan afterwards in 1992. Ellen has received numerous awards and honors for her outstanding research, teaching, and service, including the Ann Arbor Spark Best of Boot Camp award, the Excellence in Research Award from the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, the Ted Kennedy Family Team Excellence Award from the University of Michigan College of Engineering, the Research Excellence Award from the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan, the Cadell Memorial Award, the Outstanding Engineering Alumnus Award from the Pennsylvania State University, the Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award from the University of Michigan, and the Trudy Huebner Service Excellence Award from the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan. Ellen is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Academy of Mechanics, and the Society of Engineering Science. She was also named a Centennial Fellow of the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics at Pennsylvania State University. She was also recently named a Member of the National Academy of Engineering. Ellen joined us for an interview to discuss her experiences in her career, her life, and her engineering research.

    • 39 min
    Analyzing Complex Networks of Plant-Animal Interactions - Dr. John Kress

    Analyzing Complex Networks of Plant-Animal Interactions - Dr. John Kress

    Dr. John Kress is a Distinguished Scientist and Curator of Botany at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. John’s research involves exploring the natural world and all the organisms that make up the natural world. Since graduate school, he has been exploring different areas, particularly tropical areas, to determine what grows there now, what grew there in the past, and how the plants and animals there interact. Not only does John enjoy investigating the natural world at work, he also enjoys spending his free time outside exploring nature. John often goes on walks or hikes with his wife and dog to see nature in action. In addition, John is an avid gardener. Among the plants he cultivates in his own yard are some of the ginger and banana plants that he studies. John received his B.A. in biology from Harvard University and his Ph.D. in botany from Duke University. John formerly served as the Interim Undersecretary for Science for the Smithsonian Institution, Executive Director of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, and Director of the Consortium for Understanding and Sustaining a Biodiverse Planet, which is one of the four grand challenges of the Smithsonian Institution’s strategic plan. He is also Chairman of the Board of the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) and an Affiliate Faculty member at George Mason University. He has previously served as an Adjunct Professor at George Washington University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Among John’s awards and honors are receipt of the Parker-Gentry Award for Biodiversity and Conservation from the Field Museum of Natural History, the Lifetime Achievement Award from Heliconia Society International, and the Edward O. Wilson Biodiversity Technology Pioneer Award for Co-Development of Leafsnap – the First Mobile App for Plant Identification. John is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and an honorary Fellow of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation. In this interview, he discusses his experiences in life and science.

    • 38 min
    Taking Critical Steps to Elucidate Mechanisms of Limb Movement in Locomotion - Dr. Young-Hui Chang

    Taking Critical Steps to Elucidate Mechanisms of Limb Movement in Locomotion - Dr. Young-Hui Chang

    Dr. Young-Hui Chang is a Professor of Biological Sciences at Georgia Institute of Technology where he directs research in the Comparative Neuromechanics Laboratory. Research in Young-Hui’s lab aims to examine how the control of movement by the nervous system is influenced by mechanics and physics during locomotion. He is interested in broad mechanisms for behaviors like walking, running, and hopping that apply within and across species. Young-Hui likes to spend his free time with his family. He, his wife, and his two boys enjoy exploring the outdoors, hiking, and camping together. Though Young-Hui was not always a particularly outdoorsy person, enrolling his sons in the Scouts program has provided an avenue for him and his family to learn more and get outside. Young-Hui received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and his M.S. in Animal Physiology from Cornell University. Next, he conducted his doctoral studies at the University of California, Berkeley, earning his PhD in Integrative Biology in 2000. Prior to joining the faculty at Georgia Tech, Young-Hui was a postdoctoral researcher at Emory University. While at Emory, he was awarded the Association of Korean Neuroscientists President Outstanding Research Hanwha Award. Young-Hui has also been awarded an NSF CAREER Award. In this interview, he discusses his experiences in life and science.

    • 41 min
    Unraveling Mysteries Surrounding the Development and Function of Glial Cells - Dr. Sonia Mayoral

    Unraveling Mysteries Surrounding the Development and Function of Glial Cells - Dr. Sonia Mayoral

    Dr. Sonia Mayoral is the Robert J. and Nancy D. Carney Assistant Professor of Brain Science at Brown University. In the lab, Sonia studies glial cells, the cells in your brain that aren’t neurons. These cells perform a lot of different functions and could hold promise for developing therapies for neurologic diseases. Outside of work, Sonia loves spending as much time as possible with her four-year-old son. Lately, they’ve been enjoying playing Plants vs. Zombies on the iPad and also acting the game out around the house. She received her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from San Jose State University and her PhD in neuroscience from Stanford University. Afterwards, she conducted postdoctoral research at the University of California, San Francisco. She joined the faculty at Brown University in 2021. In this interview, she shares more about her life and science.

    • 39 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
3 Ratings

3 Ratings

Point B Education ,

Entertaining and Informative

A unique and creative concept, Dr. Marie McNeely does a fantastic job of introducing the human side of Science indeed. You don't have to be a Science nut or a budding biologist to appreciate her episodes. Entertaining and informative!

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