8 episodes

AudioHelicase, the podcast of Whitehead Institute: Unwinding the science and the people behind some of the Institute’s most exciting discoveries.



Whitehead Institute is a world-renowned non-profit research institution dedicated to improving human health through basic biomedical research. By cultivating a deeply collaborative culture and enabling the pursuit of bold, creative inquiry, Whitehead fosters paradigm-shifting scientific achievement. For more than 30 years, Whitehead faculty have delivered breakthroughs that have transformed our understanding of biology and accelerated development of therapies for such diseases as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, and certain cancers.

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    • Science

AudioHelicase, the podcast of Whitehead Institute: Unwinding the science and the people behind some of the Institute’s most exciting discoveries.



Whitehead Institute is a world-renowned non-profit research institution dedicated to improving human health through basic biomedical research. By cultivating a deeply collaborative culture and enabling the pursuit of bold, creative inquiry, Whitehead fosters paradigm-shifting scientific achievement. For more than 30 years, Whitehead faculty have delivered breakthroughs that have transformed our understanding of biology and accelerated development of therapies for such diseases as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, and certain cancers.

    Whitehead Institute’s Pulin Li on creating multicellular patterns in a Petri dish

    Whitehead Institute’s Pulin Li on creating multicellular patterns in a Petri dish

    In this episode of AudioHelicase, Whitehead Institute Member Pulin Li talks about how her lab engineers cells in Petri dishes to communicate with each other and form patterns, recreating processes seen in embryo development—and how this work could eventually inform efforts to grow tissues in the lab.   Produced by Conor Gearin Music: Pierce Murphy, … Continue reading Whitehead Institute’s Pulin Li on creating multicellular patterns in a Petri dish →

    • 17 min
    Whitehead Institute’s Ankur Jain on RNA clumps and the neurodegenerative diseases they are associated with

    Whitehead Institute’s Ankur Jain on RNA clumps and the neurodegenerative diseases they are associated with

    In this episode of AudioHelicase, Whitehead Institute Member Ankur Jain discusses how RNA can clump in cells and the diseases, such as Huntington’s and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), that are associated with these aggregations.

    • 12 min
    Whitehead’s Iain Cheeseman discusses cell division and what can happen when it goes wrong

    Whitehead’s Iain Cheeseman discusses cell division and what can happen when it goes wrong

    In this episode of AudioHelicase, Whitehead Institute Member Iain Cheeseman discusses how his work on the kinetochore provides a window into cell division and what happens when this vital cellular function goes awry.

    • 12 min
    Whitehead’s Mary Gehring discusses how gene regulation can be passed from one generation to the next

    Whitehead’s Mary Gehring discusses how gene regulation can be passed from one generation to the next

    In this episode of AudioHelicase, Whitehead Institute Member Mary Gehring discusses how her research on the plant Arabidopsis thaliana reveals how gene regulation can be passed from one generation to the next.

    • 12 min
    Whitehead’s Robert Weinberg on cancer research’s past, present, and future

    Whitehead’s Robert Weinberg on cancer research’s past, present, and future

    From his discovery of the first oncogene and tumor suppressor, to his work revealing critical aspects of the mutational basis of cancer, and more recently its metastatic behavior, Whitehead Founding Member Robert Weinberg’s work has been foundational in our understanding of cancer biology.

    • 20 min
    Whitehead’s Sebastian Lourido on Toxoplasma, malaria parasites, and global health

    Whitehead’s Sebastian Lourido on Toxoplasma, malaria parasites, and global health

    Whitehead Member Sebastian Lourido studies a group of parasites called the Apicomplexa. These single-celled organisms are among the most common pathogens and are capable of causing devastating diseases in humans and animals, including toxoplasmosis, malaria, and infant diarrhea. Lourido’s laboratory is investigating in particular how the Apicomplexan Toxoplasma gondii  invades host cells and establishes its site of replication. The work … Continue reading Whitehead’s Sebastian Lourido on Toxoplasma, malaria parasites, and global health →

    • 15 min

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