Evolution is about more than survival of the fittest. It's also about the survival of the most cooperative. Join us as we explore the collaborative side of life sciences research and work to consciously evolve science itself. This podcast is a production of Penn State University's Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences. Watch the video versions, complete with cool animations at www.thesymbioticpodcast.com
Changing the Game in Stem Cell Engineering: Xiaojun (Lance) Lian
The field of stem cell research has progressed immensely since its high-profile politicization in the early 2000s, with researchers now able to harvest cells from uncontroversial sources and manipulate them with ever-increasing accuracy and efficiency. Associate Professor of Biology and Biomedical Engineering Lance Lian talks about his key role in advancing our understanding and mastery of stem cells and the incredible medical applications they promise.
Changing the Game in Epigenetics: Sally Mackenzie
Sally Mackenzie is one of the world’s foremost experts on epigenetics, the study of how environmental changes affect the way genes are expressed. In this conversation we cover an epigenetic techniques she’s patented, the biotech company she founded, and the potential role that epigenetics could play in human health.
Mackenzie Laboratory WebsiteEpicrop Technologies Inc.Trailblazers: Sally Mackenzie’s Vision for the Future of PlantsFeatured Guest
Director of the Plant Institute; Huck Chair of Functional Genomics; Professor of Biology and of Plant Science
Changing the Game in Ancient DNA Research: Laura Weyrich
Laura Weyrich leads efforts to better understand the impact of diet on the communities of microorganisms residing in our mouths, and their influence on human health. In this livestreamed conversation, she talks about her work with Neanderthal teeth, the ethics of dealing with human remains, and shifts in human activity that have changed the makeup of our microbiomes.
MicroARCH Lab Website"The woman who loves the gunk on Neanderthal teeth." Cosmos Magazine, December 14, 2017Laura S. Weyrich Google Scholar ProfileFeatured Guest
Associate Professor of Anthropology
Changing the Game in Global Pediatrics: Dr. Steven Schiff
Dr. Steven Schiff has spent much of his career fighting the scourge of infant infection, especially in low and middle-income countries with minimal healthcare infrastructure. In this livestreamed conversation, he explains the difficulties of working in places like Mbale, Uganda and Hanoi, Vietnam; shares hard-won victories in treatment and prevention; and forecasts future possibilities.
Steven J. Schiff, MD, PhD — Engineering Science and Mechanics Wiki PageFeatured Guest:
Dr. Steven Schiff
Director of the Center for Neural Engineering; Brush Chair Professor of Engineering; Professor of Neurosurgery; Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics
Changing the Game in Epidemiology: Nita Bharti
Nita Bharti is an expert on the interplay of population movement and disease and a pioneer in the use of unorthodox data sources to better inform public health decisions. In this livestreamed conversation, she shares her open-minded, intellectually curious approach to epidemiology on multiple continents, working with people, animals, and spillover events between the two.
The Bharti Lab of Human Infectious DiseasesCenter for Infectious Disease DynamicsFeatured Guest
Huck Early Career Professor; Assistant Professor of Biology
Changing the Game in Food Security: David Hughes
David Hughes has won a number of accolades, both from the academic world and in the mainstream media, for his work with PlantVillage. In this livestreamed opening episode of season three, Hughes talks about the factors in his life and career that have made him so effective and iconoclastic.
PlantVillageDonate to PlantVillageFast Company: How one scientist is saving crops around the world via AI-enabled appsDavid Hughes makes Newsweek’s inaugural list of 'America’s Greatest Disruptors'Penn State awarded nearly $39M for global research on threats to cropsFeatured Guest
Huck Chair in Global Food Security; Professor of Entomology and Biology
So cool to hear researdh scientsts sharing their passion for collaboration across disciplines. It really does look like a vital next step, if we're going to take on our complex global challenges.