Dr. Jimmy Ballard is professor and chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.  Dr. Ballard is an expert on Clostridia-related diseases, and specifically disease caused by C. difficile, or “Cdiff”.   Cdiff infections result from heavy antibiotic usage, and can cause serious and even fatal disease.   One of the most successful treatments for Cdiff infection is a fecal transplant, where fecal bacteria from a healthy donor are transplanted into the patient.  Dr. Desh Sharma is a gastroenterologist who performs fecal transplants on his patients with Cdiff infections.  Dr. Ballard discusses how Cdiff causes disease, Dr. Sharma discusses exactly how a fecal transplants is performed, and both talk a lot of s*&t.  The MicroCase for listeners to solve is about Guera Macarena, a zookeeper who comes down with a strange disease after holding races with some of her zoo animals.

 

Participants:

Karl Klose, Ph.D. (UTSA)

Jimmy Ballard, Ph.D. (OUHSC)

Desh Sharma, M.D. (Stone Oak Gastroenterology)

Janakiram Seshu, Ph.D. (UTSA)

Dr. George Dimopoulos is a Professor at Johns Hopkins University, and Dr. Helen Lazear is an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Dr. Dimopoulos studies mosquitoes, those pesky insects that annoy people by biting them and sucking their blood.  But they also spread a number of diseases, including malaria and dengue virus.  Dr. Dimopoulos is developing various clever ways to prevent mosquitoes from transmitting diseases to humans.

 

Dr. Lazear studies the Zika virus, which is also spread by mosquitoes and has been recognized as a cause of brain defects in infants when it infects pregnant women. Dr. Lazear studies how the virus gets into the nervous system, with a goal of identifying new ways to prevent disease. Dr. Dimopoulos and Dr. Lazear discuss ways to control and prevent malaria, how worried we should be about Zika virus, and how climate change influences diseases spread by mosquitoes.

 

The MicroCase for listeners to solve is about Lukey Luke, a lobster fisherman who gets sick after going leaf peeping in New Hampshire.

 

 

 

Participants:

Karl Klose, Ph.D. (UTSA)

Helen Lazear, Ph.D. (UNC Chapel Hill)

George Dimopoulos, Ph.D. (Johns Hopkins)

Janakiram Seshu, Ph.D. (UTSA)