Mr. Cliff Kapono is a PhD student at the University of California San Diego. The human body is covered with trillions of microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa), and these microbes produce lots of different chemicals that affect humans in many different ways.  Kapono’s thesis studies are based on the idea that surfers spend a lot of time in the ocean, so their microbiomes are likely influenced by all the marine microbes and chemicals.  Kapono is systematically studying the microbial communities found on surfers around the world, to discover the signature of a surfer biome.  Kapono is an avid surfer, and manages to personally check out the waves at the surf spots where he enrolls participants in his project. Kapono discusses surfing, microbiomes, and his Hawaiian heritage.

Discussants (in alphabetical order):
Dr. Neal Guentzel (Professor and Parliamentarian of STCEID, UTSA)

Dr. Karl Klose (Professor and Director of STCEID,  UTSA)

 


Please visit http://www.cliffkapono.com/new-page/ to find more information about Mr. Kapono’s projects.

 

Dr. Dan Riskin is the host of the Animal Planet show about parasitic infections, Monsters Inside Me, and he also hosts a nightly science show broadcast in Canada, The Daily Planet.  Dr. Riskin studied vampire bats while earning his Ph.D., and to this day is still bat crazy. His career promoting science for general audiences and his entertaining and enthusiastic personality have led him to be a guest on various late night talk shows, and he is the author of the book “Mother Nature is Trying to Kill You”.

Dr. Riskin joined this podcast remotely from his home in Canada, and therefore the audio quality is a little scratchy.  However, his discussion of topics ranging from his bot fly infection to bats that share their armpit sweat (and other things), and touching on the need to stimulate interest in science, will make you want to keep listening!

Discussants (in alphabetical order):
Dr. Karl Klose (Professor and director of STCEID, UTSA)
Dr. Janakiram Seshu (Associate professor, STCEID,  UTSA)
Dr. Floyd Wormley (Professor, STCEID, UTSA)

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Dr. Nathan Schmidt is an Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Louisville. Dr. Schmidt studies the parasite that is transmitted by mosquitoes and causes malaria, Plasmodium. Malaria is a prevalent parasitic disease around the globe that is estimated to kill up to 500,000 people every year.  Dr. Schmidt is interested in how the microbiome, which are the bacteria that are naturally found in the gut, influence the ability of a host to resist being infected with malaria.  Dr. Schmidt discusses malaria parasites, mosquitoes, and eradication efforts.

Discussants (in alphabetical order):
Dr. Evelien Bunnik (Assistant Professor of Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics at University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio)
Dr. Kirsten Hanson (Assistant Professor of STCEID, UTSA)
Dr. Karl Klose (Professor and Director of STCEID,  UTSA)

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Dr. Girish Kirimanjeswara is an Assistant Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Kirimanjeswara studies bacteria that cause disease in humans, and how the immune system fights against these microbes. Selenium is a trace element that is found naturally in various environments, and Dr. Kirimanjeswara has become interested in the involvement of selenium in infectious disease.  Dr. Kirimanjeswara discusses trace elements, whooping cough, as well as his former life as a veterinarian, and the importance of vaccination.

Discussants (in alphabetical order):
Dr. Neal Guentzel (Professor and Parliamentarian of STCEID, UTSA)

Dr. Karl Klose (Professor and Director of STCEID,  UTSA)

 

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Jeffrey Stott

Dr. Jeffrey Stott is a Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Stott studies the cause of an unusual tick-borne disease localized in cattle in California. Epizootic Bovine Abortion is caused by bacteria that cannot be grown in the laboratory, which has hampered the development of vaccines against this disease that leads to up to 5-10% of all cattle abortions in California. Dr. Stott discusses the search for an effective vaccine, as well as his interest in studying diseases in sea mammals like sea lions and dolphins.

Discussants (in alphabetical order):
Dr. Hans Heidner (Professor, STCEID, UTSA)
Dr. Janakiram Seshu (Associate professor, STCEID,  UTSA)

 

 

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gilmoreDr. Mike Gilmore is the Sir William Osler Professor of Ophthalmology, and Microbiology and Immunobiology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Gilmore is the director of the Harvard-wide Program on Antibiotic Resistance, and his research focuses on the evolution and development of multidrug resistant strains of enterococci, staphylococci, and streptococci. The world is facing a serious health crisis with the increasing prevalence of multidrug resistant superbugs; the CDC estimates that there are 2 million infections and 23,000 deaths each year in the U.S. due to antibiotic resistant bacteria.  Dr. Gilmore discusses how bacteria become resistant to antibiotics, what scientists are doing to address this problem, and what everyone can do to help alleviate this impending global health crisis.

Discussants (in alphabetical order):
Dr. Karl Klose (Professor and director of STCEID, UTSA)
Dr. Janakiram Seshu (Associate professor, STCEID,  UTSA)
Dr. Floyd Wormley (Professor, STCEID, UTSA)

chenDr. Wangxue Chen is a research scientist at the National Research Council of Canada. Dr. Chen’s research focuses on vaccine developme against various bacterial pathogens, including Francisella tularensis. This bug is normally found in rabbits, but it is considered one of the most dangerous bacteria because if it gets into your lungs, it can lead to a fatal disease.  It was developed into a bioweapon by a number of countries, and has to be worked on under high-level biocontainment (BSL3) conditions. Dr. Chen discusses what makes particular organisms biothreats, and how scientists are trying to come up with vaccines and other therapies to neutralize these scary bugs.

Discussants (in alphabetical order):
Dr. Neal Guentzel (Professor and Parliamentarian of STCEID, UTSA)

Dr. Karl Klose (Professor and Director of STCEID,  UTSA)

kerns-pic1Dr. Timothy Kern is a professor in the Department of Pharmacology at Case Western Reserve University and director of the Center for Diabetes Research. His research is focused primarily on determining what causes retinopathy in diabetes patients and how to prevent it. His laboratory is identifying how hyperglycemia causes retinopathy, and discovering new treatments that may inhibit the loss of vision in diabetes. In this episode, he talks about how to control blood sugar, new diabetes treatments, and what keeps him working long hours in the lab.

Discussants (in alphabetical order):
Dr. Astrid Cardona (Associate Professor, STCEID, UTSA)
Dr. Janakiram Seshu (Associate Professor, STCEID, UTSA)

 

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mcgeachy3 Dr. Mandy McGeachy is assistant professor of medicine at University of Pittsburgh.  In this episode, she discusses autoimmune diseases. The immune system is designed to protect us from invading microbes and in most of us it does a fantastic job of preventing us from getting sick for most of our lives. However, sometimes this protective shield can turn against us, and when this happens it is referred to as autoimmune disease.  Dr. McGeachy discusses autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis: what causes the good guys (our immune system) to go bad?   She talks about one particular component of the immune system that is the focus of her research, Th17 cells, and how these cells play an important role in autoimmune disease. Dr. McGeachy also shares her thoughts about how to balance work and life as a professional woman.

Discussants (in alphabetical order):
Dr. Thomas Forsthuber (Professor, STCEID, UTSA)
Dr. Karl Klose (Professor and Director of STCEID,  UTSA)
Dr. Julie Schwartz (Postdoctoral Fellow, STCEID, UTSA)

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jason-rosenfeld_headshotMr. Jason Rosenfeld, assistant director of global health at University of Texas Heath Science Center at San Antonio is the first speaker of Microtalk. He is a public health professional with over 10 years of experience designing, implementing and evaluating international health and development programs, with a specific focus on community based water, sanitation and hygiene education and behavior change.

In this episode, Jason shares his global health experiences in Africa, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, and how local health clubs can combat global health problems. He also discusses Zika virus, the crisis of antibiotic resistance, and how his family ended up with a Zimbabwean dog.

Discussants (in alphabetical order):
Dr. Karl Klose (Professor and director of STCEID, UTSA)
Dr. Janakiram Seshu (Associate professor, STCEID,  UTSA)
Dr. Floyd Wormley (Professor, STCEID, UTSA)

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Mr. Jason Rosenfeld working in South Africa