Of the more than 20 episodes of the medical school’s Breakthroughs podcast produced in 2021, the most popular ranged across specialties from gastroenterology to nanotechnology. Listen to the top five episodes of the year and earn Continuing Medical Education credit.
Since coming to Northwestern in 2013, Deborah Smith Clements, MD, chair of the Department of Family & Community Medicine, has established three thriving family medicine residency programs and has been an advocate for improving the residency match process, health policy and social justice. She talks about her work, leading her department through COVID-19 and her recent Distinguished Service Award from Illinois Academy of Family Physicians.
Immunotherapy has revolutionized cancer treatment over the last few decades, though not for glioblastoma — the most common and deadly malignant brain tumor. However, Northwestern Medicine neurosurgeon Adam Sonabend, MD, shares promising research on the potential benefits of immunotherapy for certain glioblastoma patients.
What do we know about the effectiveness of COVID-19 boosters, and how might they better protect us from new variants such as omicron? Alexis Demonbreun, PhD, assistant professor of Pharmacology, offers insight. She is the author of a new study that shows COVID-19 boosters seem to supercharge antibody response.
Millions of molecular proteins are swimming through our body’s cells and many studies have discovered that these proteins are the main drivers of all human diseases. Scientists are now mapping proteins the way the Human Genome Project mapped genes. Neil Kelleher, PhD, director of Northwestern Proteomics, is at the forefront of the Human Proteoform Project and explains how it could lead to more targeted and effective diagnostics and treatments for diseases.
Regenerative nanomedicine is being used to develop new therapies for devastating conditions such as severe spinal cord injuries. Northwestern’s Samuel Stupp, PhD, is a pioneer in the field of regenerative nanomedicine and recently published a paper in the journal Science that details how a new injectable therapy uses synthetic nanofibers to reverse severe spinal cord injuries in animals and how this therapy could soon be used in humans.
Northwestern Medicine scientists have discovered one of the earliest signs of Parkinson’s disease, proving that damaged neuronal mitochondria alone can cause symptoms of the disease, according to a study published in Nature. Senior author D. James Surmeier, PhD, chair of the Feinberg department of Neuroscience, who has over 30 years of experience in the field, explains the importance of these findings for future Parkinson’s research and therapeutics.
People who are Black make up the largest group of minorities in need of an organ transplant. In 2019, Northwestern Medicine launched the African American Transplant Access Program to help address this problem. Founding director of the program Dinee Simpson, MD, talks about the barriers to organ transplant for Black patients and how she is working to bring down those barriers in Chicago.
Judd Hultquist, PhD, talks about key variants of SARS-CoV-2 and how his lab is identifying and studying these variants.
Elizabeth McNally, MD, PhD, talks about her recent discoveries advancing muscular dystrophy research.