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Posts tagged as “research”

LSS 94: Research Inspired by the COVID-19 Pandemic

In today’s episode, we interview scientists about new areas of research and exploration that were initiated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Jennifer Surtees (photo courtesy of Dr. Surtees)

First off, Janani Hariharan interviews Dr. Jennifer Surtees, Associate Professor of Biochemistry at the University at Buffalo, and Co-Director of UB’s Genome, Environment and Microbiome Community of Excellence. Dr. Surtees recently sequenced dozens of SARS-CoV-2 isolates, obtained from the Erie County Department of Public Health.

During the interview, Surtees discusses how the SARS-CoV-2 RNA sequences reveal the geographical origins of the different viral isolates. You can hear about what SARS-CoV-2 genomes look like, how genomics can inform public health guidelines, and how to access a public database that contains information on SARS-CoV-2 strains from around the world.

To learn more about Dr. Surtees’ research, go to

Dr. Jason Guss (photo courtesy of Dr. Guss)

Later in the show, Esther Racoosin speaks with Dr. Jason Guss, a former graduate student of the Cornell Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering. Guss, together with fellow Cornell alum Dr. Apoorva Kiran, established Iterate Labs.

Iterate Labs initially developed wearable devices that could improve workplace ergonomic safety.  Now the devices are being modified to provide location awareness to prevent spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus in manufacturing workplaces. They also facilitate contact tracing when and if a worker contracts the virus. To learn more, visit

Today’s show concludes with an overview of the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability new rapid-response grants that are funding a variety of COVID-19-related Cornell research projects. To learn more, visit


Producer: Liz Mahood

Co-Producer: Esther Racoosin

Interview of Dr. Jennifer Surtees: Janani Harihanan

Interview of Dr. Jason Guss: Esther Racoosin

Overview of Cornell Atkinson Center COVID-19 grants: Candice Limper

Music: Joe Lewis; Blue Dot Sessions

LSS 90: Highlighting Immunology Research By Cornell POC

Avery August, PhD (photo courtesy of Dr. August)

In today’s show, we highlight the work of three researchers at Cornell University who are people of color.  All three of the scientists study different aspects of how the human immune system responds to pathogens such as bacteria and viruses. 

The show begins with Scarlett Lee’s interview of Dr. Avery August.  He is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor of Immunology at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.  Dr. August is also Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at Cornell.  In the interview, Dr. August reflects on how he was first introduced to the concept of doing laboratory research by an organic chemistry professor. He also discusses how he became interested in doing immunology research. Dr. August details his current research goals as well as his hopes for helping to increase the diversity of the Cornell faculty.

Graduate Student Jessica Elmore (photo courtesy of J. Elmore)

Later in the show, Candice Limper speaks with Jessica Elmore, a graduate student in Dr. August’ lab.  She discusses her research understanding the role of immune cells in the development of chronic lung inflammatory disease.

Graduate Student Kristel Joy Yee Mon (courtesy of K. Yee Mon)

Today’s show concludes with Liz Mahood’s interview of Kristel Joy Yee Mon, a graduate student who is completing her PhD research in the field of developmental immunology.  She is a member of the laboratory of Associate Professor Brian Rudd at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.


Producer: Esther Racoosin

Interview of Dr. Avery August: Scarlett Lee

Interview of Jessica Elmore: Candice Limper

Interview of Kristel Joy Yee Mon: Liz Mahood