Health and Medicine


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Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Marion Nestle, Goddard Professor in the Department of Nutrition at New York University. Professor Nestle reflects on the evolution of her thinking on the interplay between nutrition studies and the politics of food. She discusses the environment of the food industry producing in a highly competitive environment where profits are paramount and public health is not a priority. Advertising and lobbying are important tools at their service as they confront food activists focused on public health, environment, and social justice. Professor Nestle also analyzes the role of government in choosing between re-enforcing the status quo or changing the landscape of food production through funding, regulation, and education. Finally, she offers advice to students preparing for the future. Recorded on 03/22/2017.

Michael Green, neuroscientist and professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at UCLA, has been fascinated with the human brain, behavior and mental illness since his undergraduate days. In particular, his research focuses on schizophrenia, a chronic brain disorder that affects about 1 percent of the population. In this UCLA Faculty Research Lecture, he describes how his lab uses discoveries in psychology and social neuroscience about normal brain functioning to inform his schizophrenia research. And now, Green and his colleagues are moving into new territory, studying the causes of social isolation among people who do not have schizophrenia. You'll learn about the tools they use such as functional MRI, that measures and maps brain activity, and EEG, that detects electrical activity in the brain, and how they do research to answer questions about social isolation in the general public. Recorded on 11.06.2017.

Dr. Hal Barron discusses what he has learned about innovation in science and medicine based on his over 20 years of experience in the biotechnology industry, and potential implications for health policy at the local, national and global level. Barron is one of the most respected clinician-scientists and successful drug developers in the biotechnology industry and serves as Calico's president of research and development. Recorded on 04.26.2017.

UCSF's medical school designed a curriculum that educates 21st century graduates to deliver measurably excellent health care and advance science while maximizing learning and wellbeing for students and faculty. The UCSF Bridges Curriculum - which launched in August 2016 - is a three-phase, fully integrated curriculum delivered over four years.

What is spirituality and spiritual health? How can we effectively assess our own spirituality and identify spiritual distress in ourselves and others? Douglas Ziedonis, MD, MPH, Associate Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences and Professor of Psychiatry at UC San Diego, discusses the link between healthy aging and spirituality.

Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Robert Califf, MD, talks about his experiences running the FDA for President Obama and how big data is being used in academic and commercial research in this keynote address for the 2018 Translational Science Symposium hosted by UC San Diego Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute (ACTRI). Recorded on 04/05/2018.

Jon Kabat-Zinn is the founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program, which teaches participants how to navigate and integrate the challenges and adventures of everyday life. He is also the author of several best-selling books on the topic of mindfulness, including Full Catastrophe Living and Wherever You Go, There You Are. Recorded on 02/16/2018.

There are different types of genetic influences on people's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Douglas Galasko, MD, of the UCSD Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer's Disease Research Center joins William Mobley, MD, PhD to discuss these genes, how they are being studied, and what being a carrier of Alzheimer's associated genes means. Learn more about penetrance and expressivity, genome-wide association studies, and more.

Across the tree of life, we can trace cancer vulnerabilities back to the origins of multicellularity. Cancer is observed in almost all multicellular phyla, including lineages leading to plants, fungi, and animals. However, species vary remarkably in their susceptibility to cancer. Amy Boddy (UCSB Integrated Anthropological Sciences Unit) discusses how this variation in cancer susceptibility is characterized by life history trade-offs, as cancer defense mechanisms are a major component of a body's maintenance. She also looks at how understanding these trade-offs in the context of evolution may help explain the variability we see in cancer susceptibility across human populations. Recorded on 07/18/2018.

Jenny Jay, PhD, UCLA Professor and Researcher at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, provides perspective on how processed foods and water use impact the environment and public health. Recorded on 09/21/2018.

Blood pressure is the force that moves blood through our circulatory system. Dr. Robert Baron explains what the two numbers mean in a reading and when it's too high. He also talks about strategies for lowering your blood pressure safely. Recorded on 10/30/2018.

Millions of people snore. That can bothersome, but it can also be a sign of a more serious condition known as obstructive sleep apnea. Dr. Jolie Chang, Director of UCSF Sleep Surgery Division, helps you understand the signs of sleep apnea and how they differ from regular snoring. She also gives some tips on how to stop snoring. Recorded on 11/06/2018.

Pregnancy is an exciting time for many women. But questions abound: What should you eat? Which pre-natal tests to do? Dr. Martina Dombrowski tells us the best way to deliver a healthy baby and how birthing center midwives help women give birth.
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