15 Good Minutes: Chunhui Xu

Chunhui Xu, PhD, is an associate professor of pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine specializing in cardiogenesis — the study of the development of the embryonic heart. Researchers in her lab turn human pluripotent (immature) stem cells, or hPSCs, into cardiac muscle cells. It’s an innovation that holds hope for disease modeling, drug screening, and regenerative medicine. March 2020 marked the end of a stellar project: Cardiac cells were shown to be cultivated more efficiently in the microgravity environment of space. The experiment, devised by Emory professor Chunhui Xu, PhD, in partnership with Kevin Maher, MD, began years ago Read More …

15 Good Minutes: Samuel Sober

The singing of Bengalese finches led Samuel Sober, PhD, to a breakthrough technology for understanding how the brain controls movement and the processes of sensorimotor learning. “Songbirds are the best model system for understanding how the brain controls complex vocal behavior, and one of the best systems for understanding control of motor behavior in general,” says Sober, Emory associate professor of biology. This breakthrough comes after decades in the neuroscience field. After getting his bachelor’s in neuroscience and behavior, Sober pursued a doctorate in neuroscience at the University of California, San Francisco. His doctoral thesis researched human motor planning and Read More …

15 Good Minutes: Stefan Sarafianos

Stefan Sarafianos is the rare researcher whose expertise spans structural biology, biochemistry, and virology. He recently led the groundbreaking development of a SARS-CoV-2 subgenomic replicon system, including mutants, that can be used for high-throughput screening and characterization of SARS-CoV-2 replicase inhibitors at a lower biosafety level—considerable benefits for pursuing studies such as drug discovery and inhibitors assay. Many of us are familiar with the bedeviling question: “Do you want it faster, cheaper, and better? Pick one.” In the case of the replicon system Stefan Sarafianos has developed, researchers studying SARS-CoV-2 are able to benefit from all three and add one Read More …

15 Good Minutes: Eric Wagner

For Emory Orthopedic Surgeon Eric Wagner, MD, research isn’t just a side pursuit. Despite maintaining a busy clinical practice, Wagner has managed to make research into what he calls a “second career.” Wagner and his partner, Michael Gottschalk, MD, currently have over 45 ongoing projects, with topics running the gambit from managing opioid addiction to helping tendons heal. Wagner has published over 185 articles in peer-reviewed journals, and his work has had a substantial impact in improving patient outcomes from orthopedic procedures. “We take some complex surgeries where patients don’t traditionally do as well and try to make them better Read More …

15 Good Minutes: Erik Dreaden

Erik Dreaden, PhD is an assistant professor in Emory’s department of pediatrics and department of biomedical engineering, a shared department between Emory and GA Tech. The Dreaden Lab has been working hard to create an exciting light-responsive immunotherapy technology. This unique technology works to target cancer cells using light. The goal of this developing technology is to improve current cancer therapies and immunotherapy. Dreaden’s interest in the field of cancer grew over time, as cancer has been a large part of his life. His father battled melanoma and colon cancer, so it has personally impacted his work and touched him. Read More …

15 Good Minutes: Hari Trivedi

After completing an undergraduate degree in engineering at Georgia Tech, Emory Assistant-Professor Dr. Hari Trivedi began medical school with an open mind about what field to specialize in. While exploring different fields, Trivedi began to grow interested in the intersection of medicine and technology. He eventually settled on his chosen field, radiology, after witnessing how it combined his interests in both medicine and engineering. “During radiology rotations, I thought radiology was just so cool because radiologists get all the newest toys,” Trivedi said. “I remember seeing my first 3D reconstruction of a CT scan, and that’s when I was like, Read More …

15 Good Minutes: Ichiro Matsumura

For Emory Professor of Biochemistry Ichiro Matsumura, PhD, inspiration to pursue a career in research came from an unlikely source: a concussion. When Matsumura was in college at MIT, he got into a bike accident that left him hospitalized for several months. After being released from the hospital, Matsumura was prepared to retake all his courses from that semester over the summer. However, one of Matsumura’s professors, Harry Lodish, gave him the option to write a report from a list of topics instead of retaking the course, given that he had done well on the class’s first midterm. The topic Read More …

15 Good Minutes: William Wuest

Antibiotics have been one of the most consequential innovations in human history, allowing us to treat a wide variety of bacterial diseases that could otherwise be damaging or fatal. However, bacterial resistant to these antibiotics is on the rise, necessitating a constant drive to discover new antibiotic drugs as older ones are rendered less effective. One of the scientists on this forefront of this push is Emory Associate Professor and Georgia Research Alliance Distinguished Investigator, William Wuest, PhD. Wuest runs a lab that is focused on finding novel antibiotics to fight bacterial infections. Recently he and his team have made Read More …

15 Good Minutes: Cassandra Quave

When most people think about medicine, plants are not what immediately jumps to mind. However, for Emory Assistant Professor Cassandra Quave, PhD, the relationship between plants and medicine is career-defining. Quave is an ethnobotanist, meaning she studies human interaction with plants and their potential medical properties. Her work has led to important discoveries including treatments for eczema and skin infections. Quave describes her research as investigating compounds on a fundamental level, derived from their source in plants. She and her lab then determine whether the compound has properties that would allow it to be used in medicine. “In a single Read More …