Category Archives: Viruses

Episode 57: Mary Carol Jennings On Accelerating Vaccine Access

How does Johns Hopkins International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC) help speed up equitable access to life saving vaccines like rotavirus or HPV vaccines? Mary Carol Jennings, MD, on top of being drawn to community medicine, has always felt a calling for advocacy and bringing positive change to her surroundings. Even through her rigorous medical training, she made time for helping others at all stages of her career. At IVAC, Mary Carol is lead on two projects: RAVIN, an accelerator project for equitable vaccine access to rotavirus vaccine, and developing a new project on HPV vaccine access and advocacy.

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New podcast! Episode 48: Laurie Garrett On Outbreaks and Science Journalism

Laurie Garrett

Our latest podcast guest, Laurie Garrett, is an award winning science journalist (she has won all three major journalism awards: the Peabody, the Pulitzer, and the Polk) and  a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.  I first heard about Laurie back in 2000 when I read her book, “The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance.” Among many accomplishments, she’s well known for chronicling the Ebola outbreak both in the 90’s and more recently.  In this episode, Laurie tells us some of her stories from the frontline of outbreak science journalism and some challenges she sees for the global community in preparing for the next pandemic.

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Episode 39: Tom Quinn on the HIV/AIDS Epidemic and Global Health


Special #WorldAidsDay podcast! Our latest guest, Dr. Tom Quinn, was one of the first doctors working on HIV/AIDS here in the US in 1981 and still in the frontlines of combatting this global epidemic as Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health, Associate Director for International Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a researcher at Johns Hopkins University, and a consultant at a long list of places like The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), World Health Organization (WHO). Truly a champion for public health.

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Episode 38: Jenny Carlson On GMO Politics

jenny-carlsonContinuing on with the science communication and politics theme, Nina chats with Dr. Jenny Carlson, medical entomologist, about her trip down to Florida last summer to talk to citizens about the benefits of releasing genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes to combat mosquito borne diseases like Zika and Dengue.

Wise words from Jenny: “Sometimes life will take you in the most unexpected direction if you open yourself up to opportunities- my personal philosophy in life is to experience as much as possible. My path has changed many time within the realm of science, but one thing is for sure, science is one of my greatest loves and because of that I need to advocate for it. Little did I know that my expertise in mosquito biology would lead me to defend for the release of genetically modified mosquitoes in Key West, FL.”

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New Podcast! Bill Moss: Global Disease Epidemiologist


We travel across the globe (metaphorically speaking) to learn about HIV, malaria, and measles in our latest podcast with Bill Moss, epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins. Bill tells us about his most captivating and proud moments in his research (and medical) career spanning over Zambia, Baltimore, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe, India and New York City. Learn about the work that ultimately lead to policy changes by the WHO based on his co-infection model of HIV and measles. Please check out our website for show links at and follow us on Twitter (PHUpodcast) and Facebook.

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Conor McMeniman on Combating Zika with Mosquito Biology & Science Communication

Conor McMeniman

Public Health United is the podcast all about improving science and public health communication. In our latest episode, Nina interviews Dr. Conor McMeniman (Johns Hopkins) who has made the news alot recently because he won a challenge grant from the United States Agency for International Development to tackle the Zika virus outbreak by discovering novel ways to prevent, detect and treat Zika and future ID outbreaks. We discuss his grant proposal that won this prestigious award, the field work in Australia that got him involved in mosquito research, and his thoughts on science communication and how scientists need to be involved in community engagement so that our interventions will be accepted, trusted and implemented.

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New Podcast “Women In Science With Kathy Splinder”

Nina Kathy Spindler cropped

Despite growing numbers of women in STEM, there still remains a gap between female versus male scientists in terms of pay, grants, publications, and high level positions. Nina and guest Kathy Splinder (virologist from University of Michigan and co host of This Week In Virology) discuss the current state of women in science, mentors, and science communication in Public Health United’s latest podcast episode.

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New Podcast: Vincent Munster, Frontline Global Health Scientist

Me Steve Vincent Munster
Me, Steve, & Vincent at the American Society for Virology 2016 Annual Conference, Virginia Tech

Learn what it’s like to be a scientist on the frontlines of viral outbreaks like MERS (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome) and Ebola with our guest Dr. Vincent Munster, Chief, Virus Ecology Unit at Rocky Mountain Labs at the National Institutes of Health. The Virus Ecology Unit combines traditional bench work at their state of the art facilities in Montana with work right where the outbreaks are happening, like Africa, the Middle East, and the Caribbean.  Vincent was on the frontlines of the Ebola outbreak in Africa & was part of the unit to test patients for the virus. His lab also does research into MERS, including a transmission blocking vaccine for camels, and development of mouse & monkey models. We also feature friend & colleague Stephen Goldstein, PhD candidate working on MERS in the lab of Susan Weiss at the University of Pennsylvania. This was recorded at the American Society for Virology annual meeting at Virginia Tech.

Tune in to hear Vincent’s story on what it was like to be a scientist in Africa at the height of the Ebola outbreak and his cutting edge work on MERS. Truly an inspirational scientist who’s focusing on improving global health!

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1) Viral Ecology Unit NIH profile (includes more info on Vincent)
2) NIH Laboratory of Virology, Heinz Feldmann, Profile
3) Centers for Disease Control info page on MERS
4) World Health Organization info page on MERS
5) MERS & Camels summary by Vincent Racaniello
6) Susan Weiss Faculty Page, Penn
7) CDC “About Ebola”
8) Ebola Outbreak Map 2014

Me Steve Vincent Munster night



Podcast with Moveable Feast CEO Tom Bonderenko


PHU is throwing a charity event on December 5 to benefit Moveable Feast, a Baltimore non-profit that provides free meals and nutritional counseling to people with HIV/AIDS and other chronic diseases. Baltimore is number 3 in the nation for incidences of HIV infection and CEO Tom Bonderenko tells us in our latest podcast how Moveable Feast has been helping in the fight against AIDS since 1989. Give a listen to this podcast if you’d like to learn about the great work Moveable Feast is doing in the community in the fight against HIV. And check out our events page for more information on our maiden community event!

Access the podcast by clicking here.

Interested in attending our charity event or donating?
STEP 1: Buy tickets here (the entire $10 will be donated!)

STEP 2: Sign up for free shuttle ride here (after buying tickets).

STEP 3: Join our Facebook event by clicking here.

New podcast! Stephen Goldstein On MERS & the American Society for Virology Meeting

Steve GoldsteinIn our latest podcast, Nina meets up with former Hopkins colleague Stephen Goldstein at the 2015 American Society for Virology (ASV) meeting in London, Ontario, Canada. Stephen is now a PhD Candidate at the University of Pennsylvania in the lab of Dr. Susan Weiss and studies Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus.  Stephen and Nina talk about ASV, the MERS outbreak and the coronavirus research community, and how to build your Twitter following. Stephen also tells us about his non-traditional path towards obtaining a PhD and studying MERS-CoV.

You can access the podcast by clicking here or by subscribing on iTunes. You can also check out our app for easy access on the go.

Show links:
– Great open access review on the MERS outbreak
– Check out Dr. Weiss’ Penn profile here
– “Assessing the Science of Ebola Transmission” by Stephen Goldstein in The Atlantic
– “Middle East respiratory virus came from camels, not terrorists” by Stephen Goldstein in The Conversation
– “Why people without symptoms aren’t going to give you Ebola” by Stephen Goldstein in The Conversation
American Society for Virology and the 2015 meeting in Canada
– National Academy of Sciences: Science & Entertainment Exchange