New podcast takes listeners inside the immune system

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Joe Schwartz

From left, Cindy Leifer, Vincent Racaniello and Stephanie Langel.

Few understand how our immune system protects us and what happens when it goes awry.

Immune,” a new monthly podcast, hopes to increase understanding of everything from antibiotics and vaccines to cancer immunotherapy.

Hosted by Cindy Leifer, professor of immunology at Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine, Stephanie Langel, a doctoral candidate in the Food Animal Health Research Program at Ohio State University, and Vincent Racaniello, professor in the department of microbiology and immunology at Columbia University, the podcast features the three discussing diseases and therapies from their disciplinary perspectives.

“‘Immune’ explains things in a way that everyone can understand,” said Leifer. “For example, CAR-T cell therapy and checkpoint inhibitors are buzzwords in cancer treatment. Yet I would hazard a guess that few people even know what a T-cell is or why altering it might lead to destruction of tumors. Our podcast will break it down and explain why T-cells are so important in the fight against cancer.”

The first episode, “Some like it hot,” discusses how warm temperatures protect against atherosclerosis – fatty deposits that clog arteries – by regulating monocyte migration into the blood.

Upcoming topics will include cancer, allergies, autoimmune diseases and vaccines.

- Melissa Osgood


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