microbiome Conference News Features bioengineering immunology IBS global health cancer Infectious Diseases Partners Community innate immunity Bioengineering, Digital & Computational Biolog leadership Virtual Keystone Symposia genetics

Collaborative Content: The Scientist’s LabTalk Podcast Series

By Shannon Weiman

This past year Keystone Symposia has teamed up with The Scientist’s LabTalk Podcast to feature eSymposia’s most innovative speakers and their pioneering work to drive research and medicine in new directions.  As a special edition podcast dedicated to exploring topics at the leading edge of innovative research, the partnership is a perfect match with Keystone Symposia’s mission.  Together, we have highlighted scientific leaders who are tackling medicine’s greatest challenges, from cancer to global infectious diseases.

Myeloid Cells in Cancer & Science Advocacy with Miriam Merad

eSymposia Speaker- Myeloid Cells & Innate Immunity in Solid Tumors eSymposia

This episode showcases Miriam Merad’s discovery that antigen presenting cells enhance anti-tumor immune responses, providing new targets for immunotherapies that could boost innate immune responses against cancer. The discussion also covers Merad’s advocacy work fighting the foreign scholars visa ban in 2020, to maintain the international, dynamic and vibrant research community that makes the US a global-leader in research and innovation. The feature highlights need for scientists as communicators and community leaders to advocate for policies that support the research ecosystem, which does not exist in a vacuum isolated from world events.

Listen to the Podcast:

“Myeloid Cells in Cancer and Science Advocacy”



Halting the Tuberculosis Epidemic with Research & Diagnostics with Dr. David Alland

eSymposia Organizer & Keynote- Tuberculosis: Science Aimed at Ending the Epidemic

This episode outlines the career of meeting organizer Dr. David Alland in his crusade against tuberculosis. Witnessing the emergence of drug resistant TB first hand, and faced with the subsequent rise of multi-drug resistant strains worldwide, Alland saw the urgent need for faster and more effective diagnostics to quell the global epidemic. Teaming with public health and industry sectors, he developed a rapid point-of-care test to analyze drug resistance mutations that is now the gold standard for guiding effective treatment regimens. The platform has since been adapted for diagnosis of MRSA, Ebola and even SARS-CoV2, providing a critical tool for public health in combatting emerging infectious disease challenges.

Listen to the Podcast:

“Halting the Tuberculosis Epidemic with Research and Diagnostics”



Bugs with Drugs: Repurposing a Pathogenic Bacteria’s Weapon with Dr. Cammie Lesser

eSymposia Speaker- Synthetic Biology: At the Crossroads of Genetic Engineering & Human Health

In this episode, Dr. Cammie Lesser describes her work developing designer probiotics to treat inflammatory bowel disease and other gut disorders. By arming E. coli with a secretion system derived from pathogenic bacteria, she engineers them to secrete therapeutic proteins that block TNF inflammatory cytokine signaling. When delivered as a probiotic, these microbes act as miniature drug factories within the gut, manufacturing potent biologic molecules directly at the site of disease. The promising and innovative approach eliminates dangerous side effects of systemic immune-suppressive treatments, which put patients at risk of cancer and/or infections.

Listen to the Podcast:

“Bugs with Drugs: Repurposing a Pathogenic Bacteria’s Weapon”


Return to more articles from the Keypoint Newsletter

Shannon Weiman
Shannon Weiman earned her PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the University of California, San Diego, specializing in microbiology and immunology. Prior to joining the Keystone Symposia team, she worked as a freelance writer for leaders in academic, industry and government research, including Stanford University’s Biomedical Innovation Initiative, the University of Colorado’s Biofrontiers Program, UCSF, the FDA and the American Society for Microbiology.