Mendelspod Podcast



Mendelspod was founded in 2011 by Theral Timpson and Ayanna Monteverdi to advance life science research, connecting people and ideas. Influenced by the thinking tools developed by Eli Goldgratt, the founders bring a unique approach to media in the life sciences. With help from our advisors around the industry, Mendelspod goes beyond quick sound bites to create a space for probing conversations and deep insight into the topics and trends which shape the industry's future and therefore our future as a species.


  • Out of the Reductionist Trap: Brad Gray of NanoString on Spatial Biology


    One of the hottest new trends in biomedical research today is what is known as spatial biology--the ability to capture tissues in a 3D context. It was named Method of the Year by Nature Magazine in 2020. And one of the first automated instruments launched in this market was the GeoMx Digital Spatial Profiler by NanoString. CEO Brad Gray is here to tell us the story of the birth of the DSP and the revolution of 3D biology. What will these new tools enable for the basic and translational researcher?

  • Precision Oncology at the Community Level with Lee Schwartzberg


    When Lee Schwartzberg did his training as an oncologist some thirty years ago at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York, he had a dream. And after training, he set off to make that dream a reality: to bring the resources, expertise, and research that one enjoys at a major research hospital cancer center to the community level.

  • Daniel Kraft on the Digitome in the Age of COVID


    “The new drug is the engaged individual,” says today’s guest, Daniel Kraft. Daniel is the founder of Exponential Medicine where he has championed digital health and the explosion of wearable technologies.  He's also hosting the new Healthy Conversations podcast--go check it out!  There you will find interviews with the innovator’s of today’s medical culture, including shows with former FDA Director, Scott Gottlieb, and genomic medicine guru, Eric Topol.

  • Orchid Health Is 1st in the World to Offer Whole Genome Couple's Report


    First comes love, then comes marriage; then comes the genomic couple's report.  Isn't that how the line goes? Perhaps that's a how it will begin to go. Today's guest is the founder of Orchid Health, which as of this week is offering the world’s first risk prediction couple’s report. Based on whole genome sequencing from a saliva sample that expectant parents take from home, the report will tell them their genetic risk for the major diseases, including brain, heart, cancer, diabetes, and inflammatory bowel.

  • PacBio and Labcorp Team Up on a Global Pan-Pathogen Surveillance Network


    Will there be a fourth surge of COVID here in the U.S.? Already that we’re asking the question and it’s not an inevitability is a good sign. It’s become a race between vaccination clinics and viral variants. The U.S. was a bit slow to this race, but we are catching up. Viral surveillance has become a key part of any nation’s pandemic strategy. This past month, PacBio and Labcorp announced a partnership that brings the tool of long read sequencing to this effort.

  • Will High Sensitivity Proteomics Enable a New Paradigm in Precision Health? with Kevin Hrusovsky, Quanterix


    Kevin Hrusovosky’s career has been dedicated to transforming medicine from reactive “sick care” to preventative personalized care. A serial entrepreneur, he currently serves as the CEO of Quanterix, a company which has just nabbed $700 million and is raising the bar on proteomics testing. “Genomics can tell you what your predisposition is,” he says in today’s interview, “proteomics can tell you the earliest moment you are in a disease cascade.”

  • A Liquid Biopsy Technology that Doesn't Degrade the Sample: Raj Krishnan of Biological Dynamics


    Raj Krishnan has a good story, and probably a good product. More data will tell. He's the CEO of Biological Dynamics, a new liquid biopsy company that is able to detect biomarkers in not only blood but other biological fluids. And the company's products are good for not only cancer but Alzheimer's and other disease areas as well. Raj comes to precision medicine from electrical engineering. You don't hear that very often. One day in his lab while working on his PhD he had a classic eureka! moment. That unexpected discovery for which every scientist longs.

  • The Future of Big Biology: Bionano at AGBT


    Mendelspod was live this week at AGBT 2021 where Theral interviewed CEO Erik Holmlin and CMO Alka Chaubey of Bionano Genomics on Tuesday. The topic was the future of big biology.

  • Playing Catch Up--Viral Surveillance in the U.S. with Will Lee of Helix


    How fast is the coronavirus mutating? Why is the U.K. variant, or B.1.1.7, more transmissible than original strains of the virus? Is viral surveillance the weak spot in the U.S.'s fight against the pandemic?

  • The Coronavirus, A Year On with Carl Zimmer


    It’s been a year since the coronavirus breached American shores. Here to look back with some perspective is New York Times science writer, Carl Zimmer. Carl has authored thirteen books on science, including Planet of Viruses which includes an essay titled, "Predicting the Next Plague."

  • Spatial Biology Enables The Cancer Immunome Project


    We’ve all heard of and perhaps worked with data from The Cancer Atlas Project. Now, with the help of new spatial biology tools, researchers at the Mayo Clinic are developing what they call The Cancer Immunome Project. This is a comprehensive effort to fully characterize the immune system and how it interacts with and fights off cancer. Today we talk with J C Villasboas, a physician-scientist at Mayo who co-started the project. He’s also Director of Mayo’s Immune Monitoring Core Facility.

  • The CRISPR Saga with Kevin Davies


    A discovery here. A paper there. An important paper gets passed over. A fortuitous encounter in a coffee shop among two ambitious scientists. A yogurt company just being a yogurt company. Science moves forward in fits and starts. By the time we read the headline in the paper, “breakthrough of the year,” it can have an inevitable quality about it. Then, in a few years, the historian comes and shows us just how random, messy, and, yes, how beautiful is the business of science.

  • PacBio’s Never Been Stronger: New CEO, Christian Henry, Shares His Vision


    At the beginning of the year, we were all holding our breath for the future of PacBio. And by all, I mean all. It seems everyone has been rooting for this sequencing technology company. And why? It’s simple. Pretty much everyone is in agreement that they have the highest quality reads on the market.

  • Keith Robison on the State of Sequencing: 2020 Edition


    We speak directly with the Oracle today. It's Keith Robison, blogger at Omics Omics. Your All Knowingness, we ask, what has happened in the world of sequencing technology this year? “The companies may need a mulligan,” he quips and laughs.

  • Halloween with Nathan and Laura: The Spooky and Creepy of Genomics


    Our October Review show is a Halloween special this year. Join us around the campfire amidst the sounds of howling wolves as Nathan, Laura, and Count Theracula recall some of their creepiest and spookiest times in the world of genomics. It's Mendelspod's Haunted House of the Genome.

  • When and Why Whole Genome Sequencing Should Be Standard of Care: Stephen Kingsmore of Rady Children’s


    There’s an urgency about Stephen Kingsmore. Which is not to say he’s in a rush. He’s the CEO of the Rady’s Children’s Genomics Institute. He and his team have two world records to their name for the incredible speed of diagnosing a rare disease using whole genome sequencing. The latest is 19.5 hours. Dr. Kingsmore feels they can even shave time off that. They’re shooting for a new record of somewhere around 12 hours.

  • Limited Genetic Diversity Affects Us All


    Diversity’s in the news these days. It's not just political correctness. Let’s look deeper into our field at how limited diversity in genetics is affecting all of us. If you are a member of a minority population and you go into a cancer clinic seeking help, some of the genetic tests on offer may not work for you because of your ethnic background. Not only is this wrong on a social justice level. It turns out it's just bad science.

  • Genomics England Making Significant Strides in System Built on Trust in NHS


    “In an era where we look at these surveys about trust and everything’s going off the cliff, everyone still trusts the NHS. It’s so deep in the British psyche."

  • September 2020 Review with Nathan and Laura: Vaccine Choice, Dwarfism, Research Volunteerism


    We take a deep dive into a core genomics question that is somewhat philosophical today: “what is a disease, or disability?” This month we heard about a new experimental drug for dwarfism called vosoritide that raised questions for parents of dwarfism. If the drug could make their children taller, would they give it to them? Laura asks “can we put forth a medication for a condition saying those who take it are better off getting rid of it and not be saying those who are not getting it are unacceptable to have these different lives?"

  • Bob Nussbaum on the State of Genetic Testing: 2020 Edition


    From a career at NIH where he was Chief of the Genetic Disease Branch to academic Chief of Medical Genetics at UCSF to his current business title of Chief Medical Officer at InVitae, Bob Nussbaum has been a central figure in the field of genetic testing. A chief among chiefs. Today he gives our State of Genetic Testing: 2020 Edition. Our approach is to ask Bob to weigh into the recent debates that have come up this past year. And they can be summarized into one question. Even one word. "Expanded."

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