Science Studio

Sundays at 7pm

Science Studio is a fascinating 30-minute look into the ever progressing world of science. For nearly fifteen years, the show has taken in depth looks into all aspects of scientific researches and discoveries. Hosts Dr. Keith Pannell and Dr. Russell Chianelli, discuss their concerns on health and the environment. With two educated science connoisseurs, Science Studio helps you understand the inner workings of today’s science.

Science Studio also features Medical Discovery News, a weekly program that provide insights into a broad range of biomedical science topics. Biomedical science is research that addresses human health – from the study of important molecules, to clinical trials of new drugs and therapies. The story of these areas is a window on the future of medicine. We will also offer important basic information about your health. Our hope is that these episodes stimulate you to think, question and appreciate how science impacts you and your world. Medical Discovery News is produced by the University of Texas Medical Branch. 

Amity Wilczek

  Frank Wilczek is a theoretical physicist, the Herman Feshbach Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Nobel Laureate.  Wilczek will explain how his unrelenting research as a graduate student at Princeton in 1973 led to a Nobel Prize in Physics in 2004.   Wilczek, along with David Gross and H. David Politzer, won the Nobel Prize for their discovery of asymptotic freedom in the theory of strong interaction.  Wilczek will break down for us the forces of nature, including the strong forces that hold nuclei together, and the weak forces that have to do with radioactive decay.

Aired Nov 22, 2015

Northeastern University

  Craig Ferris is a professor in the College of Science, Department of Pharmaceutical Science, Northeastern University.  He joins us on Science Studio to talk about the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in animal models to study degenerative brain diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.  This kind of imaging can detect biomarkers in the brain prior to any symptoms appearing in the subject.

Aired Nov. 15, 2015.


   Jeff Sloan of the United States Geological Survey (USGS) is the UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) Project Lead.  Unmanned Aircraft Systems are more widely known as drones.  The USGS has been using drones for a variety of reasons, including bird census counts, elk surveys, looking for dinosaur prints at White Sands National Monument, and much more.  Keith and Jeff have a not-so-secret desire to map golf courses...

Aired Nov 8, 2015.

USC Dornsife, Peter Zhaoyu Zhou

  Larry Swanson is the Milo Don and Lucille Appleman Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Southern California, Neurobiology Section.  He joins us to talk about connectomes, the circuitry of the brain, and how this area of research began with the unraveling of the human genome.  Computers are having a revolutionary impact on discovering on how the brain works and how different types of dementia affect the brain. 

Aired Nov. 1, 2015

  Luis Alberto Montero-Cabrera is a theoretical scientist from the Universidad de La Habana in Cuba.  On this program (which was recorded on the day the U.S. raised an American flag at its new embassy in Havana), Montero-Cabrera explains how Cuba was forced to become self-sufficient in the sciences because of the embargo, and how the fall of the Soviet Union negatively affected the nation.  He also talks about how ancient IBM computer clones helped him stay on top of his research in past decades.  And, Montero-Cabrera explains his interest in researching the retinal molecule, which absorbs light in our eyes.

Aired Oct. 25, 2015.

Photos © 2011 Steven Foster

  Steven Foster is an author, photographer, consultant, and herbalist who has over 4 decades worth of experience in the herbal field.  Foster's books include A Desk Reference to Nature's Medicine, A Field Guide to Western Medicinal Plants & Herbs, and 101 Medicinal Herbs.  Foster joins us on Science Studio to talk about his early interest in medicinal plants, dietary supplements, and about the uncertainty of the effectiveness of such supplements.

Aired Oct. 18, 2015.

Harvard Medical School, Kishony Lab


   Michael Baym is a Research Fellow in Systems Biology at the Kishony Lab in Harvard Medical School, and he joins us to talk about the evolution and drug-resistance of bacteria.  His research involves using combinations of antibiotics to force and possibly control behaviors of bacteria.  With his background in mathematics, Baym is able to employ algorithms to gain insight from this research.

Aired Oct. 11, 2015.

  Rosemarie Truman is the founder & CEO of the Center for Advancing Innovation.  She shares her amazing story of ambition, including how she talked herself into a job at Goldman Sachs.  Truman's specialty is growth strategy and transformation, and she explains how the Center for Advancing Innovation is working with the University of Texas at El Paso by helping 30 new startups and get them "hyperaccelerated" into the market.

Aired Oct. 4, 2015.

Duke University

  Neil Spector is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Duke University, and he joins hosts Keith Pannell and Russ Chianelli to talk about the latest advances in cancer care.  Why do patients suffering from the same type of cancer respond differently to the same treatment?  And why is personalized medicine becoming so impersonal?  Plus, Dr. Spector tells us about the experience he had with medical professionals when he was misdiagnosed as suffering from too much stress when he in fact was suffering from Lyme Disease...and nearly died.

Aired Sept 27, 2015.


  The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) is a division of the National Institutes of Health, and overseas a $2.4 billion budget to support research at universities, medical schools, and research institutes in the U.S. The director of the NIGMS, JON LORSCH, will talk with host Keith Pannell about his early fascination with science (fascination with a cow heart at age 4) to becoming a researcher, teacher, and administrator.

Aired Sept 20, 2015

Lisa Finkelstein


   Host Keith Pannell talks with Lisa Finkelstein of the Northern Illinois University Department of Psychology, and her specialty is Industrial and Organizational (I/O) Psychology.  If you're at work, how does the presence of the people around you affect your behavior?  Do we behave differently around different people or groups?  I/O Psychology allows science to help build a better workplace by researching the methods that will help reduce stress and increase job satisfaction and productivity.

Aired Sept 13, 2015.

Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling (WISSARD)

  Keith Pannell talks with Ross D. Powell, professor in the Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences at Northern Illinois University.  Ross's research is mostly centered on Antarctica, and he shares with us the millions of years of the Earth's history that can be deciphered by Antarctic ice cores.  Ancient ice cores can tell us what the Earth's atmosphere was like when the dinosaurs roamed the earth.  And hearty microbes have been discovered in lakes under the Antarctic ice, which gives planetary scientists hope that similar microbes may be eventually discovered in the icy moons of the solar system.

Aired Sept. 6, 2015.

University of Texas Health Science Center

  In a rebroadcast from May 15, 2011, Keith talks with Lynette Daws from the Physiology Department of the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.  Daws explains that depression has both a genetic and environmental component, and if one has a genetic tendency towards depression, a stressful life event could very well trigger its onset.  Daws tells us about a certain population which may be more disposed to depression if they have an s-allele.  

Aired Aug. 30, 2015.

  In a rebroadcast from May 1, 2011, Keith talks geoscience with Melanie Barnes, Senior Research Associate, Igneous Petrology & Geochemistry, Texas Tech University.  She talks about the reddish granite ryolite that makes up the Thunderbird formation in the Franklin Mountains which dates back 1.4 billion years.   She also talks about studying rock samples with instruments that don't destroy the samples.

Aired Aug. 23, 2015

Baylor College of Medicine

  In a rebroadcast from April 17, 2011, Keith & Russ talk with  Michael Liebschner, Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at the Baylor College of Medicine. He talks about the advances in engineering tissue to replace bones and organs,

Aired Aug. 16, 2015.

University of Arizona

  In a rebroadcast from April 10, 2011, Keith & Russ talk with Johann Rafelski, Professor of Physics at the University of Arizona.  Rafelski talks about his astoundingly early interest in physics, which led him to his current field - studying high energy laser physics.  Lasers can be used to not only disintegrate atoms into pieces, but to accelerate elementary particles.  Rafelski also explains how high intensity lasers can be used to create matter out of nothing.

Aired Aug. 9, 2015.

  In a rebroadcast from March 13, 2011, Keith & Russ continue their conversation with Vance Holliday of the Departments of Anthropology & Geosciences at the University of Arizona.  He talks about recent archaeological in Sonora, Mexico, which revealed what he calls a "slice of Pleistocene pie" - a rich deposit of now extinct animals including mammoths and gomphotheres, as well as Clovis points and other early human artifacts.

Aired Aug. 2, 2015.

  In a rebroadcast from March 6, 2011, Keith & Russ talk with Vance Holliday of the Departments of Anthropology & Geosciences at the University of Arizona.  Holliday tells us about the Clovis people and other early civilizations in the American Southwest, and how soil sediments can help us decipher the past.

Part 1 of a 2-part interview.

Aired July 26, 2015.

Mayo Clinic

  In a rebroadcast from Feb. 27, 2011, Keith & Russ talk with Kevin Bennet of the Mayo Clinic.  Bennet had engineering on the brain from the start: as a young boy, he built x-ray machine to sneak a peak at his Christmas gifts.  He is now using his engineering talents to develop equipment and machines to improve patient care through non-invasive microsurgery...with a special focus on deep brain stimulation.

Aired July 19, 2015

  In a rebroadcast from Feb. 20, 2011, Keith & Russ talk with Sharon Harlan, Professor at the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, and Senior Sustainability Scientist with the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University.  Harlan talks about the impact of urban heat islands, in which cities can often report a 10-degree difference when compared to outlying areas.  The difference in temperatures can often vary from neighborhood to neighborhood.

Aired July 12, 2015

University of Oregon

  In a rebroadcast from Feb. 13, 2011, Keith & Russ talk with Eugene Humphreys, Professor of Geophysics at the University of Oregon.  Gene explains how the Rocky Mountains were formed, and why the American West is still elevating...and why the bottom part of the West is dropping off!

Aired July 5, 2015



  In a rebroadcast from February 6, 2011, Keith & Russ talk with Zuber Mulla, Associate Professor and Director of Epidemiologic Research in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Paul L. Foster School of Medicine.  Zuber is a "public health detective," an epidemiologist, and he talks about the rapid, often fatal allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis.  Anaphylaxis often differs in male and female populations.

Aired March 28, 2015

Stanford University

  In a rebroadcast from Jan. 23, 2011, Keith & Russ continue their conversation with Douglas Osheroff, professor emeritus of Physics at Stanford University, and 1996 winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics.  Osheroff shared the Nobel Prize with David M. Lee and Robert C. Richardson for their research in superfluidity in Helium 3.  The 1996 Nobel Prize was awarded for research Osheroff conducted as an undergraduate student in 1971.  Osheroff talks about the years following this groundbreaking research, and how the Nobel Prize changed his life.

Part 2 of a 2-part interview.

Aired June 21, 2015.

Stanford University

  In a rebroadcast from Jan. 16, 2011, Keith talks with Douglas Osheroff, professor emeritus of Physics at Stanford University, and 1996 winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics.  Osheroff shared the Nobel Prize with David M. Lee and Robert C. Richardson for their research in superfluidity in Helium 3.  The 1996 Nobel Prize was awarded for research Osheroff conducted as an undergraduate student in 1971, and he talks about the work leading to that groundbreaking discovery.

Part 1 of a 2-part interview.

Aired June 14, 2015

Arizona State University

  In a rebroadcast from Dec. 26, 2010, Keith interviews Stephen Johnston, co-director of the Biodesign Institute, Innovations in Medicine, at Arizona State University.  Johnston talks about why cancer research has been essentially ineffective in past decades, and why it's not unreasonable to have a universal vaccine for cancer.

Aired June 7, 2015.

Baylor College of Medicine

    In a rebroadcast from Dec. 19, 2010, Keith talks with Kristy Murray, DVM, who at the time of this interview, was Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston (Murray is currently Associate Vice Chair for Reseasrch, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine).  Murray talks about the transference of disease from animals to humans, in particular West Nile Virus.  Murray studied the very first West Nile outbreak in New York in 1999.

Aired May 31, 2015

  In a rebroadcast from December 12, 2010, Keith talks with Charles France, Maharaj Ticku Professor of Pharmacology, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio.  France studies drugs for their addictive qualities, and examines how animal studies translate to human subjects.

Aired May 24, 2015.

  In a rebroadcast from Dec. 5, 2010, Keith talks with Jonathan K. Stiles, Professor of Microbiology, Biochemistry & Immunology from the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta GA.  Stiles is studying cerebral malaria and is researching ways to specifically eliminate the mosquito that carries malaria.  He also discusses the relationship between malaria and sickle cell disease.

Aired May 17, 2015.

Columbia University Medical Center

  Keith talks with Amy B. MacDermott from the Columbia University Medical Center's Department of Physiology & Cellular Biophysics, and Department of Neuroscience.  MacDermott examines the pathways involved in pain signals leading from the spinal cord to the brain.  She also informs us of the different kinds of pain - acute, persistent, and neuropathic - and how further study could help re-wire those pathways to alleviate or eliminate certain kinds of pain.

Aired May 10, 2015.

Case Western Reserve University

  Keith welcomes Thomas Gerken of Case Western Reserve University, Department of Pediatrics and Biochemistry, Division of Pediatric Pulmonology.  Gerken talks about the functions of sugars in our cells, and how the use of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy is helping identify properties of mucins, or mucus, which are involved in all cell-to-cell interactions.  

Aired May 3, 2015.