Science Minds Podcast

“Into the minds of scientists and the science they mind about.”

In the Science Minds podcast, Vinoy Vijayan talks to scientists about their work and their scientific journey, including the challenges and rewarding moments along the way. We hope to get a glimpse into the minds of scientists and see a side of them that we may not often see.

Vinoy is a postdoc in the Verstreken lab.

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Benjamin Stecher

A patient advocate who spent the last four years travelling the world talking to scientists about how we can push things forward when it comes to neurodegeneration, and Parkinson’s disease in particular. Having been diagnosed with Parkinson’s at 29, Benjamin started on a journey to learn more about the disease and scientific research, and he started his own blog called Tomorrow Edition.


Julie Williams

In this episode, Vinoy talks to Julie Williams, who visited our Center in early 2020. Williams is professor at Cardiff University and Centre Director at the UK Dementia Research Institute.

Williams is a world leader in the genetics of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia and former Chief Scientific Advisor to the Welsh Government. Prof Julie Williams leads the UK DRI as Centre Director at Cardiff. 

Pierre Vanderhaeghen

In this episode, Vinoy talks to one of our own PIs, Pierre Vanderhaeghen, who heads the stem cell and developmental neurobiology lab in our center.

The major research goal in Vanderhaeghen’s laboratory is to unravel some of the key mechanisms controlling the development of the cerebral cortex, from stem cells to neuronal circuits, in link with human brain evolution and diseases.

Fred Gage

In this episode, Vinoy talks to Fred Gage, director of the Salk Institute in California and head of the Laboratory of Genetics. He visited us as part of our Methusalem Lecture Series.

Gage’s work concentrates on the adult central nervous system and unexpected plasticity and adaptability to environmental stimulation that remains throughout the life of all mammals. In addition, he models human neurological and psychiatric disease in vitro using human stem cells. Finally his lab studies the genomic mosaicism that exists in the brain as a result of mobile elements that are active during neurogenesis.

Vinoy and Fred (or Rusty) Gage talk about how he got into science, and ended up working on so many fascinating topics.

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Vanessa Morais

In this episode, Vinoy talks to Vanessa Morais, who is neuroscientist working at the IMM (The Institute of Molecular Medicine) in Lisbon, Portugal. She is also a VIB CBD alumnus, having worked in Bart De Strooper’s lab before moving to Portugal. Her lab is interested in the role of mitochondria in the brain and how mitochondrial dysfunction arises in neurodegenerative conditions.

They talk about how she got interested in biology and the mitochondria, her experiences of running her own lab and her thoughts on how to improve the representation of women at the highest levels of biomedical science.

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Alison Goate

In this episode, Vinoy talks to Alison Goate, Professor of Neuroscience, and Director of the Center on Alzheimer’s Disease at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

She visited our Center as part of our Methusalem Lecture Series and a podcast episode was definitely a must.

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Sarah Tabrizi

In this episode, Vinoy talks to Sarah Tabrizi, professor at University College London and the UK Dementia Research Institute.

Tabrizi’s research at the Huntington’s Disease Centre, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology seeks to discover effective disease-modifying treatments that prevent or reverse the neurodegenerative process in Huntington’s disease. She leads a research group that follows two distinct but complementary approaches: basic science focusing on cellular mechanisms of neurodegeneration, and translation of those findings into treatments and cures.

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Tara Spires-Jones

In this episode, Vinoy talks to Tara Spires-Jones, professor at the University of Edinburgh and the UK Dementia Research Institute.

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Silvio Rizzoli

In this episode, Vinoy talks to Silvio Rizzoli, professor and director at the Department of Neuro- and Sensory Physiology of the University Medical Center in Göttingen.

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Xinnan Wang

In this episode, Vinoy talks to Xinnan Wang, professor at Stanford, who visited our center in 2017.

Wang earned a MD/MSc from the China Medical University in 2003; a PhD in genetics from the University of Cambridge, UK in 2007; and did post-doctoral work in neurobiology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Wang’s has been assistant professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine since 2011.

Wang’s research aims to understand the regulatory mechanisms controlling mitochondrial dynamics and function and the mechanisms by which even subtle perturbations of these processes may contribute to neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.

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