Category Archives: Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine

YJBM Preventative Medicine Issue: Interview with Dr. Emma Pierson

To kick off our content following YJBM’s March 2021 Issue on Preventative Medicine, Wes interviews Dr. Emma Pierson. Dr. Pierson is a computationalist and multidisciplinary scientist pairing novel methodologies with equally novel datasets to understand human health disparity and racial and economic inequality. Dr. Pierson is also a repeat contributor to science in the news, writing for outlets such as The New York Times, FiveThirtyEight, The Atlantic, and The Washington Post, among others. Alongside these contributions, Dr. Pierson frequently posts to her personal blog (linked below) and has been recognized in Forbes’ 30 under 30 in Science. While seeking to understand the trajectory and aims of Dr. Pierson’s science and various contributions, our conversation moves across a number of topics. Highlights include a discussion on transitions between research fields, Dr. Pierson’s personal and familial inspirations for studying human health, traits of good scientific mentors, and cross pollination between academia and industry. Although some of her work is described here in brief, its impact can be seen more clearly in the journal articles themselves and the many associated pieces she has written for a general audience. To those who’ve kept up with empirical research on racial inequality in America over the past year, the Open Policing dataset that Dr. Pierson published will undoubtedly ring a bell. For others, it’s a great place to start. Her research has also included social policy recommendations in response to COVID-19 and a large-scale analysis in the historically overlooked area of Women’s health across temporal cycles of varied length. This expansive work fosters a discussion on the immense challenges and successes of data science, as applied to preventative medicine.

Sources and Related Material:

Pierson, E., Simoiu, C., Overgoor, J. et al. A large-scale analysis of racial disparities in police stops across the United States. Nat Hum Behav 4, 736–745 (2020).
On the Web:

Dr. Emma Pierson:
Personal Website
Twitter: @2plus2make5

Wes Lewis (Host):
Twitter: @ai_weslewis

YJBM Does Sex Ed: What Makes a Good Mother

In this episode, co-hosts Kelsie and Victoria Harries discuss “what makes a good mom” from pregnancy to birthing choices. They cover how the definition of a good mom has changed over the past century and how the standards for moms has only increased, along with the number of choices a mother/soon-to-be mother has to make. Kelsie and Vicky also interview their moms to get their take on what being pregnant in the 1990’s was like!

YJBM Sex Ed- Episode 1: Sex for Pleasure

In this installment of our YJBM Sex Education series, hosts Felicia and Chelsea bust some myths surrounding sex for pleasure and go into why humans have sex, the biology and evolution behind orgasms, sex differences in experiencing pleasure, the biochemistry behind pleasure, and the importance of conversations around pleasure in sexual health research and sex education courses.

Skin Episode 1: Non-Human Skin

How do animals use their skin? Why can their skin be so weird? And why can lizards regrow their tails? Learn the answers to these questions and more in this episode of the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine Podcast, where hosts Elizabeth Nand, Kelsie Cassell, Carrie Ann Davison, and Devon Wasche discuss the skin of non-human animals. This episode of the YJBM Podcast is part of our series related to the March 2020 YJBM issue on skin. Visit for more information on YJBM and the YJBM Podcast.

Getting a PhD in public health is frustrating

Most people appreciate that studying for a PhD in public health is a very difficult and often frustrating endeavor. However, most students don’t anticipate getting a PhD at a time when so many people clearly disregard public health experts. In this episode, Mallory Ellingson, a 2nd-year PhD student at the Yale School of Public Health, and Erica Zeno, a 2nd-year PhD student at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, discuss the emotions that come with getting a PhD in epidemiology during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Special Episode: 50WomenatYale150: The First Female PhDs at Yale

In celebration of 150 years of women at the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and 50 years of women at Yale College, hosts Kelsie, Carrie Ann, and Emma highlight the first seven women to receive PhDs at Yale, the life and scholarship of Otelia Cromwell, the first African American woman to receive a PhD at Yale, and the work of Beatrix McCleary Hamburg and Yvette Fay Francis-McBarnette the first two African American women to graduate from Yale School of Medicine.

Special Episode: 50WomenatYale150: Six Women in Science

In this episode, hosts Kelsie, Carrie Ann, and Emma highlight six women in science who have inspired them. These women are Janaki Ammal, Barbara McClintock, Rachel Carson, Gladys West, Mae C. Jemison, and Marci Bowers. The work of these scientists spans botany, cytogenetics, science communication, computer programming, space travel, and surgical advancements.

Special Episode: 50WomenatYale150: Women in Clinical Trials

In this episode, hosts Mallory and Kelsie discuss the challenges and history of including women in clinical trials. Particularly focusing on the lack of female inclusion in early PreP drug trials and what this means for the future of women in clinical trials.

Medicinal Plants: Interview with Dr. Jordan Sloshower

In this episode, Kelsie interviews Dr. Jordan Sloshower, a psychiatrist and researcher at Yale School of Medicine. Dr. Sloshower co-founded the Yale Psychedelic Science Group and is currently an investigator and therapist in two clinical trials of psilocybin-assisted therapy in the treatment of major depressive disorder and a clinical trial for the use of MDMA in the treatment of PTSD. In this interview, Dr. Sloshower discusses his work, the intricacies of setting up these clinical trials, and the ethnohistory of botanical psychedelics.