Category Archives: Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine

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.

YJBM Medicinal Plants Issue: Tyler Ramsey et al. Interview

In this episode, Kelsie and Felicia interview the authors of an Essential Oils and Health Review, featured in YJBM’s June 2020 Medicinal Plants issue. Tyler Ramsey, Tibor Nagy, Kevin Chambers and Carrie Shropshire discuss both the benefits and concerns regarding essential oils and the role they might play in medicine. As medical students at Campbell University, Tyler and colleagues offer unique insight into the roles that clinicians can play in researching essential oils and educating their patients and peers. Link to their review:

YJBM Special Series: Racism and Health – Episode 2: Interview with Dr. Monica Bell

Although we typically cover topics that address the biomedical sciences, epidemiology, and healthcare practice, it is no secret that the systemic biases, residential segregation, violent responses to protesting, and further injustices that we see today all drive healthcare inequality and inform the topics and methods of research/practice for our audience. In light of the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Elijah McClain, among others, we’ve decided to use our platform as an avenue of communication for esteemed researchers in the fields of policing, Law, and criminal justice. In this episode, Wes interviews Dr. Monica Bell regarding race and class segregation, police reform and abolition, and minimizing harm to marginalized communities within clinical and behavioral research. Dr. Bell also shares resources, frameworks, and major questions that motivate her work and give context to recent legislation and proposals.

References and Resources (informal):

The Wandering Officer
@BenGrunwald and @JohnMRappaport

Anti-Segregation Policing
Twitter: @monicacbell

Police Reform and the Dismantling of Legal Estrangement
Twitter: @monicacbell

Reform and Abolition:

Toward A Radical Imagination of Law
Twitter: @orangebegum

Abolition Constitutionalism
Twitter: @DorothyERoberts

Critical Resistance
Contributions by Rachel Herzing

Power Over Policing
Twitter: @j_simonson

Bail Nullification
Twitter: @j_simonson

Twitter: @j_simonson

Toward Democratic Police Reform: A Vision for Community Engagement Provisions in DOJ Consent Decrees
Twitter: @ProfSPatel

Moonlighting: The Private Employment of Off-Duty Officers
Twitter: @PoliceLawProf

YJBM Medicinal Plants Issue: Dr. Anja Loizaga-Velder Interview

In this episode, Wes interviews Dr. Anja Loizaga-Velder. Dr. Loizaga-Velder is a German-Mexican clinical psychologist and psychotherapist who has investigated the therapeutic potential of psychedelics in both indigenous and modern mental health contexts for over 25 years. She is also a founding member and director of research and psychotherapy at the Institute for Intercultural Medicine Nierika in Mexico. As yet another exploration into the field (no pun intended) of medicinal plants, this interview involves explorations of when and how ayahuasca may be used within the contexts of psychotherapy and as a treatment for myriad conditions and disorders. Dr. Loizaga-Velder explores some of the training concerns needed to enable the next generation of psychotherapists and psychiatrists to utilize psychedelic medicine in an informed and appropriate manner.

References (formal):Loizaga-Velder, A. (2013). A psychotherapeutic view on therapeutic effects of ritual ayahuasca use in the treatment of addiction. MAPS Bulletin 23(1), 36-40. Available online:

Loizaga-Velder, A., & Loizaga, A. (2014). Therapist and patient perspectives on ayahuasca-assisted treatment for substance dependence. In B. Labate & C. Cavnar (Eds.), The therapeutic use of ayahuasca. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer (p 133-152).

Loizaga-Velder, A & Verres, R. (2014). Therapeutic effects of ritual ayahuasca use in the treatment of substance dependence -qualitative results. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. 46(1), 63-72. doi: DOI:10.1080/02791072.2013.873157

Lafrance, A., Loizaga-Velder, A., Fletcher, J., Renelli, M., Files, N., & Tupper, K. W. (2017). Nourishing the Spirit: Exploratory research on Ayahuasca experiences along the continuum of recovery from eating disorders. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 49(5), 427-435.

Renelli, M., Fletcher, J., Loizaga-Velder, A., Files, N., Tupper, K & Lafrance, A. (2018). Ayahuasca and the Healing of Eating Disorders. In Embodiment and Eating disorders: A Handbook of Theory, Research, Prevention and Treatment. (Edited by H. McBride and J. Kwee), Routledge Press.

Renelli, M.; Fletcher, J., Tupper, K., Files, N.; Loizaga-Velder, A., Lafrance, A. , 2020: An exploratory study of experiences with conventional eating disorder treatment and ceremonial ayahuasca for the healing of eating disorders. Journal of Weight and eating disorders 25, 437–444

Cooking your way through the COVID-19 lockdown

Remaining productive while staying at home can be difficult for graduate students who live and breathe experimental science. In this episode, Mai Ly overcomes that challenge by exercising her scientific skills through the art of cooking. Similar to the scientific method, Mai Ly envisions a dish with certain characteristics, does some prior reading on ingredient substitution, designs a protocol, and systematically modifies variables to make her vision a reality. And just like any good experimentalist, Mai Ly makes sure that her products are reproducible!