MTM 275x275

Subscribe to Meet the Microbiologist

sub-itunes sub-android sub-email sub-rss

About Julie Wolf


Wednesday, 27 September 2017 16:12

Polio Research Breakthroughs with Vincent Racaniello - MTM 65

Written by 

Vincent Racaniello discusses how he ended up studying polio virus and the three eureka moments he’s experienced so far: uncovering the polio genome, discovering the polio receptor, and generating a mouse model of polio disease. Vincent discusses his interest in science communications, including his blog and active podcast network.

Host: Julie Wolf Vincent Racaniello

Activities of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis in the Field of Virus Research (free) on iPhone, Android, RSS, or by email. You can also listen on your mobile device with the Microbeworld app.

Julie's biggest takeaways:

  1. All three polio virus serotypes are covered by the polio vaccine; type 2 has been eradicated and type 3 is close to being eradicated.
  2. Enterovirus 68 is a related enteroviruses that is associated with paralysis, but its receptor and disease progression remain largely unknown.
  3. Developing tools and techniques to study one virus that can cross into the central nervous system, such as polio, can set up a lab to study other neurotropic viruses, such as enterovirus 68 and Zika virus.
  4. All scientists with access to a computer and a social media account can be effective science communicators!

Featured Quotes:

"You have to find people to be mentors who you are going to listen to, and if they give you advice, you follow it." (6:57)

"It took me one year to sequence the genome of polio, which you could do in five minutes today." (9:52)

"We work on infectious agents and a big part of it is to eradicate them and alleviate human disease." (20:32)

"On facebook, you’ve lots of friends who are following you; if you show them science, some of them will listen to it." (33:30)

"We all have to share what we do. We’re funded mostly by tax dollars, and we have to let the public know what we do." (34:00)

Links for this episode

Send your stories about our guests and/or your comments (email or recorded audio) to

Last modified on Thursday, 28 September 2017 03:21
Julie Wolf

ASM Communications Social Media Specialist Julie Wolf spent her research career focused on medical mycology and infectious disease. Broadly interested in microbiology and scientific communication, she has taught at Long Island University and the community biolab Genspace and has written for the Scientista Foundation and Scholastic’s Science World magazine. Follow her on Twitter for more ASM and Microbiology highlights at @JulieMarieWolf.