Aging on Immunity and How Your Immune System Responds to Infections with Dr. Kerry Russell, MD, PhD (Coronavirus COVID19 Series)

How does our immune system respond to infections? 

Dr. Kerry Russell who received her MD and PhD with a research focus in molecular oncology, which is a study of cancer biology, at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas.  During her postdoctoral training, she studied cardiovascular biology at Yale University School of Medicine and then served as a faculty clinician-scientist at Yale for 13 years. She also co-founded and ran a clinic for patients with cardiovascular complications of cancer and cancer therapies at Smilow Cancer Center. From 2013-2018, she served as a Senior Director and Translational Medicine Expert at Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research where she helped design novel drugs for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, including heart failure and diabetes.  Currently, she is the Vice President for Clinical Development at resTORbio, a clinical stage biotechnology company developing medicines  to treat aging-related diseases.

In this episode, Dr. Russell will share her insights on how the aging process impact our immune systems and how the immune response responds to infection in general. You’ll going to receive e a mini course on immunology 101. This will be helpful for you to understand that terminology used in the media about the coronavirus COVID19 treatment such as anti-viral therapy and the development of vaccines. With this new knowledge, you will be able to answer questions such as what is the difference between passive and active immunity? How do we create herd immunity for the COVID19? What can I do today to help boost my immunity against the aging process? How will that impact our fight against the COVID19 together.  Stay tune and listen on.

Questions discussed during the Podcast: 

  1. How does aging affect immunity?
  2. Which health issue is related to aging issues associated with the immune system?
  3. What is the role of immune system in multiple disease processes, including hyperactivity of the immune system that contributes to cardiovascular disease?
  4. There are a lot of anti-viral therapies out there and there is the current use of malaria treatment. Can you tell us what you think about that?
  5. How does the immune system responds to infections?
  6. We also have been hearing about people with COVID19 who become very ill and in some case die because of an overactive immune responses which result in a “cytokine storm”. What are cytokines and what is a cytokines storm?
  7. Can blood type impact someone’s susceptibility to COVID19 and their immune response?
  8. What is the difference between passive and activity immunity?
  9. How do we develop herd immunity? 

    Connect with Dr. Kerry Russell on Linkedin 

    Interested in learning more about YaleWomen – a community of alumna affiliated with Yale, visit YaleWomen at https://www.yalewomen.org

FAQs on the Epidemiology of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) with Epidemiologist Dr. Giovanni Filardo (Coronavirus COVID19 series)

“Without data, all you have are opinions” – Dr. Giovanni Filardo, MPH, PhD 

What do statistical models really tell us about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID19)?  

In this episode, on April 9, 2020, I interviewed Dr. Filardo who went over our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the epidemiology of coronavirus (COVID19). He will share with us his latest statistical model and his recommendations on using data and evidence, and not your gut feeling, to make informed decisions. Dr. Giovanni Filardo is a public health expert and epidemiologist who has created statistical models to understand the spread of coronavirus (COVID19). He has over 15 years of work experience in epidemiology, health services research, and comparative effectiveness.  He has received over $35 million from different funding agencies including the NIH and he published over 160 manuscripts and presented at more than 30 conferences. He is currently a Clinical Professor of Health Services Research at Baylor University Waco and Research Associate Professor of Statistics II at Southern Methodist University in Texas.

Dr. Giovanni Filardo earned his Master of Public Health (MPH) from Emory University and his PhD in Epidemiology with a concentration in cardiovascular disease from Yale University.   

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): 

1. Based on the President Trump most recent briefing, the model showed that even with mitigation, we could expect between 100,000 to 200,000 deaths. What factors are taken into account for that model? 

2. Did we overestimated the number of deaths?

3. What is happening with the COVID19 in term of testing or the lack of testing?

4. Why was there a delay at the start? Why didn’t the CDC use the test from WHO? Why did CDC want to make their own three tests which turned out only two of three were working?

5. What are countries have done to contain and/or mitigate covid-19?

6. What are the differences in characteristics of covid-19 positives among countries?

7. What is the difference in mortality rates among countries?

8. What are the risk factors associated with mortality?

9.  Are all countries testing for COVID-19 using WHO guidelines?

10. Are all countries assessing mortalities for COVID-19 using WHO guidelines?

11. How many ventilators do we ‘actually” need to care for COVID-19 patients?

12. What will happen after we reach the ‘peak’?

13. How can we use surveillance using serological testing to assess how many people has been infected?

14. What are possible treatment available given the high number of ongoing studies?

15. What is the likelihood that we can develop a vaccine for those people who were not infected? How soon?

16.  Would it be better that we all ‘get infected’ in low doses to develop immunity and thus, herd immunity?

17.  How long do you think we would need to ’stay-at-home”?

If you have public health topics or questions, please connect with me at keechanphd@gmail.com or submit your question on the ‘Contact Us’ page.  Or leave a voice message on the https://anchor.fm/whatispublichealth

Watch the Washington Post Questions/Answers (Q/A) with Dr. Giovanni Filardo on Youtube at https://youtu.be/SzoBV6kVWkA

Follow Dr. Giovanni Filardo on Twitter @GioFila 

Prescribing Parks as Medicine for a Happier, Healthier Life with Dr. Stacy Beller Stryer (Coronavirus COVID19 Series)

You will learn why walking outside at the park, playing outside in green space with your children and just being outside for ten minutes and taking that nice deep breath of fresh air can help you live longer, protect your eyesight from blindness, and boost your immune responses.  Dr. Stacy Beller Stryer will show us why doctors need to start prescribing park as medicine to address many of our health issues and to improve our overall well-being.

Dr. Stacy Bella Stryer who is a board certified pediatrician in Maryland.  Through her career, she has served as a physician and health promotion and disease prevention coordinator within the Indian Health Service, also as a clinical pediatrician, and a pediatric subject expert for an online health website called Revolution Health.  Currently, Dr. Stryer is a medical officer within the federal government and a medical consultant with ParkRxAmerica.org, where she educates providers, schools and park agencies on the benefits of nature and park prescriptions;

Be Your Own Therapist in the Time of Corona with Dr. Hersch Knapp (Coronavirus COVID19 series)

“Find things and people that you’re grateful for” – Dr. Hersch Knapp 

Dr. Hersch Knapp has background in clinical and trauma psychology and he will share with effective quarantine coping during the coronavirus pandemic.   He’ll go over how to manage our time, improve our emotional health and tips on schooling.

This episode will cover how you can: 

1. Manage your time and the media effectively

2. Get a good night sleep 

3. Improve our emotional health 

4. Learn the four-steps process in becoming your own therapist in the time of crisis 

5. Tips on schooling 

If you’re interested in learning more effective communication strategies for yourself and for work, check out Dr. Hersch Knapp’s book Therapeutic Communication: Developing Professional Skills (Publisher Sage), which is available on Amazon. 

Higher Ed Leadership on Coping with the Coronavirus with College President Michael Torrence (Coronavirus COVID19 Series)

Can Colleges Survive after the Coronavirus Pandemic? 

Providing education is a critical arm in the public health system so society can move forward in the discovery, the development and the application of knowledge for the greater goods. If you are currently listening to the episode, it is late March 2020 and the coronavirus pandemic has changed our way of life as a global society. Restaurants, libraries, many businesses, many public gathering, and almost all schools in affected cities have closed nationwide and globally. The closure of schools has tremendous impact on our students, families, and communities. We are still trying to understand the unintended consequences of the current school closure policy on the future of our global societies.

In this episode, Dr. Michael Torrence, the current President of Motlow State Community College in Tennessee,  will share his insights on how Higher Education institutional leaders have responded to the coronavirus pandemic. At his college, using online educational technology is a form of innovative teaching and learning. Here, Dr. Torrence will provide advice for other educational leader  to quickly adapt to the innovative disruption in traditional on-site educational platform and how he supported his faculty, staff and students through this time of uncertainty.

We will cover the following topics:
1. How the role of the College President of the Motlow State Community College in Tennessee has shifted since the coronavirus pandemic?

2. How the administrative staff support students and faculty through this historic moment?

3. Tips for ‘brick-and-mortar’ colleges for teaching an online curriculum. 

4. Challenges, good news and unexpected positive along the way.  

5. What leadership advice can you share with other administrators in education to appease the fears among the staff, faculty and student body Although most higher education institutions provide some type of online education because most college students have laptops and access to internet, but how the coronavirus pandemic will impact K-12 education. 

6. How will the coronavirus pandemic impact college admission for Fall 2020 Leadership advice for leaders leading their organizations through this “new reality”?

7. Words of encouragement to students everywhere

Connect with Dr. Michael Torrence on Linkedin.  

Learn more about Dr. Torrence on his College Website: https://www.mscc.edu/administration.aspx

Learn to more about Motlow State Community College, visit https://www.mscc.edu

If you are interested in public health and would like to be guest on the podcast, connect with Dr. Kee Chan at keechanphd@gmail.com or visit her website at www.keechanphd.com

Should I Stay or Go Now Without Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (Coronavirus COVID19 Series)

Would we send our troops into war without guns, shields and protective gears? No. Then, why is it “okay” to send our healthcare workers into the battlefield against the coronavirus without proper personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves? 

This episode is a honest conversation with a health worker who is very concerned for her safety and her family.  Many healthcare workers are thinking about quitting their jobs because they signed up to ‘care for patients’, not at the expense of their own lives.  Should they sacrifice their  own life for another? 

We will cover the following questions with our healthcare worker: How has healthcare work changed since the coronavirus pandemic? What do we know now about the virus?  How concerned should we be about running out of mask, gloves, and other hospital equipments? What is the current testing situation? If someone is feeling that they have “some” symptoms and are concerned, but there’s not enough tests, what can they do then?  How would you rate the US public health emergency response preparedness to the coronavirus pandemic?  What tips can we do to work through the “new normal” ?

Learn more about public health, visit Dr. Kee Chan at www.keechanphd.com

What We Can Learn from Italy on Coronavirus with Dr. Sara Principi (Coronavirus COVID19 Series)

Do you have family and friends aboard who are facing uncertainty during the coronavirus pandemic? 

Sara Principi, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher who will share how her family and friends are coping with the situation in Italy and we can learn from them. Sara is from Italy and graduated in Biomedical Engineering in 2011 and then moved to Spain for her PhD in Medical Technologies. She is currently at a postdoctoral researcher at the Medical College of Wisconsin, where she does computational modeling of CT scan clinical scenarios. Sara will share her story of her family’s situation in Italy and what we can learn from their situation since the whole world is watching Italy as preview of what may happen in the US, if we do not flatten curve with strict public health measure.  Learning from each other will help us face our concerns collectively, and thus, embrace living and thriving through this ‘new normal’ together.

Connect with Sara Principi, PhD on Linkedin.  

To learn more about public health, connect with me at www.keechanphd.com

Learn to Read Statistics Without Math with Dr. Hersch Knapp

Statistics is the universal language. 

If you have a fear of math and stats, but you know it is important for your work and you need to know for your job promotion, then listen on to learn five statistic commonly used in public health and healthcare. At the end of this episode, you have a better of the why statisitc is important and you’ll be able to read statistics with confidence.

Dr. Hersch Knapp, a researcher who has created and oversees the Nurse Research Fellowship and Mentorship Programs, guiding nurses in deriving and implementing applied health science research, computing statistical results, and publishing and presenting their findings.  His clinical specialty is emergency and trauma psychology in medical / surgical, ICU, CCU, Oncology, ER, and code blue team.  He’s participated in a variety of research domains including improving HIV diagnostic testing, telehealth, remote learning, and general health care.  He regularly teaches research methodology and statistics courses at universities including UCLA, Cal State Los Angeles, Cal State San Bernardino, and USC.  He’s published multiple scientific papers as well as textbooks on effective clinical communication and statistics.

Connect with Dr. Hersch Knapp at Linkedin. 

To learn more about public health, connect with Dr. Kee Chan at www.keechanphd.com

A Story of a Virus, Faith and Hope that Saved His Life – Chef John Haverty

“Never Give Up on Your Life” – John Haverty.  

John Haverty is a chef, a family man, a patient who was battling a stubborn bacterial infection in his leg for over 10 years.  He wasn’t able to walk and put both feet on the ground for over 10 year.  Doctors at Mayo Clinic were about to amputate John’s leg as the last resort until a virus (called Phage Therapy) saved his life.

Antibiotic resistance is now a public health crisis because we have these ’smart bacterial bug’ that can change and develop the ability to defeat the drugs that were designed to kill them.    If you believe in miracle and want to believe in miracle, then this episode is for you and your loved one, who may be at struggling to find success with conventional Western Medicine and are considering to explore experimental therapy.

Why is Antibiotic resistance is a serious public health issue?

The causes of antibiotic resistance are due to many reasons such as:

1. Over-prescription of antibiotics
2. Patients not finishing the entire antibiotic course
3. Overuse of antibiotics in livestock and fish farming
4. Poor infection control in health care settings
5. Poor hygiene and sanitation
6. Absence of new antibiotics being discovered

This episode will cover:

1. How John almost gave up on his leg until a supportive loved one helped him to find the courage to fight the last fight
2. What is phage therapy using Adaptive Phage Therapeutics
3. How can patient apply for the use of experimental therapy through the “compassion use clause with the Federal Drug and Administration (FDA)”
4 How phage therapy is administered in the clinic
5. What is the cost of phage therapy
6. How to advocate for your own life, because no one else will.


1. Connect with John Haverty by email at Chefjmh57@gmail.com
2. Learn more about the Adaptive Phage Therapeutics, a clinical-stage company founded to provide an effective therapy to global rise of multi-drug resistance pathogenic bacteria at http://www.aphage.com
3. Learn more about the research on phage therapy at University of California, San Diego (UCSD) https://medschool.ucsd.edu/som/medicine/divisions/idgph/research/center-innovative-phage-applications-and-therapeutics/Pages/default.aspx
4. Check out the book “The Perfect Predator: A Scientist’s Race to Save Her Husband from a Deadly Superbug: A Memoir”, by Stephanie Strathdee and Thomas Patterson
5. Connect with others on Facebook Group: Phage Page

If you are interested in being a part of the invisible force called “Public Health” by sharing your story, please connect with the host, Dr. Kee Chan. Connect with on Linkedin http://www.linkedin.com/in/keechan and by email at keechanphd@gmail.com. 

How to Test, Prevent, and Treat Coronavirus (COVID19)

With Dr. Kee Chan’s background in public health, management, and infectious disease epidemiology, Dr. Chan has been asked to share her thoughts on the coronavirus. This is what Dr. Chan knows so far and here are her responses to following questions.  Visit her website at https://keechanphd.com

If you have questions for her, please connect with her:Email at keechanphd@gmail.com. Connect Kee Chan, PhD, MBA on Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/in/keechan Leave a voice message on the Anchor Link here.  https://anchor.fm/whatispublichealth

The list of questions answered in the podcast episode:

1. What is the coronavirus?
2. How does the coronavirus infect us?
3. How do we get sick?
4. Have we ever seen anything like this before?
5. How does the Coronavirus compared to other viruses?
6. How infectious is the COVID19?
7. What are recommendations to contain the spread of the virus?
8.  Why does social distancing work? Where did the evidence come from
9. What does it mean to “Flatten the Curve” for our community?
10. What can we learn from other countries about flattening the curve (thus, stopping the spread of the virus)?
11. How do I test for Coronavirus ?
12. What are possible treatment
13. Where are we now and where are we going?
14. Are there any good news?
15. Where do we go from here?