Otoscope podcast

Usually a medical tool used to check your ear canal, Otoscope is now also the name of a project led by PhD students at the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences (LMS).

Learning how to surf the wave of podcast popularity, the students are producing interview-style episodes with the aim of discussing complex medical science topics in a way that is informative to other students who may not be familiar with biomedical jargon.

Initially recorded at The Pod in White City Place, the podcast is bringing together in the studio experts on different fields of biomedical research with PhD students to discuss topics such as precision medicine, evolution and how genes affect behaviour. These topics are discussed with the aim of being informative to the bioscience-curious individual and of providing both the students and the public with tools to think critically about evidence and science.

New episodes are available monthly at Buzzsprout, Spotify and all the usual podcast platforms.

To receive the latest Otoscope updates, follow @MRC_LMS on Twitter and @mrc.lms on Instagram.

Produced by Ediem Al-jibury, Eliano dos Santos, Emmanouil Stylianakis, Eren Akademir, Macia Sureda Vives, Monica Della Rosa, Radina Georgieva, Saul Moore, Sijia Yu and Virinder Reen.

Supported by the GECo team, the Graduate School Funding (Imperial College London) and the White City Place.

If you are a PhD student at the LMS and would like to get involved or get your recent publication featured in the segment Publication of the Month, please email us.


1 – Evolution and epigenetics – Dr Peter Sarkies

Radina Georgieva and Saul Moore talk with Dr Peter Sarkies about evolution, epigenetics, transposable elements and gene editing in humans. Publication of the Month by Vassili Kuzmartsev: Cytosine Methylation Affects the Mutability of Neighboring Nucleotides in Germline and Soma

Episode 1 – Peter Sarkies – Transcript

2 – Neurodegeneration and Precision Medicine – Dr Richard Festenstein

Eren Akaremir, Manos Stylianakis and Macia Sureda Vives talk with Dr Richard Festenstein about neurodegeneration and precision medicine. Publication of the Month by Matt Newton: DNA stretching induces Cas9 off-target activity

Episode 2 – Richard Festenstein – Transcript (Coming Soon)

3- Sex, guts and flies – Professor Irene Miguel-Aliaga

Eliano dos Santos and Sijia Yu talk with Prof Irene Miguel-Aliaga about her research on fly physiology, how sex affects biological processes and the gender gap in scientific careers. Publication of the month by Ellis Chika Onwordi: Synaptic density marker SV2A is reduced in schizophrenia patients and unaffected by antipsychotics in rats

Episode 3 – Irene Miguel-Aliaga – Transcript (Coming Soon)

4 – Schizophrenia – Professor Oliver Howes

Eliano dos Santos and Saul Moore talk with Prof. Oliver Howes about schizophrenia, mental health, and the psychology behind conspiracy theories. Publication of the month by Katie Stevens: Histone variants in archaea and the evolution of combinatorial chromatin complexity

Episode 4 – Oliver Howes – Transcript (Coming Soon)

5 – Genes and Behaviour – Dr Andre Brown

Radina Georgieva and Macia Sureda Vives talk with Dr. Andre Brown about his career and the use of behaviour for high-throughput genetic and pharmacological screening. Publication of the month by Eliano dos Santos: Sugar-Induced Obesity and Insulin Resistance Are Uncoupled from Shortened Survival in Drosophila

Episode 5 – Andre Brown – Transcript (Coming Soon)

6 – Epigenetics – Prof. Juanma Vaquerizas

Ediem Aljibury and Julia Needham talk to Prof. Juanma Vaquerizas about his career, epigenetics through development and computational approaches to studying it. Publication of the Month by Dr Fabio D’orzio: Germ cell differentiation requires Tdrd7-dependent chromatin and transcriptome reprogramming marked by germ plasm relocalization

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