Kim writes:

Hi Immune team!

I’m Kim, a fourth year PhD student studying lung immunology at Boston university school of Medicine. I’ve been a fan of TwiV for years, but was so excited when Immune started- thanks for venturing beyond your comfort zone Vincent! 

I would love an excuse to go back and re-listen to/transcribe all the prior episodes of Immune and provide transcripts for you moving forward as well. Please let me know if this would be welcome, as well as any helpful tips based on the TWiM transcripts being done.

As always thanks for your excellent work on the podcast.



PS- I believe at least Vincent knows my older sister Brianne 🙂 

Anonymous writes:

Dear Cindy,

I’m writing at the recommendation of my friend who studies HIV vaccines as a postdoc.

Some background: I’m a trained engineer (MS in mechanical engineering) and someone who likes to dive into details. As such, I have found it immensely frustrating as a new, admittedly anxious new mother wading through information related to vaccines because when I spot apparent inconsistencies or have other unanswered questions, I’m unable to find the answers I need to assuage my concerns without doing a full-blown literature review. The questions below represent just two examples of those types of concerns:

1) People talk about the amount of aluminum received over the course of the first 6 months of a baby’s life in food and breastmilk versus vaccines. However, the vaccines represent a higher intensity dosage of aluminum, rather than a more prolonged exposure over time. Does the intensity of aluminum administered have an impact on it’s toxicity, especially as it relates to the blood-brain barrier? Are there credible studies addressing that topic?

2) The CDC says that you should not administer the second or third doses of certain vaccines to children if they had an abnormal reaction. Yet, the CDC also recommends up to 6 shots at the same time, 3 of which can come in a combination vaccine. How is one to discern which vaccine causes the reaction in this case?

Thanks much!

Anonymous mom

Neeraj writes:

Dear Immunosomes,

I know its been a while since I last wrote, but rest assured that like lot of folks out there, I am an ardent downloader and follower of the immune team’s podcasts. It is always fun listening to such intriguing stories and in line with this, the paper discussed in Immune20 was particularly interesting. As someone who spent years working extensively on Nlrp3 or Nalp3 inflammasome activation during my postdoc years, this story on the effect of activation leading to blot clots was totally fascinating. And yet again it goes to show that there are still several survival mechanisms that are highly controlled and regulated by the innate immune arm. Btw, I was also a close witness to the discovery (or anti-discovery) of Casp1 KO mice actually being Casp1 and Casp11 DKO (which was pretty intriguing to be honest). Since those days, a lot of cool science has been done to show the role Casp11 plays in cleavage of Gasdermin D and generation of membrane pores that release inflammatory cytokines like Il-1b and IL-18. One interesting result that comes back to mind is that Nalp3 is generally not expressed in primary macrophages and its expression gets induced by PAMPs like LPS (in vitro activation though), which makes me wonder how is the eprJ protein alone, activating Nlrp3 inflammasome? Maybe it induces expression of the Nlrp3 protein? And one question I always have is, that even though there are several inflammasomes identified, Nalp3 seems to be the most robust and universal in mounting a protective immune response against most proteinaceous PAMPs. I know we shouldn’t ask “WHY” questions in biology but maybe something worth speculating on. SO please keep up the fabulous podcasting and I look forward to never getting “Immune” to listening to them.




Neeraj Kapoor, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist (Research)

SutroVax, Inc.