TWiV 672: Black in Microbiology with Ari Kozik and Kishana Taylor

October 15, 2020

Ari and Kishana, two of the founders of Black in Microbiology, join TWiV to discuss the goals of the organization, then we review pauses of J&J and Lilly COVID-19 vaccine trials, preclinical studies of Regeneron’s SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibody cocktail, reinfection of a patient in Nevada, and listener questions.

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Rich Condit, Kathy Spindler and Brianne Barker

Guest: Ari Kozik and Kishana Taylor

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Download TWiV 672 (76 MB .mp3, 126 min)
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Links for this episode

Weekly Science Picks 1:52:22

BrianneA Lab of One’s Own by Rita Colwell
Kathy –  Endonym map
Rich“The Coronavirus Unveiled” by Carl Zimmer
VincentPrinciples of Virology 5th Edition

Listener Pick

LesCoronavirus cake
MaryChoir finds a way to sing

Intro music is by Ronald Jenkees

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8 comments on “TWiV 672: Black in Microbiology with Ari Kozik and Kishana Taylor

  1. Thanks for the discussion, means lot to me as someone whose grandparents also weren’t allowed to attend school and encounters people who “compliment” me about sounding smart (probably meaning smarter than they’d assume due to my ethnicity)!

  2. Ad-05 & Ad-26 (combined or separate) are the Russian vaccine; see recent letter by Yegor on TWiV 669.

  3. Kate Dugan Oct 15, 2020

    I am so upset that you read the email from Peter criticizing Alan Dove. I find Alan to be an outstanding communicator of complex scientific concepts and miss him when he is not on the show. He is always on target with his comments and makes the material more accessible to the general public. I believe you owe Alan an apology for reading this email on the show. I hope that Alan will stay with the show and if he moves on I will probably not watch this podcast any longer.

    • Gregory Theunis Oct 15, 2020

      I particularly enjoyed Alan Dove’s recent contribution to TWiV663 after about an hour or so, reporting on a conference call with an update on all the emergency vaccines.
      True, Alan Dove’s interventions tend to be a little more ‘structured’ than others’ but they are – in their very way – a truly appreciated ‘added value’ to the podcast. I am afraid the same cannot be said of the letter that was read out, but that is just my opinion.. and to each their own, I guess. It is a sign of strength of this show that they dare to read out criticisms like this, with even the host sometimes having to – gracefully – go through the dust, like what happened a couple of weeks ago. As long as it is all done with respect and in good spirits I don’t really see the problem; I guess it’s all just part of the format of this podcast. This is not the NDR-podcast after all.. with which I mean to say: same kind of quality, diferent format.

    • Kate,
      I highly doubt Alan would be so shallow. He has joked about this in past episodes.

      This is what humans do.

      Alan knows that better than most. Maybe not as much as Kathy but certainly more than Peter. Reading letters is a special part of this show.

      Fortunately they don’t read these blog posts. The crack is mighty today…as is the melodrama.

      It’s almost as if there were something huge going on that no one is talking about (like an election perhaps?)

      Let’s cut each other extra long rope before we reach for the pitchfork or the hyperbole.

  4. Keith Robinson Oct 17, 2020

    What wonderful guests you had on this episode. It is good of you to highlight such excellent role models! A couple of years ago when I was preparing a lesson for my high school biology students, I came across a biography of Alfred Hershey and was surprised to find him listed in a book called “African American Firsts in Science and Technology.”
    I never learned anything about his heritage in school!

    If the book is correct, that makes Hershey the first African American to win the Nobel Prize for Medicine.

  5. Keith Robinson Oct 17, 2020

    On an entirely different issue, United Health Group’s COVID-19 Testing Strategy Calculator ( is certainly a beautiful thing.

    There is a similar calculator referenced in a paper by A. David Paltiel et al., “Assessment of SARS-CoV-2 screening strategies to permit the safe reopening of college campuses in the United States” (JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(7):e2016818. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.16818 ). It seems to yield similar results, with the same general conclusions with respect to rapid frequent antigen testing.
    The calculator itself is at,