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Beyond the Books

Talking with the experts who solve the world's biggest problems.

About Our Podcast

We are two biomedical engineering students at the University of Waterloo who love to learn new things. Join us as we interview experts conducting research into COVID-19, happiness, blackholes and everything in between. We know that research can be very confusing, but we're here to help you understand, learn, and most importantly, have fun!

Science Museum Space Exploration

Latest Episode - Biotech Startups with Dr. Karim Karim

Beyond the Books is back! For our season 3 premiere, we're joined by Dr. Karim Karim, CTO of KA Imaging, a Waterloo based X-ray Imaging startup. We spoke with Dr. Karim about the process of starting up his own company, securing funding during the COVID pandemic, the gaps between academic research and industry, and lots more. 

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Past Episodes

Click on any episode to listen now!

E1: Meet the Hosts

E1: Meet the Hosts

The Beyond the Books co-hosts introduce themselves for the first time. We talk about what drove us to get involved in research, and we explain the benefits of research for individuals and society as a whole. From curing cancer to curing boredom, research is an awesome tool for everyone!

E2: NeuroCOVID

E2: NeuroCOVID

Join the Beyond the Books hosts as they talk with Dr. Steven Beyea, Scientific Director of the Biomedical Translational Imaging Centre at the IWK and QEII Health Centres, about his work using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to study the brains of COVID-19 patients, and how he got into research.

E3: Neuroethics

E3: Neuroethics

Dr. Georg Northoff, Canada Research Chair in Mind, Brain Imaging, and Neuroethics, joins Beyond the Books! We discuss his work dealing with the brain, how the psychological response to COVID-19 in North America is different from the rest of the world, his thoughts on mental health apps, and more!

E4: Nanomedicine

E4: Nanomedicine

Dr. Maria DeRosa, Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry at Carleton University joins Beyond the Books! We learn about what aptamers are, how aptamers are revolutionizing the field of biosensors, their awesome applications in nanomedicine, Dr. DeRosa's passion for inspiring passion and more!

E5: Blackholes

E5: Blackholes

Black Holes are incredible! Dr. Niayesh Afshordi, an astrophysics researcher at the Perimeter Institute, joins Beyond the Books to give insight into one of the universe's biggest mysteries. We learn about quantum gravity, what's on the other side of a black hole, his thoughts on the portrayal of black holes in popular media, and more!

E6: Pandemics

E6: Pandemics

How is the COVID-19 vaccine being made? Who’s working on it? When will it be ready? These questions and more with Dr. Alyson Kelvin, researcher at the Canadian Centre for Vaccinology.

E7: Wearable Sensors

E7: Wearable Sensors

How do you predict the future? What grade would you give some bold new sensor ideas? What is one piece of advice you wish you had when starting undergrad? We talk with Dr. Jennifer Howcroft, professor at the University of Waterloo about her research with wearable sensors that can predict and prevent injuries and driving accidents, some of the coolest sensors she's worked with, and more, to answer these questions.

E8: Dark Matter & Neutrinos

E8: Dark Matter & Neutrinos

Dark Matter is the most mysterious substance in the universe. Dark matter's gravitational effects explain the rotation of galaxies, the motions of clusters, and the largest structures in the universe. We talk with Dr. Aksel Hallin, Canada Research Chair in astroparticle physics, to learn what dark matter is, how neutrinos help its significance, his impression of the science on The Big Bang Theory, and more!

E9: Aquatic Ecosystems

E9: Aquatic Ecosystems

Ecology is the study of relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment. Freshwater ecosystems are one of the most important ones and Dr. Maggie Xenopoulos, professor at Trent University, joins Beyond the Books to discuss her research! We talk about DOM (dissolved organic matter), the process of metagenomics, her plans to fix societal environmental practices, some common misconceptions about bacteria, and much more!

E10: Life in the ICU

E10: Life in the ICU

Imagine working crazy long shifts in the Intensive Care Unit, running a city-wide network of health care professionals, hosting your own podcast on Solving Healthcare, all while being a father of three in the middle of the biggest pandemic in a century. We get to talk with Dr. Kwadwo Kyeremanteng and ask him how he does it all while keeping spirits high. Life in the ICU, his plan to optimize health care, medical fact or fiction and more.

Season 2 Promo!

Season 2 Promo!

A preview of the upcoming season of the Beyond the Books Podcast

E11: Synaptic Connections in the Brain

E11: Synaptic Connections in the Brain

We're back with Season 2! The brain is a complicated organ with multiple different functions, it takes an expert like Dr. Shernaz Bamji to study how synapses in the brain interact with each other and what impact that has on humans. We discuss her innovative research, some crazy research headlines that the media takes WAY out of proportion, advice for students looking for research positions and more! Join us as we go Beyond the Books!

E12: Ethnomusicology

E12: Ethnomusicology

Dr. Harris Berger, Canada Research Chair of Ethnomusicology, joins the podcast to discuss all things music! We talk about how he studies the cultural significance of a piece of music, what is phenomenology, the impact streaming services have had on on our listening experience and more! Whether you like heavy metal, hip hop, pop, rock, or something else entirely, come join us as we go Beyond the Books!

E13: International Medicine

E13: International Medicine

Dr. Joanne Liu, former international president of Médecins Sans Frontières joins Beyond the Books on this week's episode! Dr. Liu has spearheaded international medical efforts all around the globe, having served during the peak of the Ebloa crisis. We talk about her experiences with MSF, how COVID has impacted telemedicine for the better, and play another round of COVID fact or fiction! Why is there growing suspicison of science? Did the former international president of MSF quit on her first fi

E14: Medical Investigative Journalism

E14: Medical Investigative Journalism

After writing for the New York Times, Washington Post, and the BMJ among others, acclaimed journalist and author Jeanne Lenzer wrote her book, "The Danger Within Us: America's Untested, Unregulated Medical Device Industry and One Man's Battle to Survive It". Lenzer joins the podcast to discuss her book and it's analysis of the medical device industry. What does the intersection of money and medicine mean for public health? Join us as we go Beyond the Books!

E15: Researching Biosensors

E15: Researching Biosensors

Point of Care Medical Devices are the future! Dr. Pawan Jolly, Senior Staff Scientist at The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University talks with Jonah and Aryan about his research in the biosensor and medical device arena. We ask him about his latest COVID-19 focused project, his experience studying abroad (4 times!) and hear his journey to becoming one of the top researchers in his field. Join us as we go Beyond the Books!

E16: Biotech and Co-ops

E16: Biotech and Co-ops

A recent graduate in biomedical engineering herself, Saakshi Sutarwala knows all about the grind for co-ops and finding a full-time job. After having worked in a variety of industries and places, Saakshi is currently a mechanical engineer at Spartan Bioscience. We talk to Saakshi about her work on novel medical diagnostics, how COVID has impacted her work, some of her tips and tricks for landing the co-op of your dreams and much more! Come join us as we go Beyond the Books!

E17: Casual Co-op Discussion

E17: Casual Co-op Discussion

We're taking a short break from our weekly interviews. Get to know your cohosts Jonah and Aryan! We talk about our co-ops, life during COVID and just catch up. Come join us as we DON'T go Beyond the Books.

E18: Orthopedic Mechatronics

E18: Orthopedic Mechatronics

Dr. Stewart McLachlin joins the podcast to take us through the groundbreaking field of Orthopedic Mechatronics! How are robots already making an impact in the surgical room? How can you study the human spine without using human subjects? How does prolonged sitting due to working at home impact your spine? These are just some of the topics we discuss as we learn about the future of orthopedic surgery, his experience with setting up a research lab, and more. Come join us as we go Beyond the Books!

E19: Beyond Earth with Chris Hadfield

E19: Beyond Earth with Chris Hadfield

The former commander of the International Space Station drops by Beyond the Books to discuss life in space, his work on the ISS, and more! What is 0G like? What does food taste like in outer space? How does he feel about the portrayal of astronauts in popular media? All that and more, coming April 8th!

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Meet the Creators

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Jonah Leinwand

Executive Producer & Co-Host

Biomedical Engineering Student at the University of Waterloo

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Aryan Singh

Executive Producer & Co-Host

Biomedical Engineering Student at the University of Waterloo

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