A Healthier Wisconsin

Coffee Conversations with Scientists

About the Series

In partnership with the Medical College of Wisconsin, join host Rayna Andrews each month as she digs into the science behind a health topic making news today. Think of it as a virtual coffee break, with a science twist. 

You bring the coffee. We’ll bring a scientist. And together we’ll explore what science tells us about the health topics that matter to you!

Watch the Episodes

Listen to the Podcasts

LATEST episode

The Science and Trends Behind Sweeteners

The Science Behind Colorectal Cancer

August 23, 2023 (2:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.)

Take a virtual coffee break with the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) and the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment as we chat with Charles R. Rogers, PhD, associate professor of epidemiology and social sciences in the Institute for Health & Equity at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) and a Research Scholar Endowed Chair of MCW’s Cancer Center to learn about the importance of early detection for colorectal cancer (CRC) as well as why CRC is slated to be the deadliest cancer among adults under age 50 by 2030.

Watch: View the episode on the MCW Facebook page

Listen: Tune in to the podcast on SoundCloud

Previous Episodes

The Science Behind Sweeteners and Our Metabolic and Reproductive Health

July 31, 2023 

We chat with Dr. Stephanie Olivier-Van Stichelen, PhD, Assistant Professor in Biochemistry; Secondary Faculty in Obstetrics & Gynecology at the Medical College of Wisconsin, about the intersection of sweeteners, pregnancy, development, and metabolism.

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The Science Behind Social Media and Youth Mental Health

June 27, 2023 

Dr. Jeff Karst, PhD, pediatric psychologist in the MACC Fund Center at Children’s Wisconsin and associate professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin talks about the new cautionary effects of social media on young people.

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The Science Behind Maternal Morbidity

May 31, 2023

Dr. Anna Palatnik, MD, maternal fetal health medicine physician and associate professor at Froedtert, and the Medical College of Wisconsin talk about racial and ethnic disparities across selected measures of maternal and infant health and discuss the factors that drive these disparities.

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The Science Behind Effective Dieting

April 26, 2023

Take a virtual coffee break with the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) and the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment as we chat with Lisa Morselli, MD, PhD, endocrinologist, and assistant professor at Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin about the trends, facts, and misconceptions associated with effective weight-loss diets.

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The Science Behind Vasectomies

March 21, 2023

Approximately 500,000 men in the United States get vasectomies each year, and many of them get scheduled during March Madness. Why is that? Tune in as we discuss the science behind vasectomies and what’s driving the uptick in procedures. Take a virtual coffee break with the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) and the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment as we chat with Jay Sandlow, MD, urologist and professor at Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin. Presented in partnership with the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment.

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The Science and Trends Behind Losing Weight

February 21, 2023

Take a virtual coffee break with the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) and the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment as we chat with Tammy Kindel, MD, PhD, bariatric surgeon and associate professor at Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin.

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The Science and Trends Behind Seasonal Respiratory Illness

January 31, 2023

Take a virtual coffee break with the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) and the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment as we chat with John Meurer, MD, MBA, professor of pediatrics and community health at the Medical College of Wisconsin, as we guide you through the signs of seasonal respiratory illnesses—COVID, influenza, and RSV—and share what you can do about them.

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The Science Behind Seasonal Affective Disorder

December 12, 2022 

Take a virtual coffee break with the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) and the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment as we chat with Himanshu Agrawal, MD, DFAPA, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

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The Science Behind Genetic Counseling

November 14, 2022 

Host Michael Zimmermann, PhD, director of the bioinformatics research and development lab in the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at the Medical College of Wisconsin chatted with Jenny Geurts, MS, CGC, director of the genetic counseling program and assistant professor in the Institute for Health & Equity at the Medical College of Wisconsin about the science behind genetic counseling.

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The Science Behind Monkeypox

November 4, 2022 

Andrew Petroll, MS, MD, professor of medicine in the MCW division of infectious diseases chatted with Mary Beth Graham, MD, FIDSA, FACP, associate chief and professor of medicine in the MCW division of infectious diseases about the science behind monkeypox.

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The Science Behind Breast Cancer

October 27, 2022 

Adrienne Cobb, MD, MS, assistant professor of surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin, discussed the science behind breast cancer.

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The Science Behind Traumatic Brain Injury and Concussion

September 21, 2022 

Dr. Michael McCrea, the Shekar N. Kurpad, MD, PhD, Chair in Neurosurgery; professor; vice chair of Research; co-director, Neurotrauma Research Center; director, Clinical Trials Office (CTO) in the Neuroscience Institute at MCW, chatted with host Dr. Terri deRoon Cassini, professor of surgery and the executive director of the MCW Comprehensive Injury Center at MCW, about the science behind traumatic brain injury and concussion.

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The Science Behind Bullying and Suicide Prevention

August 17, 2022 

Sara Kohlbeck, Director of the Division of Suicide Prevention at MCW, chatted with host Dr. Staci Young, Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Healthy Communities and Research at MCW, about bullying and suicide prevention.

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The Science Behind Parkinson’s Disease

July 27, 2022

Take a virtual coffee break with the Medical College of Wisconsin as we chat with Dr. Cecilia Hillard, Associate Dean for Research; Director of the MCW Neuroscience Research Center; G. Frederick Kasten, Jr. Endowed Chair in Parkinson’s Disease Research, as she chats with host, Dr. Cassie Ferguson, associate professor at MCW, about the science behind Parkinson’s Disease.

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Understanding The Science Behind Cardiovascular Health and Pregnancy

June 28, 2022 

Dr. Jennifer McIntosh, Associate Professor of Maternal Fetal Medicine at MCW and clinician in the Froedtert & MCW Maternal Fetal Medicine Program, chatted with host, Dr. Nicole Lohr, cardiologist and chief of cardiovascular medicine at the Zablocki VA Medical Center, about the science behind cardiovascular health and pregnancy including misconceptions, risks and prevention.

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The Science Behind Seasonal Allergies

May 16, 2022 

Dr. Asriani Chiu, Professor of Allergy and Immunology, and the interim section chief of Allergy at the Medical College of Wisconsin and Medical Director of Asthma and Allergy at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin chatted with host Dr. Jesse Ehrenfeld, director of the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment, about the science behind seasonal allergies including understanding the difference between allergies and illnesses such as the respiratory flu or COVID-19.

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The Science Behind Hearing Loss

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Join Dr. Chris Runge, professor in the Ear, Nose and Throat Department at the Medical College of Wisconsin and director of the Koss Cochlear Implant Program, as she chats with host, Dr. Jesse Ehrenfeld, director of the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment, about the science behind hearing loss, the most common types of hearing loss, and what you can do if you or someone you love is experiencing symptoms of hearing loss.

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Understanding the Science Behind Sleep Health

Wednesday, March 23  

Dr. B. Tucker Woodson, otolaryngologist and professor and chief of sleep medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin, discussed the science behind sleep health.

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The Science of Cardiovascular Health: Understanding Your Risk and Tips for Prevention

Friday, February 25

Dr. Nicole Lohr, cardiologist and chief of cardiovascular medicine at the Zablocki VA Medical Center, chats with host, Julia Schmitt, about the science behind cardiovascular health, understanding your risk factors, and tips for the prevention of cardiovascular disease.

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The Science of Health: Transitioning to a Plant-based Lifestyle

Wednesday, January 19

Dr. Stuart Wong, medical oncologist and director of the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Disease Prevention Research Center, chats with Dr. Rania Dempsey, lifestyle medicine physician and mom, about the science behind plant-based nutrition and tips on how to get started with some simple lifestyle modifications to improve your overall health. 

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2021: The Year in Review

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Join us as we take a look back at the most talked about coffee conversations from 2021. From COVID and vaccines to violence prevention and gender inclusivity, we talked to MCW’s leading
scientists to learn more about the public health topics that mattered most to you.

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Managing Mental Wellness: The Science Behind Stress, Anxiety, and Burnout

Thursday, November 18, 2021

‘Tis the season for … stress? Join Medical College of Wisconsin Associate Professor of Psychiatry Dr. David Cipriano to explore the science behind how stress, burnout, and anxiety can impact our overall well-being, and what we can do to support our mental wellness during the holiday season and beyond

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Kids & COVID-19: Vaccine Edition

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Join as Children's Wisconsin Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael Gutzeit explores the science behind COVID-19 vaccines for kids and what the data says about safety and effictiveness, and the steps we can all take to keep our families healthy today

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The Science of Healthy Eating: How to Eat to Prevent Disease & Promote Health

September 15, 2021

Join Stuart Wong, MD, medical oncologist and director of the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Disease Prevention Research Center, and Ken Jacobsohn, MD, associate professor, as they explore the science-driven nutrition plan that can prevent disease, promote good health, and change our bodies and our communities for the better.   

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Kids & COVID-19: A Conversation for Parents & Caregivers

August 3, 2021

Medical College of Wisconsin pediatric infectious disease specialist Dr. Frank Zhu talks with Calie Herbst, founder of Milwaukee with Kids, on the science behind COVID-19 in kids, and what parents and caregivers need to know about variants, vaccines, and the latest guidelines for keeping your family healthy this fall.

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Preventing Violence, Promoting Safe & Healthy Communities

July 13, 2021

As cities around the country reimagine public safety, Reggie Moore, director of violence prevention in the MCW Comprehensive Injury Center, and host Dr. Marc de Moya, Chief of Trauma Surgery at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin explore the science behind violence prevention

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Let's Talk About Sex, Gender & Health

June 2, 2021

Join nationally recognized LGBTQ health specialist Dr. Jessica Francis and host Dr. Jesse Ehrenfeld for a discussion on sex, gender identity, and health, as they explore what science tells us about how exclusion in health disparities and inequities, and why inclusion in medicine, science, and society matters to health.

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Tired & Overwhelmed During COVID-19

May 4, 2021

Why do so many of us feel tired and overwhelmed more than a year after the COVID-19 pandemic began? Health psychologist Dr. Terri deRoon-Cassini explores the science behind how our experiences today are shaping how we feel, and what we can do to give ourselves the break we need.

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A Conversation on COVID-19

April 8, 2021

Join us as nationally recognized infectious disease expert Dr. Joyce Sanchez explores the science behind what we know now about COVID-19 vaccines, variants, and being vigilant so that we can get back to the things we love and miss most.

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