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October 17, 2023 26 mins

In this episode of the Life Sphere podcast, Kathleen Brunner welcomes guest, Dr. Alicja Santos, CEO of Polonium Foundation. Together they delve into the realms of sustainability, accessibility, healthcare, and global scientific collaboration. The conversation kicks off by exploring the origins of the Polonium Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the scientific diaspora, with its roots tracing back to the discovery of the element polonium. Dr. Santos, who brings a wealth of expertise in healthcare and sustainability, highlights the evolving landscape of medicine, emphasizing the need for equitable, sustainable, and future-focused approaches. The dialogue addresses the challenges of talent migration and supply chain logistics in the context of healthcare, offering insights into reshaping the industry for a more accessible and eco-conscious future. Kathleen and Dr. Santos also touch upon the pivotal role of education, especially in STEM fields, and how organizations like Women In Bio are instrumental in empowering women and underrepresented voices in the scientific community. Today’s episode provides a thought-provoking exploration of crucial topics at the intersection of science, sustainability, and global healthcare access. 


Dr. Santos holds a B.Sc. from Robert Gordon University, Scotland, and M.Sc and Engineering degrees from Lodz University of Technology, Poland. Her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Chicago was supported by an American Heart Association Fellowship, where she developed novel cancer metastatic blockers and cardiomyopathies diagnostics. Dr. Santos also held the presidency of Women In Bio (WIB) Chicago, where she currently serves as the Advisory Board Chair. 

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