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Next|Health: Forefront Podcast Series

Apr 22, 2020

“I don’t feel like I’m taking a risk studying pathogenic disease. I’m fascinated, and I want to take on that fight.” – Morgan Freney, Virologist


In today’s episode, Dr. Shah speaks with Morgan Freney a virologist working at the University of Queensland in a lab that creates vaccines. She’s also pursuing a PhD in molecular virology. If you’re ready to take a deep dive into Coronavirus and what makes it a particularly stupefying threat, then Morgan is your go-to woman. She’s shaking up the world at just 25 years of age, making a significant dent in the education of others, and the development of virus-disabling medicine.

Morgan started working on the Ebola vaccine when women and children were dying in Africa. She also worked on a vaccine for West Nile and Zika. Most recently she’s been attempting to crack a multi-virus vaccine that would crack Corona and other similar viruses – up to 15 at one time!

Morgan has a special way of describing the life-cycle of a virus and what it does to your body so you can understand Corona, and other pathogens more fully. This podcast is an incredibly educational way to get a clear picture of Covid-19.



  • Understand what an RNA virus is and how it differs from those transmitted by mosquitoes and other insects.
  • Learn what it’s like to work in a full containment facility so viruses and deadly pathogens don’t spread while you’re studying them.
  • Discover why heroines like Morgan don’t feel they’re taking a risk, even though they’re working toward a disease-free world.
  • Realize why some viruses are so damaging, even though they’re just a protein coat around a tiny piece of RNA.
  • Learn why a viral infection is different than a bacterial infection.
  • Get a low-down on cellular functioning and what a virus does to healthy cells.
  • Determine if a virus is alive or dead.
  • Understand why viruses are a little like parasites.
  • Learn why viruses damage your cells.
  • Learn why Corona causes an inflammatory response in the lungs, which can be damaging.
  • Learn why 5% of our entire genome is infected with viruses that manage to stay there.
  • Discover the shocking reason why viruses may have an evolutionary benefit.
  • Realize what you can do to protect yourself from viral pathogens.




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Making the Cut:


Morgan Freney