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Beyond the Blue Podcast: The Truth About Vaccines — Risk vs. Reward?

By:    Published 10:10 am / February 13, 2012

Vaccines have had a profoundly positive impact on human health, but the practice of vaccination also has its detractors. Juliette Tinker, assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Boise State, explores the causes of the current loss of confidence in vaccine safety, and the impacts this loss has had on the incidence of disease in this week’s Beyond the Blue podcast, “Risk vs. Reward? The Truth About Vaccines.”

Listeners can access the website featuring a series of faculty podcasts at or go directly to Tinker’s presentation. Visitors can download all podcasts and subscribe to receive automatic downloads of new content whenever they open iTunes.

In this podcast, Tinker presents rationale regarding why vaccine research is needed and analyzes the pipeline for continued development of new and improved methods of immunization. She examines the historical benefits of vaccines that have been used to fight smallpox, polio, rubella and many other infectious diseases. Her current research regarding the search for a vaccine to fight staph infections also is chronicled.

Tinker holds a Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Iowa and was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Colorado. She serves as chair of the Institutional Biosafety Committee and is a member of the Central District Health Immunization Advisory Board. Tinker has been at Boise State since 2005, and does research and writing on pathogenic bacteriology and vaccinology.

The Beyond the Blue website has been developed to showcase the expertise and innovative spirit that exists in many fields at Boise State. Known for its unique blue turf and nationally ranked football program, Boise State is demonstrating creativity beyond the blue in faculty podcasts intended to introduce a variety of topics to casual listeners.

New faculty podcasts are being added on a regular basis, including:

The website contains bonus video and editorial content about the university, including its growth, research initiatives and student life. A related collection of faculty interviews also is accessible from the Reader’s Corner radio show hosted by Boise State President Bob Kustra on Boise State Public Radio.