Iris of a human eye, overlaid words say "driven to discover.".

Driven to Discover is a podcast that explores innovative University at Buffalo research through candid conversations with the researchers about their inspirations and goals.

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  • Arin Bhattacharjee talks to host Ellen Goldbaum about opioid-free pain relief

    Arin Battacharjee.

    Episode 6 - Opioid-Free Pain Relief with Arin Bhattacharjee

    17:27 Run Time | August 29, 2023

    Effective, long-lasting, non-addictive pain relief—it sounds too good to be true. But thanks to the imagination (and perseverance) of University at Buffalo neuroscientist/pharmacologist Arin Bhattacharjee, it may be just around the corner. Bhattacharjee, a self-proclaimed “dreamer,” has developed a novel approach to pain, both acute and chronic, that could get FDA approval in as soon as two years. In this episode of Driven to Discover, host Ellen Goldbaum talks to Bhattacharjee about his journey from wannabe soccer pro to impassioned scientist, the research that led to a new understanding of pain, and the small yet powerful peptide that could not only transform millions of lives but also help lead us out of the opioid epidemic.

Coming on Sept. 26: Samantha Barbas on free speech and the Supreme Court

Samantha Barbas.

Free Speech and the Supreme Court with Samantha Barbas

Host Laura Silverman talks to legal historian Samantha Barbas about what could well be the next target in the Supreme Court’s reshaping of civil rights in America: New York Times vs. Sullivan, a landmark 1964 First Amendment ruling and the subject of Barbas’s latest book.


  • LaGarrett King on Teaching Black History
    Black history wasn't part of the curriculum when LaGarrett King was a boy. Now he's on a mission to change that. In this episode, King tells host Vicky Santos why Black history is essential learning for all students, and how his center is helping teachers to get it right.
  • Diana Aga on Forever Chemicals
    After seeing the river she swam in as a child turn black with pollution, Diana Aga became determined to help clean up the planet. In this episode, the renowned environmental chemist talks to host Cory Nealon about PFAS, or forever chemicals: what they are, why they're so dangerous, and what she's doing to take the "forever" out of them.
  • Nicholas Rajkovich on Climate Resiliency
    As a kid, Nick Rajkovich built a wastewater plant in his parents' basement. Today, as an expert in climate resiliency, he his still using design and building to help others. In this episode of Driven to Discover, Rajkovich tells host David Hill how we can (and must) adapt our built environment to withstand an increasingly hostile climate.
  • Stephanie Poindexter on The Slow Loris
    As a child, Stephanie Poindexter loved watching the apes at the zoo. Now she's an expert in the slow loris, a noctural primate that inhabits Southeast Asia. In this episode of Driven to Discover, Poindexter tells host Vicky Santos what it's like to track down this shy creature in a Thai jungle in the middle of the night, and why she does it.
  • John Crassidis on Space Junk
    His first Halloween costume was an astronaut. Today he is a world-renowned expert in space junk. In this episode of Driven to Discover, aerospace engineer John Crassidis talks to host Cory Nealon about what space junk is, the threat it poses to the future of space travel, and how he and his students are working to solve the problem.

Meet your hosts

Ellen Goldbaum.

Ellen Goldbaum, News Content Manager
Ellen has been with UB since 1990 and has covered the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences since 2011. Before coming to UB, she lived in New York City (her hometown) where she worked for several magazines, including Mademoiselle.

David Hill.

David Hill, Director of News Content
Following a nearly 10-year career in community newspapers, Dave joined University Communications in 2011. His UB résumé includes writing for the alumni magazine, editing school newsletters and, since 2015, serving on the media relations team.

Cory Nealon.

Cory Nealon, Director of News Content
Cory joined University Communications in 2012 after writing for newspapers in Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in business administration, both from UB.

VIcky Santos.

Vicky Santos, News Content Manager
Vicky began her career as a reporter in the Adirondacks. She then spent 17 years in Alabama as the director of news and media services at Auburn University’s College of Liberal Arts before moving back north in 2021 to join University Communications.