Rabbi Yonah is joined by cancer researcher and avid runner Dr. Yariv Houvras. They discuss cutting edge cancer research and how running allows you to do things you thought you would never do.
Research in Age of Corona
Dr. Yariv Houvras is Associate Professor at the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. He treats patients with advanced endocrine cancers and conducts cutting-edge research to better understand and treat cancer.
Dr. Houvras’s lab builds models of human cancer in zebrafish. Zebrafish and humans are closely enough related, that scientists are able to take genes from humans and replace missing zebrafish genes. Zebrafish are also extremely easy to care for and are prolific.
Through studying the cancer in fish they can apply that knowledge to curing patients. In a very exciting scientific development, they have made fish avatar of people they are treating.
In our episode we will learn about this research and also find out what happens to all this life-saving research during the age of COVID19.
Running in Age of Corona
Dr. Houvras is also a self described “running evangelist”. One can see him most days running through Central Park where he trains. Dr. Houvras believes that running helps people in dramatic ways that go well beyond the physical health benefits. “Running gives you a concept of yourself,” says Dr. Houvras, “that allows you to do some of things you thought you would never do.”
Dr. Houvras “converted me” to becoming a runner when he visited Los Angeles for my son’s Bar Mitzvah in August. Over sushi he inspired my that I could run and the benefits that I would see. Additionally, we committed to discussing running and spirituality every week or two. Thanks to his coaching, I have become a passionate runner and the benefits that he described are very real.
Dr. Houvras also explains why runners haven’t been nearly as impacted as others by the pandemic. While runners often benefit from running clubs, groups and races, they can still go out and run by themselves and even compete in virtual events. Dr. Houvras also offers helpful advice for people who are interested in become runners can easily get started.
While I may wish that I had taken up running earlier in life, starting at age 50 has been very inspiring and rewarding, perhaps more so had I been a lifelong runner. My next race is a charity event for the Los Angeles Friendship Circle and you can help support my run by visiting my run page.