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Genius: Sciencing Our Human Potential

Genius: Sciencing Our Human Potential

By Diane Grimard Wilson
The best of science, neuroscience, health, learning and human stories. Diane Wilson, LCPC, BCN, applied neuroscientist and coach shares her intense curiosity by interviewing some of her favorite people from all walks in life. Each episode will have conversations that will help you feel connected, embrace your fears, be present, and help cultivate and share your own genius within.
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Anxiety & Love on Valentines' Day
This is from an article for tomorrow on Valentines' Day. Many people struggle with it and I've got some ideas to help. This is also an audio clip from my production manager and me to see if I am the right person to narrate "Brain Dance." Would you like to listen to this person read a book to you? Please let us know.
February 14, 2022
Dr. Jen Heemstra: Uncommon Scientist, Academic and Leader
Regardless of your career path, or lack thereof, you will enjoy this. Scientists aren’t taught how to be leaders. Dr. Jen Heemstra is a chemist, professor, and uncommon leader. Anyone in academia, as well as in business, could learn a great deal from her and her career path. Unpretentious, candid, and passionate about making the world a better place. A human for our times.  Join me, Genius Podcast Host and peak performance coach Diane Wilson for this last interview of 2021. Yes, our 2022 Reflections Planner is done and ready!  Biography: Jen Heemstra received her B.S. in Chemistry from the University of California, Irvine, in 2000. At Irvine, she performed undergraduate research investigating the folding of synthetic beta-sheet mimics, which instilled in her a love of supramolecular chemistry. She then moved to the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where she completed her Ph.D. in 2005 studying the reactivity of pyridine-functionalized phenylene ethynylene cavitands. After a brief time in industry as a medicinal chemist, she moved to Harvard University to pursue postdoctoral research exploring mechanisms for templated nucleic acid synthesis. Jen began her independent career in 2010 and is currently a Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Emory University. Research in the Heemstra lab is focused on harnessing the molecular recognition and self-assembly properties of nucleic acids and proteins for applications in biosensing and bioimaging. In addition to her research, Jen is also actively engaged in science communication, outreach, and advocacy via her social media presence, monthly column in Chemical & Engineering News, and professional development seminars and workshops. Outside of work, Jen enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons, as well as rock climbing, cycling, and running. ------------------------------------------------ Jennifer M. Heemstra (she/her/hers) Director of Faculty Recruiting and Development Emory University; @jenheemstra (Twitter)
December 16, 2021
Dr. Lise Deguire: Flashback Girl, Finding Resilience and Family
A perfect holiday podcast when stress and expectations can be so high. This episode reminds us that sharing our truth helps us know who we really are. Dr. Lise Deguire and I have one major thing in common — our relationship with our mother was, at best, troubled. Lise’s story goes beyond that to include an unfathomable accident, her body being 65% covered with third-degree burns, and finding and teaching uncommon resilience.  A therapist of 30 years, you will love hearing her story of overcoming tremendous adversity, and of writing her award-winning book called Flashback Girl.   It’s a powerful conversation that will benefit writers, burn victims, anyone in the global pandemic, or those who have struggled with their relationship with their mother. Biography: Dr. Lise Deguire is a clinical psychologist.  After being severely burned in a fire, she spent most of her childhood in the hospital, undergoing countless surgical procedures. She is the multiple award-winning author of a debut book, Flashback Girl: Lessons on Resilience from a Burn Survivor. Find Dr. Lise Deguire on: Twitter:  @DrLiseDeguire Website:
November 26, 2021
Syed T. Hoda, MD Discomfort: Finding Who We Are and Can Be
It's Diane Wilson, your host! So excited to share my conversation with Dr. Syed Hoda for The Genius Podcast. You'll love this. It's comforting, connecting, funny and fun. It will make you think and challenge yourself. Thanks, Dr. Hoda for joining me to reflect on life one year later in our global pandemic.  A year ago, when we first met the distinguished pathologist and professor, Dr. Hoda, he had just finished a special project.  It was in a hospital when New York City was one of the first Covid-19 epicenters. He managed a team of pathologists and students who played a role in connecting families to the critical care team to relieve some pressure during this unimaginable time. It was a very novel role and a stretch for Dr. Hoda that opened up him up in some rather unique ways.  We will cover many topics related and unrelated to that extraordinary experience. These include: The challenge of allowing ourselves to be uncomfortable.  How can we sustain our energy and spirit to grow into our best selves when the world is burning around us.  How stressful events can ground us to be open rather than fearful and hidden.  Pageant waves, social media, Syed's father and son, and Brain Dance.   A pandemic changes people. The direction of that change can vary a lot. My hope is that this Genius Podcast episode will help inspire positive and authentic change for you.   Notes: Dr. Hoda's recurrent mantra for other physicians (or any professional) is "Person 1st, Physician 2nd, Specialist 3rd" as a reminder that the common denominator for any professional is being a person 1st. Lauren Anders Brown's Documentary mentioned The Shifts Change Follow Dr. Hoda on Twitter: @01sth02 Follow Dr. Hoda on LinkedIn: Syed T. Hoda, M.D.
November 04, 2021
One Year Later - Sayed Tabatabai, MD
One of our most popular podcast episodes in the last year was with the beloved Dr. Sayed Tabatabai -- known as @TheRealDoctorT. Through story, he helps us notice, wrap words around and digest the array of feelings that come with being in this global pandemic -- love, loss, confusion, and more. He’s a critical care physician who lives in a world where a year ago he and his colleagues were called heroes. Now they are often distrusted, villainized, and concerned for their own safety. His writing is addictive in that he subtly beckons us to see life in more depth, to become more alive ourselves, and to hope for what's better in all of us. Listen to how Dr. T strives to create balance under stress, how taking breaks figures in, what he's learned in the last year that he wants listeners to know, his love for Apple's hit show Ted Lasso and more.   With Dr. Mark Shapiro, another upcoming Genius Podcast return, Dr. T co-hosts a fun and funny podcast series called #MedLasso which explores how the show relates to health care today. Biography: Dr. Sayed Tabatabai, MD is a nephrologist in San Antonio, TX, and has over 16 years of experience in the medical field. Dr. Tabatabai has been working with COVID-19 patients, during the pandemic and shares his experiences in a unique way, through social media. He enjoys a huge and beloved social media presence, especially on Twitter where he has over 65,000 faithful followers. He has written over 100 fictionalized and sometimes sci-fi patient stories that have been shared on Twitter which are being incorporated into an upcoming book. His writing speaks to the human experience of medicine and life on many levels and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, San Antonio Express-News,, Physician’s Weekly, & podcast series including The Journal of Clinical Pathways and National Public Radio. He was honored this year as one of San Antonio Top Doctors 2020, by San Antonio Magazine. Follow Dr. Tabatabai on Twitter: @TheRealDoctorT
October 21, 2021
Genius Podcast S3: Big Thanks & Moving Into Fall
It started with wanting to help the world during a crazy time, with being obsessed with people hearing the stories and insights of others, and with finding courage and connection. Reflections on the last year of starting the Genius Podcast, our guests, who is returning, and what else is ahead. Stay tuned for our fall episodes as we work away at them. Feel free to enjoy our previous episodes. Thanks for listening. 
October 16, 2021
Dr. Leah Lagos: Could HRV Change the World?
Harness your nervous system.  What if managing stress and transforming it into peak performance didn’t start with talk therapy? What if our mental health and ability for peak performance began with training our heart muscle? What if that sense of "flow" where we feel great and are productive, was fostered by a muscle memory we could train ourselves to have? This episode of the Genius Podcast invites you to challenge the way we as a society think of mastering stress and creating peak performance in our lives. This interview with internationally recognized sports psychologist Dr. Leah Lagos. It will teach you about HRV and a program she uses to great benefit with elite and Olympic athletes, CEOs, and even her little daughter. Collect new perspectives and tools for conquering stress, improving relationships and ourselves. The world needs HRV. Biography: Leah Lagos, Psy.D, B.C.B., is an internationally known expert specializing in biofeedback, sport psychology, and performance psychology for elite competitors around the world. She is regularly featured in national media outlets including MSNBC, NBC Nightly News, CNN, Fox News, Today, and many more. Working with some of the world’s top business and sports professionals, including Olympic athletes, CEOs, international hedge fund managers, and many other business leaders, Dr. Lagos has established herself as a prominent name in peak performance training. Her training program is based on fifteen years of clinical study and application, treating a broad range of health and performance challenges. She lives in New York, New York. Find Dr. Lagos at: Twitter: @DrLeahLagos Her best-selling book is called: "Heart Breath Mind" and is available in hardback, softback, and audio. 
September 22, 2021
Richard Soutar Part II: Neurofeedback, Adaptation & Prisoners of the Couch
Neurofeedback, Adaptation & Prisoners of the Couch Part 2 of my conversation with applied neuroscience pioneer Dr. Richard Soutar brings us into the intriguing challenge of brain change and self-awareness. Topics include: how high-functioning individuals can suffer devastating impairments without knowing it, Hedonic Adaptation or how we can heal but not see it, a new paradigm of understanding trauma as capable of injuring the brain similar to an accident or blow to the head, emotional intelligence as an integration of different parts of the brain, and, in Dr. Soutar's words, the promise that everyone can have a great story of recovery like mine.  Thanks, Dr. Soutar, I’m always learning from you. Biography: A pioneer in the field of neurofeedback, Dr. Richard Soutar has published Five books on the topic of neurofeedback as well as a number of invited chapters and research papers and conducted workshops at conferences and clinics in the U.S and Europe. As a former professor of psychology and sociology, he has taught at both the undergraduate and the graduate level as well as being a clinician, director, and business administrator of various clinics around the country. He developed the first internet training course for neurofeedback certified by the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance (BCIA) and has been a BCIA mentor for over 15 years.  He has served as Secretary and President of the Neurofeedback Division of the Association of Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB). He is Director of Research and Development for New Mind Technologies where he is developing equipment, brain mapping databases, and assessment instruments and software programs for neurofeedback clinicians. New Mind Database System New Mind Academy New Mind Youtube
September 22, 2021
Dr. Julie Stamm: Kids, Sports and the Brain
Kids, Sports and the Brain “Sports have so many benefits for kids. We won’t prevent every injury, we’re not wrapping kids in bubble wrap. But we can make changes to eliminate impacts and protect the brain.” If you’re a physician, parent, coach, or sports lover of any kind, this podcast episode will be valuable. Dr. Julie Stamm has spent over a decade studying and compiling a body of data featured in her brand new book called "The Brain on Youth Sports." It directly challenges a number of important and damaging myths about the brain and sports. We talk about the reality of brain injury, how it occurs, with whom, under what conditions, gender factors, whether or not helmets help, what definitely does help kids who want to play sports stay safe, and very practical steps that need to be taken. She’s not an ivory tower researcher, she loves sports and has done her research. Biography: Julie Stamm, PhD, is a clinical assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She brings a unique perspective on the issues of repetitive head impacts in youth sports as a scientist and expert in the field, an anatomist with knowledge of childhood development throughout the body and the brain, and an athletic trainer who has provided medical care for athletes in a variety of sports. As an avid sports fan and a three-sport high school athlete from a small town in Wisconsin, she values the importance of sports participation for children. She earned her doctorate in anatomy and neurobiology from the Boston University School of Medicine and conducted research at the Boston University Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center and the Psychiatry Neuroimaging Laboratory at Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Twitter: @JulieStammPhD Instagram: @JulieStammPhD Facebook: @JulieStammPhD
August 18, 2021
Victoria Storm: Music as Magic and Medicine
Research shows the transformative impact music can have on brain and body. This week our Genius Podcast featured expert Victoria Storm, an extraordinary musician, music therapist, and leader. This episode will increase your ability to tap into music in daily life especially during these times. It will give you prescriptions for making the most of this incredible resource. As a performing artist, it is not surprising Victoria Storm is also an entertaining speaker full of stories and inspiration. Lastly, it should be known that Diane Wilson once got to sing accompanied by Victoria and her band, Kettlestrings. The experience made clear to her that anyone wanting run away and be in a rock band had a totally understandable goal. Biography:  Singer-songwriter Victoria Storm’s songs are an introspective commentary on the classic themes of joy and struggle, loss and success, resentment and release. Her songs always provide good melodies and heartfelt sentiments. She performs at local venues, festivals, and throughout the Midwest, including songs from her 2017 EP release “Hidden.”   Storm is also commissioned to write and record custom songs for special occasions.   As a board-certified music therapist, Storm develops and delivers music therapy services in hospital systems, in her own private practice, and contracts with additional music therapists and educators to further extend her mission of making music accessible. She loves performing “Caring Concerts” for sensitive audiences, giving inspirational keynote concerts, and educational presentations on music therapy. She is currently creating a new collection of songs coming to streaming services and for purchase soon, and working on her first recoding project with her band Kettlestrings. She is also actively exploring house concerts if any listeners are interested in discussing the possibility of hosting an evening of music in their home/venue. Misery Nurses’ vigil
August 11, 2021
Dimitrios Tsatiris, MD on Speaking of Anxiety, We Must
According to pre-pandemic statistics, anxiety disorders affect over 40 million adults in the U.S., or almost 20% of the population. Estimates are that one-third of all people will have an anxiety disorder in their lifetime. Overall, anxiety is the most common mental illness, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. And, during the pandemic, it's become a hidden epidemic.  This episode of the Genius podcast features Dimitrios Tsataris, MD, a board-certified psychiatrist and specialist in anxiety management. Even talking with Dr. Tsataris was a bit of a calming experience. I had met him in our social media posts but this was our first time chatting over Zoom. He’s warm, yet professional, kind, and authentic. Our topics included: the different ways anxiety can manifest, how social media may wreak havoc on our calm, what’s keeping people awake, affect forecasting, myths in our culture that generate angst, going back to work in person, building our capacity to feel empowered, and why it’s important to normalize talking about mental health, especially now.  You will leave feeling more equipped to deal with your own anxiety and more understanding of others.  Pour yourself a cup of coffee and join us for this episode. Thank you so much, Dr. Tsataris. Biography:  Dimitrios Tsatiris, MD is a practicing board-certified psychiatrist specializing in the field of anxiety management. He is a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at Northeast Ohio Medical University. He studies and writes about the interface of anxiety and achievement. His Psychology Today blog “Anxiety in High-Achievers” is viewed by more than 20,000 readers per month. His work has appeared in, Psychology Today, PsychCentral, KevinMD, ThriveGlobal, and the White Coat Investor among other publications. You can check out his work at You can also find him @drdimitrios on Twitter, Instagram, and Clubhouse.
August 05, 2021
Meetah Singh Part II: Sleep Like An Olympian? Coaching for Powerful Sleep
Sleep like an Olympian? Coaching for Powerful Sleep Such an exciting time to have interviewed Dr. Singh. She helps optimize the performance of Olympic athletes and, I, like the rest of the world this week am obsessively watching the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Part two of the Genius episode with sleep specialist Meeta Singh, MD will help us all manage our sleep to perform more optimally. Topics include the biggest misconceptions around sleep, proper melatonin use, sleep disorders, home sleep studies, the mystery of night owls, personal Circadian clocks, the skill of unwinding, who can judge if they have sleep apnea or are sleep deprived, signs of chronic sleep deprivation, sleep as a skill, COVID as world resets, a peek at Dr. Singh’s own World Series ring.  So exciting. Basically, you don’t want to miss this segment. Biography:  Dr. Meeta Singh is a sleep doctor whose work and research focus on “coaching the sleep muscle” to help maximize performance in both individual athletes and sports teams. She also works with C suite executives to help with jet-lag management and enhancing sleep. She is the Service Chief of Sleep Medicine and Medical Director at the Henry Ford sleep laboratory in Michigan. She did her training in psychiatry at the Mayo clinic and a sleep fellowship at the Henry Ford Hospital. She is board-certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (under the American Board of Medical Specialties) as a psychiatrist and sleep medicine sub-specialist. She is a member in good standing of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine the Sleep Research Society. She has served as a consultant for multiple NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA teams. She has also worked with college sports teams. As part of this service, Dr. Singh performs athletic sleep assessments with personalized prescriptions for better sleep. She also helps sports teams and athletes with their travel management with a focus on addressing sleep deprivation and jet lag and maximizing athletic performance. Her passion is lecturing and educating teams and athletes about the benefits of sleep on performance. She is also a speaker at national conferences aimed at educating sports leaders and business organizations about this subject. LinkedIn: Meeta Singh MD Twitter: @meetasinghmd Instagram: @athletesleepmd
July 28, 2021
Meeta Singh Part I: Coaching the Sleep Muscle
Between sleep planning and coaching the US Women's National Soccer Team in their travel to the Olympics in Tokyo this week and so much more, I was able to chat with Dr. Meeta Singh for this fascinating episode. For convenience, it will be presented in two parts. With a balance of great stories and evidence-based practices, this podcast will teach and inspire you to make sleep your superpower. Dr. Meeta Singh, a psychiatrist who coined the phrase “coaching the sleep muscle,” shares her philosophy and growing niche in sleep medicine for elite athletes, teams and C-suite executives. You will learn about the mystery of sleep, what it does for us, why we need to have adequate, deep, and restorative sleep, and what peak performers are doing to enhance it. This is part one of the two-part series. You don’t want to miss this! Biography:  Dr Meeta Singh is a sleep doctor whose work and research focuses on “coaching the sleep muscle” to help maximize performance in both individual athletes and sports teams. She also works with C-suite executives to help with jet-lag management and enhancing sleep. She is the Service Chief of sleep medicine, and medical director at the Henry Ford sleep laboratory in Michigan. She did her training in psychiatry at the Mayo clinic and a sleep fellowship at the Henry Ford hospital. She is board-certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (under the American Board of Medical Specialties) as a psychiatrist and sleep medicine sub-specialist. She is a member in good standing of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine the Sleep Research Society. She has served as a consultant for multiple NFL, MLB, NHL and NBA teams. She has also worked with college sports teams. As part of this service, Dr. Singh performs athletic sleep assessments with personalized prescriptions for better sleep. She also helps sports teams and athletes with their travel management with a focus on addressing sleep deprivation and jet lag and maximizing athletic performance. Her passion is lecturing and educating teams and athletes about the benefits of sleep on performance. She is also a speaker at national conferences aimed at educating sports leaders and business organizations about this subject. Linkdin: Meeta Singh MD Twitter: @meetasinghmd Instagram: @athletesleepmd
July 21, 2021
Kay Foran Part II: Callings and The Buffet
It’s uplifting to understand and find meaning in the last year. Part II with Kay Foran is a flow for listeners on art, grief, our purpose, and neuroscience. Join us for an easy dialogue as we address a buffet of juicy topics including how a person may grieve during the pandemic * how imposed social isolation may help some overcome loss * work as anesthesia * social awkwardness * how little control we have over life * how to hear and take responsibility for what we are meant to do in our lives * the spiritual aspect of writing and creating art * trusting our capacities versus our credentials for the work we are called to do * the role of gratitude in making sense of the world * what it means to be a true healer * what increasing our awareness of our brain will give us and society * the hope that Brain Dance foster a vocabulary for talking about our brain and lives. Enjoy. Let it touch your heart, brain, and soul. Katherine Foran, aka Kay, is a rather extraordinary person. She was a key midwife of the Brain Dance book, especially in its early stages. During that same time, she was also involved in advocating for treatment and caring for her soulmate and husband for many years. He suffered from a rare form of cancer and died just at the start of the pandemic in February 2020. Kay is currently an editor at the University of Missouri.  A former journalist who worked in Tulsa, Kansas City, and New York City newsrooms moved to the more predictable schedule of the “other side” when her children were young. Since then, she has served in public relations and communication roles for public organizations and nonprofits in the Chicago area and Detroit before moving to Missouri in 2015. She and her spouse Mark Hinojosa were married for 32 years; he lived seven and a half years fighting multiple myeloma. A beloved professor in the University of Missouri School of Journalism, he taught until just days before his death. They have three grown children whom they raised in Oak Park, Illinois. That’s where Kay first encountered me, her across-the-street neighbor and what she has called "the gifts of our warm friendship — and always actionable and inspiring writing." I am so grateful for our friendship and all her gifts. I am excited about the next steps in her own life.  Find her on LinkedIn. 
June 23, 2021
Dr. Sarah Gray: Injury, COVID and the Enigmatic Brain
A long-awaited conversation with a leader in the field of health psychology from Boston, Dr. Sarah Gray. In this episode, you will gain her expertise on health psychology and brain health from the many roles she has in her career including program director, instructor at the Harvard Medical School, researcher, and psychotherapist. She was drawn to this field early on, having come from a family of healers. Dr. Gray collaborated on a team of other experts in a pivotal project called the "U.S. National Impact Report," which studied the emotional impact of COVID-19 and developed a reliable and valid instrument for other researchers to use. Dr. Gray read Brain Dance in advance of the release, and shares her experience working with patients who have been diagnosed with, or might be experiencing traumatic brain injury or Post-Concussion Syndrome. She also shares her experience working with individuals who have long-lasting brain impairments from COVID-19, many resembling chronic brain injuries. She also lets us into her more personal passions, sharing about her love for art, and how she sometimes uses art therapy as a means of exploration and reflection. Biography: Sarah Gray, Psy.D. is a Harvard Medical School Instructor, and a clinical health psychologist in Boston Area hospitals and at her private practice, Integrative Psychology, PC in Arlington, MA. She provides psychotherapy, behavioral medicine, and biofeedback and neurofeedback to her patients and has a particular area of specialty and interest in treating patients who have experienced the effects of a brain injury. 
June 03, 2021
Inna Khazan: Mindfulness As Superpower, Brain Dance and More
Dr. Inna Khazan is a maven in mindfulness, an author of pivotal articles and books on it, and also an advance reader of Brain Dance -- a medical memoir. Mindfulness is a term many people use, but may not truly understand. You will learn from the best, what it is and how to use this superpowerful tool to cope with the stress of our lives today. You'll learn what her day-to-day life is like as a mindfulness expert and; how she even uses the tool with her own kids.  You’ll also hear her reflections on Brain Dance, what it’s like to read it, and what readers will take. away. Tune into this episode for an inspiring conversation. Biography Inna Khazan, Ph.D., BCB is a faculty member at Harvard Medical School, where she teaches and supervises trainees. She is a clinical psychologist specializing in health psychology and performance excellence training using biofeedback and mindfulness-based approaches. Dr. Khazan the Boston Center for Health Psychology and Biofeedback founder and works with clients on optimizing their health and performance. Recognized as a pioneer in mindfulness-based biofeedback, Dr. Khazan is a popular speaker at national and international conferences on the topics of biofeedback and mindfulness. She has conducted biofeedback and mindfulness training for notable institutions in the US and abroad, including the US Navy Special Warfare, US Army Special Forces, and the Stuttgart Opera and Ballet Company. Dr. Khazan serves as president of the board of directors for the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy (IMP), board member for the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB), and Biofeedback Certification International Alliance (BCIA), where she is currently chair-elect. Dr. Khazan writes for Psychology Today, is the author of numerous journal articles and three books, including the highly-regarded Clinical Handbook of Biofeedback: A Step-by-Step Guide to Training and Practice with Mindfulness, and the popular Biofeedback and Mindfulness in Everyday Life: Practical Solutions for Improving Your Health and Performance.
May 22, 2021
Maddie Girardi: Peak Performance, PT, The Brain and More
Physical therapy (PT) has been a game-changer for me over the years. Whether it's injured knee, shoulder, or back, PT gives you tools and keeps you moving, doing things so other issues of mood and health don’t crop up as you heal. Maddie Girardi and I have a relationship different than everyone else I have interviewed in all my podcasts so far. In addition to her managing a large, high-profile Chicago physical therapy clinic, being a pretty extraordinary person in her field, an advance reader of Brain Dance, she is also my physical therapist. You will love this episode. It's a short, funny, and fascinating conversation that will lift your day. You'll learn about physical therapy today, who can benefit from it, brain injury, why people don’t get treatment for it. You'll also get a sense of what it's like to live in downtown Chicago during the pandemic and location of protests and riots, being newlywed, and having a husband who works in the restaurant industry during shutdowns.   Here are some of the takeaways available for you in this episode: How to recognize you have brain trauma, even if no one else sees it. How important these brain awareness conversations are for helping ourselves and the people we love. Just a little background on my injury we make reference to in conversation. It’s what I refer to as a “pandemic injury.” I had shoulder pain that got pretty severe after the pandemic moved into full swing. Little by little, like many people, my posture had gotten worse from days of telehealth. At night, I seem to have slept like a tightly wrapped little cocoon under stress.  My body was telling the story.  By the way, if you are lucky enough to have health insurance, chances are likely it will be cover physical therapy for posture pain and other injuries. Do check. If you don’t have insurance, it may still a worthy investment for even a few sessions. It doesn’t just take away your pain, it gives you your life back. Biography: Maddie Girardi is a PT in the downtown Chicago area and has been practicing for almost 8 years. She attended Indiana University for her undergraduate degree in Exercise Science and attended Northwestern University in Chicago, IL where she received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree and licensure. She works and manages a high-profile clinic in River North and specializes in treating patients with chronic pain and performing arts-related injuries. She is one of the Hubbard Street Dance Chicago physical therapists and helps them recover and maintain their bodies to be able to perform at high levels throughout their season both in Chicago and touring across the world. She maintains certification in manual therapy and dry needling that continues to help her patients throughout their care.
May 12, 2021
Sara Connell: A Book Can Save A Life
A book can save a life.  That's the premise of Sara Connell's work as a writer and coach. She helps other writers who dream of changing the world. This Genius Podcast episode is a conversation between Sara and me, host Diane Wilson, that touches on many topics related to writing, Brain Dance, personal vision, the pandemic, neuroplasticity, and the demons that keep you from fulfilling your true purpose.  It's filled with insights and tools for life, getting past unthinkable trauma, symptoms of PTSD, how neurofeedback can also save a life, daily routines of peak performers, and doing what you are truly meant to do.  After getting a supportive response to my medical memoir at the Harvard Medical School Workshop on Writing and Publishing for Health Care Professionals in 2019, I knew I'd need some serious support to help polish the draft and get Brain Dance to a publisher. At the same time, Sara Connell started the Thought Leader Academy to support writers. That all felt like a huge dream. but I was motivated and signed on. Sara and her team have helped me develop the next steps and move my project along to its launch which is coming up on May 11. If you'd like to attend our Brain Dance Book launch event register here for free.  Grateful for Sara's help and inspiration. Also, if you want to be my guest and attend her upcoming virtual writer's retreat on May 12-14 for free, just send me a note and I'll send more details. Enjoy! Biography: Sara Connell is a bestselling author and founder of Thought Leader Academy where she helps coaches, writers and entrepreneurs become successful, published authors and in-demand speakers. She has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, The View, FOX Chicago, TEDx, and Katie Couric. Her writing has appeared in: The New York Times, Forbes, Good Housekeeping, and Parenting. Her first book Bringing In Finn was nominated for ELLE magazine Book of the Year.
May 04, 2021
Mark C. Crowley: Interviewing the Interviewer: A Life of Purpose and Role Model for New Podcasters
Episode 9: In the time of Hanukkah and Christmas, the height of the global pandemic, and just weeks away from inaugurating a new president of the United States. It's a momentous and yet perfect time to interview world-class podcaster Mark C. Crowley.  Host Diane Wilson and Crowley tackle a wide range of topics including the impact of his bestselling book, "Lead from the Heart;" what it's like to be him on a day-to-day basis during this crazy time; and his advice for new podcasters.  Since 2018, Crowley's podcast has featured industry leaders and grown to be heard in over 140 countries.  This is recommended listening for all before ending this extraordinary year and starting a new one. It's inspiring, candid, and full of insights to stimulate your personal development.  Biography Bestselling Author and Global Speaker on Extraordinary Employee Engagement  Mark Crowley has been guiding individuals and teams to achieve record-breaking sales and profitability performance in the financial services industry for 25 years. His focus is on the most authentic driver of human engagement there is – emotional connection. Mark prioritizes the demonstration to everyone he works with that he cares about them, values them and trusts them, a practice not common among peers in the field. He invests time in strengthening relationships, discussing personal and professional goals, and making an authentic commitment to help clients fulfill their dreams. He has even taken these practices globally, presenting his collection of evidence that the most successful form of motivation for human beings in the workplace is to positively affect their hearts. He stresses that how managers make their employees feel has the most profound influence on whether their teams produce at mediocre levels – or excel. This work has led to the launch of Mark’s “Lead From The Heart” podcast in 2018. The podcast aims to bring together world-class authors, innovators, CEOs, researchers, and other top thinkers whose work inherently adds unique support, validation & dimension to the Lead from the Heart leadership philosophy. Mark’s work as a speaker and organizational culture consultant has opened the door of engagement with over 135,000 connections on Twitter – and once again shows how deeply people hunger for more caring, supportive and humane leadership. The COVID pandemic, if anything, has taught us that rigid, commanding and untrusting management no longer holds up. In this new age of virtual work, it’s even more essential that managers acquire a new skillset, and the ability to effectively connect with employees remotely while concomitantly driving performance.
December 22, 2020
Mark Shapiro MD On Life, Liberty, Happiness, and The Hard Ask
Episode 8: It’s the week of Thanksgiving during the COVID-19 pandemic that has only worsened. Most of us are hunkered down at home where we're craving to be with family and friends for the holiday that is steeped in tradition.  While trying to navigate the holiday's limitations, this year I'm also focused on the health crisis and what it means for myself and others.  That caused me to contact physician Dr. Mark Shapiro whom I've come to know via social media. Dr. Shapiro sits in the center of a large network of colleagues and is active in leadership in the medical community. He’s in Northern California not far from where the relentless wildfires occurred.  I want to know how he coped with COVID, the threat of wildfires, and the mountain of information we're all faced with daily. I wanted to hear the human side of what his life is like:  - Is he afraid or optimistic? What does he see from his vantage point for the rest of us – as a doctor, a leader, husband, father, and neighbor? - What do we need to know about the pandemic? - What should we do to take care of ourselves and our families? I mean, tangible things. - How can help frontline healthcare?  Dr. Shapiro is a veteran podcaster who has hosted the Explore the Space podcast for over five years. You’ll enjoy him as someone easy to listen to and easy to like and trust.  I am grateful that he joined us during this important time. Background Mark Shapiro, MD is the creator and host of Explore The Space Podcast, a show focused on bringing those who provide healthcare and those who seek healthcare closer together through conversations with leaders from across the spectrum. The show can be found at . Dr. Shapiro has been in clinical practice as a Hospitalist since 2006 and currently is a full-time Hospitalist at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital with St. Joseph Health Medical Group in Santa Rosa, CA. He earned a BA in history at the University of California-Los Angeles, attended medical school at Baylor College of Medicine, and completed his Internal Medicine residency at the University of California-San Diego. Dr. Shapiro is an active voice on Twitter and can be followed at @ETSshow
November 25, 2020
Refuge: Finding Peace During Chaotic Times (Mindful Meditation)
October 27, 2020, Week Before Election Day Sometimes I record short meditations for my clients to listen to after our sessions. They have them on their phones and tune in to become more calm and focused, to stop anxious busy brain, and obsessive thinking.  Today, session after session, my clients were all very anxious. One by one I heard similar things, each person feeling alone in their anxious thoughts. Between my sessions, texting with friends, it was the same -- anxiety. So, I created a mindfulness exercise/meditation I could share with everyone.  This exercise is just under five minutes in length.  Let's stay present. Be safe and well.  Thanks for listening,  Diane Grimard Wilson,  LCPC, BCN Coach, psychotherapist, and applied neuroscientist Thanks, Dan Schiffmacher for the production of this video. email: Music by Draganov "World of Magic" from Premium Beat, used with permission.  Watch for my new book to be released in spring 2021 called "Brain Dance." It's on a vexing journey of recovering undiagnosed traumatic brain injury to eventually becoming an applied neuroscientist, myself.  It should be fascinating to anyone interested in the brain, in applied neuroscience, or who has felt totally lost and needed to rebuild their life.  www.GeniusPodcast.Us  Instagram and Twitter: @Braincoach333 ph. (312) 925-5176 email:
October 30, 2020
Media Influencer Dr. Linda Girgis MD on Mental Health, COVID and More
Episode 7: Gentle, unassuming, and direct, Dr. Linda Girgis was a delight to interview for the latest of our Genius podcasts.  Dr. Girgis, Editor-in-Chief for Physician's Weekly and a media influencer, provided her take on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected healthcare and her own patients, especially as her practice is in the greater New York City area. Topics include: What’s changed over time, what we’re learning, kids and school decisions, and how to use social media for coping, staying informed, and developing life-changing relationships. While she knows how to speak truth to power, Dr. Linda is also a person who acts in terms of principles of kindness and inclusivity.  With over 104K followers on Twitter, @DrLindaMD, she is still looking out for those who need help and guidance, whether it’s medical students, the homeless, and even an aspiring author/podcast host.  She's concise with a great heart and the episode has lots of her good advice. And, you'll probably want Dr. Linda to be your family physician.  :)
October 29, 2020
Dr. Arghavan Salles: On Hopelessness, Trusting What We Can't See and More
Episodes 6: Arghavan Salles is a surgeon and researcher at Stanford who has the rare distinction of being a part of the direct treatment teams in two COVID epicenters – New York City and then Arizona. You may have seen her on national news including The Today Show as she documented and shared some of her journey. Diane Wilson wanted to hear and share more of the personal story and what has happened since: What is Dr. Salles' life like now and what was it like being a part of these teams? What do we know about COVID now that we didn’t know before, how likely is it we’ll have a vaccine soon? As a dedicated yogi, how has yoga figured in her life during this? Dr. Salles had just returned from Arizona when they spoke. What does she do to stay healthy in these hazardous situations? And now? What does COVID mean for her own employment? We see doctors as indispensable but so many organizations are affected by changes since COVID. Dr. Salles is a national leader in diversity, inclusion, and equity, having earned a PhD studying these topics at Stanford University. Dr. Salles is also a surgeon and has extensive lived experience as a woman of color working in a male-dominated environment. Dr. Salles completed medical school and residency in general surgery at Stanford prior to completing a fellowship in minimally invasive surgery at Washington University in St. Louis. After staying on faculty in St. Louis for a few years, Dr. Salles moved back to Stanford in 2019 to work with the medical school on issues related to diversity and inclusion. Her research focuses broadly on gender equity, implicit bias, diversity, inclusion, and physician well-being. She is a sought-after speaker and has given over 50 national and international invited talks related to gender equity and sexual harassment in medicine. Dr. Salles is a prolific researcher and writer, having had her work published in prominent medical journals such as JAMA Network Open and JAMA Surgery. She also writes for broad audiences through outlets such as USA Today, TIME Magazine, and Scientific American. She is passionate about helping women and under-represented minorities achieve their full potential at work.
October 13, 2020
Michelle Wrighte, Opera Singer: When the Music Stopped
Episode 5: An accomplished musical artist, 55 years old with finally the dream job of her musical career a member of the prestigious core chorus of the Lyric Opera Chicago. After months of preparation, in the last stages of embarking on one the most demanding operatic challenges, Wagner’s The Ring Cycle, the pandemic closed the Lyric’s season as well as the city of Chicago.    It was running a marathon that suddenly stopped without having a chance to view the finish line: How does an artist, mother of a feisty tweener, and wife cope with the disappointment, full-time togetherness, homeschooling, and recrafting her career especially since singing, her life, is one of the most potent activities for spreading the virus?    Related questions: What will art and music like in a Zoom world? How can music save us? How will this inspiring, often entertaining, and funny woman, go forward with her vision to create a new way of making and sharing music during a global pandemic? Michelle's biography and contact information on
October 08, 2020
Syed T. Hoda, M.D.: On Running Toward, Not Away
Episode 4: Dr. Syed T. Hoda is Director of Bone and Soft Tissue Pathology at New York University (NYU) and Director of Surgical Pathology at the NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital. Since the pandemic began, he has played a role in implementing a program called Family Connect to ease the burden of ICU care during the heart of New York City’s epicenter, leading a team of pathologists and medical students. This role was an entirely novel role for Pathologists and served as a building block for larger changes he would like to see in his own profession.    Dr. Hoda's recurrent mantra for other physicians (or any professionals) is "Person 1st, Physician 2nd, Specialist 3rd" as a reminder that the common denominator for any professional is being a person 1st.    On October 5, 2020, he will be featured on the People of Pathology Podcast. He was recently named to his 2nd straight Pathology Power List award for 2020 as well as featured on SiriusXM Doctor Radio as part of their episode on COVID Heroes.  
October 01, 2020
Ann Latinovich: An Artist on Losses, Lupus, Lessons and the Pandemic
Episode 3: Ann Latinovich, an internationally-recognized portrait artist, wife, and boymom to three teenagers, opened the studio of her dreams on Chicago’s Northshore in the fall of 2019. It was a special event with harps playing, delicious appetizers, a room filled with friends, clients, and beautiful art. Just a few months later, it became all too clear that any meetings in-person and even keeping her new studio were no longer possibilities.  Having lived with Lupus most of her life, Latinovich knew the potential for getting COVID was too risky.  The pandemic plays no favorites with dreams. Questions during our podcast: How did she find meaning in the devastation of her career goals, craft, and how she makes a living? How does anyone create a new life after such a loss?  Ann is an inspiring human, filled with grace and optimism as she has taken on this challenge.  She discusses finding a way to ride the emotional roller coaster, lessons she's learning, habits she's developing to rewire her brain, new rituals now serving her and her family, and why she hates the term "career pivot." 
September 24, 2020
Sayed Tabatabai, M.D. Frontline Physician, Writer and Social Media Voice
Episode 2: Dr. Sayed Tabatabai is a nephrologist in San Antonio with the soul of a writer who finds purpose in sharing stories that mirror his experiences. In our podcast, he explores the rollercoaster of emotions including grief, wonder, and connection, and the sacred space of being a physician with his patients.  The “@TheRealDoctorT” as he is known on Twitter, helps us find the beauty and calling of this strange moment in time through sharing his stories on Twitter.  His notoriety and following have increased geometrically as he helps us see and feel more deeply the love in these most challenging moments. He is a physician who blossomed as an artist and writer during these darkest times. He helps people heal and feel less afraid not just in the hospital but also on social media and an increasingly wide platform including the Wall Street Journal and National Public Radio.  This episode is part of the Fall series called "Voices in a Pandemic." It's from Genius Podcast Us sponsored by Grimard Wilson Consulting, Inc. a neuroscience-oriented peak performance coaching and consulting firm -- Diane Wilson, LCPC, BCN.  Find more information at www.GeniUsPodcast.Us Fall series which is being released every Thursday ending October 22, 2020.  Thank you for sharing this special project! Thanks to our guests: Dr. Dacre Knight, Dr. Sayed Tabatabai, Ann Latinovich, Dr. Syed Hoda, Michelle Wrighte, and Dr. Arghavan Salles and Host, Diane Wilson.  Video production, editing, and web design: Dan Schiffmacher. Project organization and development: Cameron Wyant and Gary Wilson Also thanks for this input: Toby Dorr (strategy), Lisa Files (visual), Sherry Frey (concept), and Katherine Foran (public relations).
September 17, 2020
Dacre Knight, M.D., M.S. Physician, Scientist, Father, Superhero
Episode 1: Meeting Dr. Dacre Knight on social media was a catalyst for the podcast series "Voices in a Pandemic." My hope was if more people could meet him and people like him and hear the human stories, we would all be more connected during this extraordinary time.   COVID doctor, scientist, and father of three kids under seven, what's his life like? Some other questions for him:  -Will he send his own kids to school in Florida where they live?  - What can we learn from the pandemic so far? -What sustains him? How does he cope with the stress?  -Why would doctors now have to be concerned about pay cuts and losing their jobs?  This episode has been published and can be heard everywhere your podcast is available. I believe there are real heroic people with values, integrity, and brilliance who live among us. They are not just in the movies. They see bigger pictures of life than many of us. Dr. Knight feels like one of them. 
September 10, 2020
The best of science, neuroscience, health, learning and human stories. Diane Wilson, LCPC, BCN, applied neuroscientist and coach shares her intense curiosity by interviewing some of her favorite people from all walks in life. Each episode will have conversations that will help you feel connected, embrace your fears, be present, and help cultivate and share your own genius within. Join us!
August 23, 2020