Episode Description

In our final episode, we explore Dorothy Andersen’s legacy — what she left behind and how her work has lived on since her death. Describing her mentor’s influence on her life and career, Dr. Celia Ores gives us a rare look at what Dr. Andersen was really like. We then turn to researchers, physicians, and patients, who fill us in on the many areas of progress that have grown out of Dr. Andersen’s work. These major developments include the discovery of the cystic fibrosis gene, the tremendous impact of the drug Trikafta, and the lifesaving potential of gene editing techniques. We end the episode with an update on the effect Trikafta has had on the lives of many CF patients, who can now expect to live a normal life.


Katie Hafner


Tracy Wahl and Sophie McNulty


Design: Keren Mevorach, Marina Muun; Photograph courtesy of Columbia University 


Dorothy Hansine Andersen: The Life and Times of the Pioneering Physician-Scientist Who Identified Cystic Fibrosis, by John Scott Baird, Springer (2022).

The Sweat Test and Potential Difference Measurements, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, summary of scientific papers, starting with one Dorothy Andersen co-wrote in 1951.

Breath from Salt, by Bijal P. Trivedi, BenBella Books (2020).

The Future of Cystic Fibrosis Treatment: From Disease Mechanisms to Novel Therapeutic Approaches, by Simon Y. Graeber, MD and Marcus A. Mall, MD. The Lancet, September 9, 2023. 

The Cystic-Fibrosis Breakthrough that Changed Everything, by Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic, March 7, 2024.


We’re grateful to all those who helped us with our first season, to our guests on the podcast, and to the archivists at Mount Holyoke College for helping with our search.

Episode Transcript

All The Pathologist in the Basement episodes

Subscribe Now