‘Unfold’ Podcast Launches Season 4 Focused on Health

First Episode Looks at Spina Bifida Treatment for Dogs

Myrtle, a bulldog puppy, born with spina bifida wearing rainbow striped diapers.
Myrtle, an English bulldog, was part of a clinical trial at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine using stem cells and surgery to treat her spina bifida. Myrtle was adopted by Katie Teykaerts after the trial. (Katie Teykaerts)

Season 4 of Unfold, a UC Davis podcast, explores the most cutting-edge technologies and treatments that help advance the health of both people and animals. Join public radio veterans and Unfold hosts Amy Quinton and Marianne Russ Sharp as they unfold stories about the people and animals affected the most by this research. 

In Season 4 they’ll tell the story of a courageous couple going through the first human clinical trial that combines surgery and stem cells to treat their developing baby’s spina bifida. You’ll hear how veterinarians and physicians are working together to fight cancer. Amputees often abandon their high-tech prosthetic devices. But surgeons and engineers are now working together to solve that problem, making the devices more intuitive for users. You’ll hear lots of remarkable and hopeful stories about health in Season 4 of Unfold. Watch the trailer now.


The season’s first episode, “Hope for a Spina Bifida Cure, Part 1,” launches today (Oct. 4). It examines the first clinical trial using surgery and stem cells to treat bulldogs with spina bifida. Without treatment, bulldogs born with the spinal defect are often euthanized.

You’ll meet Myrtle, an English bulldog with spina bifida enrolled in the clinical trial. Her owner, Katie Teykaerts, adopted Myrtle despite her health challenges. You’ll also hear about groundbreaking “magic stem cell juice” and lambs with spina bifida who can now walk.

In this episode:

  • Beverly Sturges, professor emeritus, neurosurgeon at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine 
  • Aijun Wang, biomedical engineer with UC Davis School of Medicine
  • Diana Farmer, pediatric surgeon and chair of surgery at UC Davis Health
  • Katie Teykaerts, owner of Myrtle, an English bulldog with spina bifida enrolled in the clinical trial

In next week’s episode, “Hope for a Spina Bifida Cure, Part 2,” you’ll meet one of the couples taking part in the clinical trial. They dropped everything and moved from Oregon to Sacramento in the hopes that the stem cell and fetal surgery treatment would allow their child to walk. Hear their extraordinary journey on the next Unfold.

The award-wining podcast will launch episodes every week through Nov. 15.

Unfold is available free, on demand on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, Google Podcasts, on your smart speaker or wherever you get your podcasts. Original music for Unfold comes from UC Davis alumnus Damien Verrett and Curtis Jerome Haynes. Follow on Twitter at @Unfoldpodcast.

Media Resources

Media Contacts:

Primary Category

Secondary Categories

Advancing Health Worldwide