my interview with dr. anthony cannella

today, i’m pleased to bring you an interview with dr. anthony cannella, my good friend and assistant professor in the college of medicine at the university of florida.

phil- so glad to have you with me today, anthony. i am excited to learn more about you. first of all, the basics. where are you from?

anthony- great to be here as well, dr Phil. i was born and raised in tampa, florida.

phil- where did you go to medical school, internal medicine residency, and infectious diseases fellowship?

Anthony- I attended medical school at the University of South Florida. Then, I was fortunate to match in internal Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Then I moved west for my clinical and postdoctoral fellowship in infectious diseases at the University of California, San Diego, where I met you.

Phil- What sorts of projects are you working on currently?

Anthony- Currently I am finishing up an NIH K08 grant on the adaptive immunological differences between asymptomatic versus symptomatic patients with Plasmodium falciparum malaria. My new interests lie in investing innate and adaptive T cell responses to non-tuberculous mycobacteria, more specifically Mycobacterium abscessus.

Phil- (To the readers). Malaria is one of the leading killers globally and is transmitted by mosquitos. M. abscessus is an emerging pathogen that is related to tuberculosis and causes chronic lung destruction as well as other infections.

Phil- (To Anthony): Amazing. And very interesting to see that you are turning toward M. Abscessus becuase my colleague and I are writing a paper about M. Abscessus currently! But here’s another question. What are you passionate about?

Anthony: You know me very well, Dr. Phil. I am passionate about the human condition… how we interact with our macro and micro environments. However, nothing motivates me like teaching… whether it’s myself, colleagues or trainees… there is nothing like teaching. Doctor comes from the Latin docere which means to teach.

Phil: I totally agree. Teaching is what motivates me as well. To change the subject a bit, however, I am wondering how you stay ‘sane.’ You probably work a lot, but what are your hobbies?

Anthony: Culinary arts, boxing and making people laugh.

Phil: Culinary arts? You mean cooking?

Anthony: Yes.

Phil: Also, why are you always telling me about Darth Vader and Theodore Roosevelt?

Anthony: Darth Vader or Anakin Skywalker is a character that revolves around a dark path, which eventually turns into redemption…best comeback story ever. Teddy Roosevelt was one of our greatest presidents… wise beyond his years and a really tough human being

Phil: What should I read about Teddy Roosevelt?

Anthony: ‘The Critic.’ It always makes me feel better when I’m having conflict.

Phil: I’ll have to get a copy. And what about boxers?

Anthony: I like the older boxers better…particularly Rocky Marciano. I box like him too…quick strikes with a good defense.

Phil: It’s all making sense now. I’m not going to try to mug in a dark alley… So should I leave Boston winters and move down to Florida and join you in the ID division there?

Anthony: Let’s talk offline about that, buddy, but absolutely. This is an amazing institution.

Phil: My trip to Cuba a few years ago was one of my favorite travel experiences ever. Can I sail there from Gainesville?

Anthony: Why don’t you relearn some Florida geography, Dr. Phil?

Phil: Thanks for talking with me today, Anthony.

Anthony: My pleasure.

If you found this blog post useful, please share on social media/leave comments below.

Best regards,

Philip Albert Lederer MD

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