University of Delaware’s Medical Researchers Become Role Models for Students Through LabTV
Online Video Platform Seeks to Generate Interest in Research Field Through Personal Engagement
“LabTV is working to make people who have not been represented in the sciences and in the health profession to realize there is a place for them.” Professor Lydia Timmons, Assistant Professor, Department of Communications at the University of Delaware
LabTV announced that the Unniversity of Delaware Newark, DE has agreed to work with LabTV to create human-interest videoprofiles of young working medical researchers at labs on the university’scampus.
To inspire today’s students to become the next generation of medical researchers, LabTV has engaged professional and student filmmakers to showcases short, human-interest videos of young medical scientists, in a way that will inspire today’s high school and college students.
University of Delaware is on of the nation’s top medical research institutions with over $15 million dollars in funding from the National Institutes of Health in 2014. However, they also lent their talented communications students to partake in the LabTV project where everyone benefited from the videos.
Professor Lydia Timmons, Assistant Professor, Department of Communications at the University of Delaware, said about the experiencce “I was very excited when I first found out about this opportunity because I thought students would benefit so much from this, and not only the students who created the videos, but also the students who are the consumers of the videos.” She went on to state that “LabTV is working to make people who have not been represented in the sciences and in the health profession to realize there is a place for them.”
From this initiative, Univeristy of Delaware spawned two semi-finalist award winners for Lab TV at the Tribeca Film Festival. The videos were produced by Jason Hewett and Charlie Chalkin. Hewett produced a video about Prathamesh Kharkar, a researcher in the Kristi Kiick and April Kloxin Research Group at the University of Delaware who is investigating the use of hydrogels for delivery of cancer-fighting drugs. Chalkin profiled Danielle Kirkman, a postdoctoral researcher studying the effects of exercise on vascular function
Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, has repeatedly stated that America needs visible role models in medical research who can encourage more of our best and brightest young people – especially women and minorities – to join this crucial profession.
The NIH is encouraging America’s labs to open their doors to LabTV so that both professional and student filmmakers can create the videos that will celebrate young scientists and excite today’s students. To that end, LabTV is sending amateur and professional filmmakers to 40,000 NIH-funded medical research labs across America. LabTV filmmakers are creating short video profiles of tens of thousands of young scientists.
“Medical research is the greatest science adventure of our time, but almost nobody knows about it,” said LabTV Executive Producer David Hoffman. “On LabTV our short videos are about people, not about science. The medical scientists we profile are passionate young men and women from every background, every nation and every ethnic group. They find medical research incredibly exciting and rewarding. They are eager to encourage today’s students to enter the field.”
“Our goal,” said LabTV founder Jay Walker, “is to help students find role models they can identify with – young scientists who are people just like themselves, and who share their dreams and passions.”
Universities that wish to have their young scientists profiled on LabTV at no cost to the university or the lab may contact LabTV’s Debbie Pranckitas at or by email at Debbie@labtv.com .
David Hoffman is an Emmy award-winning filmmaker of more than 150 television documentaries and multi-part series for PBS, Turner, A&E and Discovery. Mr. Hoffman has produced more than 200 television programs, five feature-length documentaries, and hundreds of Youtube “movies” that together have over 10 million views.
Jay Walker, the founder of LabTV, is also the chairman of Patent Properties and curator of TEDMED, the health and medicine edition of the famous TED conference. A noted entrepreneur, Mr. Walker has founded three companies that serve more than 50 million customers. He is best known as the creator of Priceline, which brought a new level of value to the travel industry.
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