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Tuning In and Turning On to Biomedical Research

LabTV, a new online project aimed at giving current and prospective students a behind-the-scenes look into biomedical research at universities across the country, has garnered a lot of attention for a pair from the George Washington University. Sara Jenis, a sophomore in GW’s School of Media and Public Affairs, was selected to profile the lab of Sally Moody, Ph.D., professor of anatomy and regenerative biology in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences. The resulting film earned Jenis an Outstanding Lab Profile Award at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival.

Sally Moody, Ph.D., professor of anatomy and regenerative biology at SMHS
Sally Moody, Ph.D., professor of anatomy and regenerative biology at SMHS

Moody and research colleagues are exploring novel genes that are expressed in the embryo during the development of the nervous system. This research could lead to the discovery of the causes of birth defects and other neurodegenerative disease mechanisms. In her video, Jenis highlights undergraduate research assistants, who discuss their roles in the lab and how they became interested in conducting research.

LabTV, founded by TEDMED chair and entrepreneur Jay Walker, is an online initiative intended to attract young people — especially women and minorities — to the field of biomedical research through short, student-produced videos. Moody was among 100 researchers from U.S. colleges and universities with National Institutes of Health–sponsored research labs selected to pilot the project. The video featuring Moody’s lab is available on the LabTV Youtube channel at http://youtu.be/QgVb8rvjU_w.