Produced by Todd Dubnicoff and Kevin McCormack at Cailfornia Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) Using a mix of science, humor and easy to understand language, this video describes sickle cell disease and a CIRM-funded clinical trial at UCLA that is testing a stem cell and gene therapy cure. This awful genetic disorder causes red blood cells to assume a sickle shape, clogging blood vessels and producing episodes of excruciating pain, called crises, and leading to progressive organ damage. If all goes well, the human suffering due to sickle cell disease may soon be a thing of the past.
For scientists, the importance of explaning their work to the average person is critical. If they can't make their research comprehensible and engaging they risk losing the attention of journalists, potential donors, politicians, or all those good people whose tax money funds their science.
To help promote better science communication with the public, CIRM held an elevator pitch video challenge at the 2013 CIRM Grantee Meeting March 7-9 in San Francisco. Participants recorded pitches (ideally 30 seconds or less) describing their research on camera at the meeting. Those who could not attend the meeting sent in their videos. Thanks to everyone for participating.