Despite recent promising legislation that will provide $1.75 billion in additional annual funding to NIH, we still have to do all that we can to advocate for researchers in our country and to help improve the health of our communities and the world. The new Johns Hopkins Web-based video series Discoveries for a Better Tomorrow is a part of that effort.
A few months ago at a research conference, I first shared the idea for the series with Dr. Ted Dawson, director of our Institute for Cell Engineering. We discussed how powerful—yet challenging—it would be to create brief videos featuring our faculty members succinctly and simply explaining their complex research. We decided to commit our talented people to the task.
First, we wanted our faculty members to describe their science and show how vibrant they all are personally. But most importantly, we wanted to explain how, day after day, they strive to prevent and cure disease for the sake of humanity. We also asked them to do all of this in under two minutes!
We thought that by making our researchers’ stories tangible and alive through video on the Web, we could help our institution thrive in our mission of research, education and patient care. We also had a goal of encouraging more young people to choose research as a career—one in which they’ll find true intellectual stimulation and satisfaction in their contributions to human health.
Today, I am happy to say that the project has come to full fruition in Discoveries for a Better Tomorrow, and I couldn’t be more pleased. The inaugural installments focus on the amazing studies taking place at the Institute for Cell Engineering—thanks in no small part to Ted’s and his team’s willingness to act on our idea. Our aim is to gradually add more videos to the series and test their usefulness in building support for our biomedical research enterprise over time.
I personally find the videos tremendously inspiring. Whether listening to Dr. Guo-li Ming talk about her work to understand brain cell biology for better treatments of mental disorders or hearing Dr. Valina Dawson discuss her focus to identify the root causes of brain cell death, all of the videos are wonderful reminders of the profound importance of biomedical research.
I am especially grateful to Drs. Ted Dawson and Stephen Desiderio and their teams—and to our own media and video groups—for helping bring this project to life.
You can follow our research journey on social media—and share your thoughts on reaching a better tomorrow—using #TomorrowsDiscoveries.
Please also let me know which video is your favorite and if you find the series helpful.