UF CTSI engages campus community and Florida science teachers for NIH video contest

UF Videos for NIH Contest
UF entered three videos in the National Institutes of Health’s recent contest inviting creating explanations of science funded by the NIH Common Fund (left to right): Translational Science Casting Call, In Search of Treasures from the Sea, and Some Cells Know How to Keep Their Secrets.

Thanks to a fantastic Gator rally that spread to nearly all corners of the UF campus and fanned across the state, three UF science videos landed half of the top six spots among 57 entries nationwide for a National Institutes of Health video contest. The contest invited creative explanations of science funded by the NIH Common Fund. Voting ended May 9, 2014.

The University of Florida’s three videos represent collaborative health research funded by three NIH grants totaling more than $35 million and touching nearly all 16 colleges and multiple institutes at UF. The UF CTSI produced two of the three videos to increase understanding of and engagement in translational science and metabolomics, and also led a collaborative outreach strategy in support of UF’s three videos. Below is a rundown of UF’s competition highlights.

Winning Videos

Two of UF’s videos are among the five contest winners that garnered the most “likes” on YouTube and will be recognized at the NIH Common Fund 10-Year Commemoration Symposium on June 19, 2014:

  • “Some Cells Know How to Keep Their Secrets” (principal investigators: Dr. Arthur S. Edison and Dr. Richard A. Yost, UF Southeast Center for Integrated Metabolomics)
  • “In Search of Treasures from the Sea” (principal investigator: Dr. Hendrik Luesch, UF College of Pharmacy director of the Center for Natural Products, Drug Discovery & Development)

Close behind in the #6 spot was “Translational Science Casting Call” (principal investigator: Dr. David R. Nelson, UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute).

The UF CTSI’s communications team produced the translational science and metabolomics videos and created a custom webpage for each video with links to related resources. Through colorful animation, “Translational Science Casting Call” explains how the UF CTSI and national CTSA consortium help bring scientific discoveries to patients, and highlights different ways people can get involved. Dr. Art Edison, co-PI of the CTSI’s Southeast Center for Integrated Metabolomics, becomes a classic private eye in the film noir-themed “Some Cells Know How to Keep Their Secrets.”

The UF CTSI envisions using the videos beyond the competition as resources for augmenting science curricula and facilitating outreach to lay audiences, including the recruitment of research participants.

Winning Science Teacher

To engage Florida science teachers in the contest, the CTSI teamed up with the UF Center for Precollegiate Education and Training to share UF’s videos as educational resources. Teachers were invited to share what excites them or their students about the science in exchange for an opportunity to win a mini-grant of up to $500 from the CTSI for their class to visit or be visited by a UF researcher.

The UF CTSI received comments from more than 20 educators estimated to reach more than 2,500 elementary, middle and high school students in 18 cities throughout the state. Many teachers reported using the videos as conversation starters in their classrooms, which sparked ideas about job possibilities, questions about science and new ways of looking at the world.

Suzanne Bliss, a biology teacher at University High School in Orlando, won the CTSI mini-grant and will be bringing her class to visit a UF research lab during the 2014-15 school year.

UF CTSI Videos & Resources

Learn more about the science, resources and creative team behind the UF CTSI’s videos:

  • Translational Science Casting Call: Visit ctsi.ufl.edu/castingcall for resources on how you can get involved in translational science.
  • Some Cells Know How to Keep Their Secrets: Visit secim.ufl.edu/casefiles to sleuth through real metabolomics cases.