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VIDEO OF THE WEEK: 2009 Ph.D. dance contest winners announced

11/25/2008
Andrew S. Wiecek

Each winner will be paired with a choreographer who will create a four-part dance based on a peer-reviewed research paper.


2009 Dance Your Ph.D. Popular Choice winner, Markita Landry. Source: YouTube

New York, NY, Nov. 20—The winners of the 2009 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) “Dance Your Ph.D.” contest have been announced.

A panel of nine judges has selected a winner in each of the four categories from the entries posted on YouTube. The dances were judged on creativity in expressing the scientific essence of their theses through dance.

Each winner will be paired with a professional choreographer who will create a four-part dance based on one of the Ph.D.'s published peer-reviewed research papers. The four dances will be performed at the 2009 AAAS Annual Meeting in Chicago.

The winners are, by category:

  • Graduate Student: Sue Lynn Lau from Garvan Institute of Medical Research/University of Sydney, Australia, for the interpretation of her advisor's paper “The role of vitamin D in beta cell function”
  • Post-Doc: Miriam Sach, post-doctoral researcher, University of California, San Diego, “Cerebral activation patterns induced by inflection of regular and irregular verbs with positron emission tomography. A comparison between single subject and group analysis”
  • Professor: Vince LiCata, professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, “Resolving pathways of functional coupling in human hemoglobin using quantitative low temperature isoelectric focusing of asymmetric mutant hybrids”
  • Popular Choice: Markita Landry, graduate student, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, “Single molecule measurements of protelomerase TelK-DNA complexes”

The contest was open to anyone who had received or was pursuing a Ph.D. in any scientific field or science-related fields, and challenged Ph.D.s to communicate their research through body movements.

“In my view, song and dance should be an integral part of culture,” said Lau, 2009 Dance Your Ph.D. winner, in a press release from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. “Its how people communicated in the past, how oral traditions were handed down. Somehow we seem to have lost that participative aspect to music in our society.”

According to the organizers, last years inaugural Dance Your Ph.D. contest was very successful, and researchers from around the world were eager to compete in this years contest.


The Other Winners
The three other winning videos can be viewed by clicking on the following links:

Graduate Student: Sue Lynn Lau from Garvan Institute of Medical Research/University of Sydney, Australia, for the interpretation of her advisor's paper “The role of vitamin D in beta cell function”

Post-Doc: Miriam Sach, post-doctoral researcher, University of California, San Diego, “Cerebral activation patterns induced by inflection of regular and irregular verbs with positron emission tomography. A comparison between single subject and group analysis”

Professor: Vince LiCata, professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, “Resolving pathways of functional coupling in human hemoglobin using quantitative low temperature isoelectric focusing of asymmetric mutant hybrids”

More information can be found on the contest's web site.