The University Record, April 8, 2002

U-M brings life sciences to TV

The U-M has helped launch a new public television project called “Secrets Of The Sequence” under the leadership of Gilbert Omenn, executive vice president for medical affairs, and Lisa Rudgers, vice president for communications. The show is a weekly newsmagazine that can be seen locally on Sundays at 1 p.m., starting April 14, on WTVS, Channel 56 in Detroit. It also will be shown at 11:30 a.m. Saturdays on WFUM TV-Flint.

The show’s segments will visit laboratories where cutting-edge life science work is being conducted, and feature leading scientists and ethicists discussing the profound moral, ethical and legal questions this important research raises.

U-M helped shape the concept of the show and has provided scientific review of scripts for the series. U-M research projects in the Kellogg Eye Center, the Department of Psychiatry, and the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology will be highlighted in future segments, and more local segments are in the works. Other early segments in the series will include the genetics of aging, genetically modified crops and the roundworm c. elegans.

“The timing is right,” says series producer Jonathan Ward. “We think people instinctively understand that the discoveries of the genomic era will change everything. What they don’t know is how. This program takes us to the front lines of science to explore the implications.”

Financial support for the program comes from Pfizer, Oracle and the Pfizer Foundation.

You can view a sample segment on the biochemistry of aggressive behavior at the “Secrets of the Sequence” site (RealPlayer required): http://vcurams.vcu.edu/ra/ss.ram