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Ph.D. student Sue Lynn Lau dances her way to Chicago
Date:11/24/2008

It was announced on Friday that Garvan endocrinologist and PhD student, Dr Sue Lynn Lau, had won the Graduate Student category of the AAAS Science "Dance your PhD" contest. See her winning entry on YouTube.

On October 10, Science magazine challenged researchers around the world to interpret their PhD research in dance form, film the dance, and share it with the world on YouTube by mid-November. A total of 36 dances - including solo ballet and circus spectacle - were submitted online.

A panel of nine judges: the three winners of the first "Dance Your PhD" contest, three scientists from Harvard University, and three artistic directors of the dance company Pilobolus, scored the dances on their ability to bridge the art and science worlds.

The judges were also looking for those dances that most creatively conveyed the scientific essence of their respective Ph.D. theses, rather than a high quality video.

Sue Lynn's PhD examines The role of vitamin D in beta-cell function. With the Nutcracker Suite playing in the background, she appears as the Sugar Plum Fairy, delivering marshmallow glucose to three beta cell dancers. Meanwhile, a fifth dancer twirls around the stage - representing the sunlight required for vitamin D biosynthesis."

"I really love dancing - although I haven't done it seriously," said Sue Lynn. "I did a couple of years of ballet when I was in kindergarten, and I've done some small classes - swing, a little ceroc and salsa."

"In my view, song and dance should be an integral part of culture. It's 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."

Everybody in the video is from Garvan's Immunology and Inflammation program. The three beta cells are Sue Lynn's sister, Sue Mei Lau, other PhD students, Jessica Stolp and Kim Cheng, and Matthew Adams the Research Assistant.


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Contact: Alison Heather
a.heather@garvan.org.au
61-434-071-326
Research Australia
Source:Eurekalert

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