UNMC students' video wins national contest

by Kalani Simpson, UNMC public relations | January 02, 2020

Image with caption: A scene from the winning video

A scene from the winning video

Two UNMC graduate students produced the national first-place winner in The Science Coalition's inaugural Fund It Forward Student Video Challenge.

Sumit Kar and Tyler Kambis -- who also have collaborated on a handful of research publications -- were winners of the Graduate Division of the contest. Participants were asked to create a video to tell the story of why science matters and remind members of Congress that now is the time to invest in research for the future of our nation.

UNMC's winning video features Kambis telling the story of how his research is propelled by two forces -- National Institutes of Health grants, funded by the U.S. Government; and, his little brother's type 1 diabetes diagnosis.

"We thought a good way to portray our work would be to have a personal story connected to why we are doing this," said Kar, who shot and edited the footage.

In the video, Kambis tells viewers, including Congress, about novel UNMC research that has shown that the increase of a small genetic molecule can protect the heart from diabetic damage and even reverse heart disease. The hope is to eventually take this discovery to clinical trials.

"Continued government support of biomedical research is crucial to pursuing these goals," Kambis said.

Jennifer Larsen, M.D., vice chancellor for research, is an avid proponent of the power of storytelling to further support for science. Dr. Larsen lauded the effort of the UNMC graduate students -- and all the contest entrants.

"It is so important for all of us in science to help the broader community understand how biomedical research is essential to the future of health care," Dr. Larsen said. "I was impressed that all these videos translated that vision exceptionally well."

Kar said that, as a Nebraskan, he is grateful for government support not only for research, but for the environment in which he is educated.

"UNMC is just a really good place for me," he said. "You can see how federal and state funding are helping UNMC grow and keep students like me in Nebraska."

Kar is a graduate student in integrative physiology and molecular medicine. Kambis is a graduate student in molecular genetics and cell biology. Both work in the lab of Paras Mishra, Ph.D., associate professor of cellular and integrative physiology.

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Amy Steinauer
January 06, 2020 at 7:42 AM

Tyler, I have raised lots of funds over the years for JDRF . I appreciate your commitment to research and your passion. We have a strong local chapter if you are interested in connecting. Let's turn type I into type none! Thanks for what you do!

Robin Lally
January 02, 2020 at 3:32 PM

Congratulations! Excellent message, video and representation of UNMC!

Babu Guda
January 02, 2020 at 11:29 AM

Tyler and Sumit: Congratulations to you on this outstanding achievement.

Peggy Moore
January 02, 2020 at 8:10 AM

Congratulations Tyler and Sumit!

Irving H Zucker
January 02, 2020 at 7:38 AM

Congratulations to Sumit and Tyler. These are two outstanding and creative students will make significant contributions in the future.