||Scene from the set: NIH director Dr. Elias Zerhouni and the institute and center directors bring the agency's research to the public in their homes through a new televised health series, Tomorrow's Medicine Today.
Each show provides interviews with IC directors
who have also invited extramural scientists
to join them and to present their research in lay terms for a general audience. To be aired twice monthly on the Medical Missions for Children's (MMC) Medical Broadcasting Channel, as well as weekly on New Jersey Public Television
(PBS/NJN), the series could reach viewers
in over 90 million homes in the U.S. and more than 300,000 academic and medical institutions
Since any public television show requires a local sponsor, the program is seeking local affiliates. PBS/NJN reaches five states-New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Delaware-
and has picked up 13 episodes so far, with an estimated 10 million viewers. The hope is that other stations will now join as partners.
In addition, the U.S. Armed Services Network has expressed interest in the series.
"This is the first time in my memory," says John Burklow, NIH associate director for communications
and public liaison, "that NIH leadership has had an opportunity to talk at length about their research on television. Hopefully, we can add more taping dates to cover all 27 IC directors."
Each director is allotted 30 minutes per segment
and four shows are taped during each trip to New Jersey. The last scheduled taping is set for Oct. 29.
"It's a brand new venture," says Zerhouni. "We are breaking new ground for everybody, the ICs and their communications directors. We have to take risks and see how things play out-so that's a good thing."
"We have an agreement with MMC to have the right to begin airing the series as each program reaches its 1-year anniversary," says Burklow. "Those programs will have a long life on our web and help build our NIH-dedicated presence on outlets such as YouTube."
NIH has recently established its own sub-site within YouTube, the popular video-sharing web site where users view and share video clips. According to Nielsen/NetRatings, YouTube averages nearly 20 million visitors per month.
Creative credit for the series goes to Frank Brady, a retired General Electric executive who is founder and now chairman of Medical Missions
for Children, a charity housed at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital in Paterson, N.J. MMC productions include the Telemedicine Outreach Program, a global satellite and Internet
TV network, as well as four television programs
for the general public, Tomorrow's Medicine
Today among them.
So far, segments have been taped by: NCI's Dr. John Niederhuber; NHLBI's Dr. Elizabeth Nabel; NIA's Dr. Richard Hodes; NIAAA's Dr. Ting-Kai Li; NIAID's Dr. Anthony Fauci;
NIAMS's Dr. Stephen Katz; NIBIB's Dr. Roderic Pettigrew; NIDCD's Dr. James Battey; NIDCR's Dr. Lawrence Tabak; NIDDK's Dr. Griffin Rodgers;
NIEHS's Dr. David Schwartz; NIGMS's Dr. Jeremy Berg; NIMH's Dr. Thomas Insel; NINDS's Dr. Story Landis; NLM's Dr. Donald Lindberg; and FIC's Dr. Roger Glass.
Each director was accompanied by another expert in the field, including intramural colleagues
and extramural scientists from research centers, health centers, medical schools and schools of public health at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Columbia University, Cornell University, Johns Hopkins University, the Mayo Clinic-Rochester, Tufts University, the University
of Connecticut, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Utah.
s the world's largest public funding agent for clinical research, NIH has a roadmap with a compelling
set of priorities, including translational
science. Tomorrow's Medicine Today dovetails with that mission: translating NIH's most current
research for the public television viewer.
The show began taping last winter and the first air date is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 21, at noon. For updates, check local listings at www.NJN.net/television/schedules/.