Ever been curious what happens when you combine a passion for science and a love of Grandmaster Flash? Look no further than Dr. Jonathan Garlick. Dr. Garlick was trained as a dentist and a pathologist, and currently conducts stem cell research at Tufts University.
Dr. Garlick's research focuses mainly on the study of induced pluripotent stem cells, (iPSCs) which are a type of stem cell that can be directly generated from adult cells and give rise to every other type of cell in the body. Not only do iPSCs bypass the need for embryonic stem cells, they can also be made in a patient specific manner, which carries great potential for adults to have their own ‘reserve’ of cells that drastically reduce the risk of immune rejection during the organ transplant process.
To inspire passion for the science of stem cells within his students, Dr. Garlick raps about everything from the moral controversies surrounding stem cell research to the methods used to create tissues and organs. Since Dr. Garlick spends many of his teaching hours rapping lessons to his students, we thought we’d try and tap into his lyrical genius by creating a rap about his life. Keep the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song in mind as you read:
In Medford, Mass, where he starts to amaze
In a classroom, is where he spends most of his days
Geeking out, teachin’, researchin’ all cool
While laying down sick beats, inside of the school
When a couple of cells, ‘stem’ from skin tissue
Started to divide and then to self-renew
He uses embryos now, but he wants to see
If he can get the same results through pluripotency.
By taking cells from an adult, and rebooting their drive
He can induce cellular processes to come alive
If anything, we could say that this type of work is rare
To grow tissue and organs, seemingly out of thin air
When you say to Dr. G, “I’d like to talk stem cell.”
He says, “Come down to my lab, I like to show, not tell.”
We’ll look at my kingdom, through a microscope,
I want to have this discourse, I ain’t no misanthrope.
- Lee Stephenson, Production Associate
Check out this amazing video and article about the “Stem Cell Rapper” from the Boston Globe:http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/02/03/tufts-stem-cell-scientist-jonathan-garlick-uses-rap-reach-students/s9XtcLQzzyFfLyUYj7f2OP/story.html
For more on Dr. Garlick’s research: http://sackler.tufts.edu/Faculty-and-Research/Faculty-Research-Pages/Jonathan-Garlick