Finding cures for children's genetic diseases


Young scientists star in new campaign


There is often a complaint that society focuses too much on reality “stars’’ or Hollywood actors but a new campaign that replaces models with scientists is attempting to change that.

Last month five young researchers from Children’s Medical Research Institute were invited to take part in a marketing campaign organised by fashion retailer, Universal Store.

The national retailer had already decided to donate funds from the sale of all their jeans during the first week of August to Jeans for Genes, but they also put together a unique video profiling the work of CMRI scientists.

Researchers Mackenzie Labine-Romain, Sam Rogers, Fidelle Karam, Pragathi Masamsetti and Christopher Nelson all featured in the campaign which was used on the Universal website and through their social media channels. They talked about their work and why they were attracted to science and becoming a researcher.
Fidelle liked that the campaign didn’t shy away from “the science’’.

“The concept of science or being a researcher seems to be treated as a far-fetched concept, so it’s really important to make it more approachable to the general public, and achievable for young people who are keen on science,’’ she said.

Mackenzie agreed it was about encouraging other young people to get involved.

“Hopefully their campaign will help to broaden the image people have of who gets to be a scientist. I think increasing visibility of the broad range of people who become scientists will help kids and young people see themselves in that role.’'

Sam said it was great to see scientists taking centre stage.

“It was important to show some of the many young researchers out there who are doing amazing work, and who often aren’t portrayed as role models within the media.’’
For Pragathi it was a chance to promote what she does every day. 

“It felt amazing to talk about my research as a scientist. It was a great opportunity to promote science and help CMRI at the same time”.

The total amount of donations from Universal store’s campaign was more than $17,000.

A Universal spokesman said they wanted to show the “personalities behind the ground-breaking research undertaken at CMRI’’.

“The majority of Universal Store staff have grown up with Jeans for Genes Day as a household name and the announcement of this partnership instilled a great sense of price and accomplishment throughout the entire business.’’