A “Breaking Bad”-themed video parody produced by the UNM Clinical and Translational Science Center and Health Sciences Center Communications and Marketing Department has been selected as one of two runners-up in a National Institutes of Health competition. The videos produced by UNM and other leading institutions were part of a public outreach effort for the 10-year commemoration of the NIH Roadmap and Common Fund programs, designed to catalyze innovation in biomedical research.

The NIH Office of Strategic Coordination organized two competitions to encourage creative descriptions of Roadmap/Common Fund programs to be shared with the general public. Grantees were encouraged to craft song lyrics or to produce brief videos that explain their work in accessible, but entertaining ways.

NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins selected one winner and two runners-up, including the CTSC's entry "Breaking (Bad) Barriers" – a parody of the hit television show "Breaking Bad," which was set and filmed in Albuquerque.

Harvard University produced the winning video, "Role of the Innate Immune System in Aging and Development of Alzheimer's Disease," and Rockefeller University's "Clot Blocking" video was the other runner-up.

In the CTSC video, a character portraying Breaking Bad anti-hero Walter White explains to a class that "clinical and translational science is about accelerating basic science to clinical science and then into practice, bringing new discoveries and technology to the people."

This parody goes on to show Walter and another character – based on Breaking Bad's Jesse Pinkman –  bringing basic science to clinical practice and enabling a multiple sclerosis patient to walk again.

The NIH's winning videos, along with those with the most YouTube "likes" were to be featured at the Common Fund 10-year Commemoration Symposium this month. The event, titled "A Decade of Discovery," can be viewed at https://videocast.nih.gov/.

The winning videos can be seent at http://commonfund.nih.gov/contests/videos.