The headline for this blog probably had you thinking, "Do what?!"  Which is exactly what a trio of Centenary students wanted to accomplish with their recent award-winning video--get you thinking about exactly what it is that kidneys do and how a particular autoimmune syndrome affects their function.

Current undergrads Samantha Lyons and Andrianna Walsh, along with recent graduate Melissa Traver, were enrolled in Dr. Christina Caldari's "Principles of Immunology" course last year.  Dr. Caldari asked the students in the class to prepare a video for the American Physiological Society's (APS) Video Contest, entitled “Function Follows Form”.  The goal of the competition is to encourage students to "creatively connect with physiology and engage them with the broader public through a short video contest." There are two prizes for the event: A $750 1st Prize as determined by an APS panel of judges, and a $250 Viewer's Choice prize which is based on YouTube hits.

According to the Shreveport Times Lyons, Walsh, and Traver opted to describe the effects of an autoimmune disease called "Goodpasture Syndrome" on the renal system. The syndrome creates antibodies that attack the kidneys and can lead to dysfunction and, ultimately, renal failure if not treated. The video deftly explains in laymen's terms how the renal system works and how Goodpasture syndrome affects the kidneys.  The technique they chose was hand-drawn illustrations featuring perfect penmanship.

The result for their efforts?  Lyons, Walsh, and Traver took home the $750 1st Prize. Lyons and Walsh are currently enrolled at Centenary, and Traver is now attending Rice University pursuing a Ph.D in biochemistry and cell biology.  No doubt they'll all do well where the subject of kidneys is concerned.


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