From the Nominator
"The UC Davis Fetal Surgery team describes the science behind the landmark Cellular Therapy for In Utero Repair of Myelomeningocele (CuRe) trial, and how this cutting-edge stem cell technology may help improve outcomes for babies with spina bifida. The overall goal of the project was to raise awareness of our fetal surgery program and the CuRe trial for the general public and potential future patients.
In a comprehensive review of existing online videos about fetal surgery and myelomeningocele repair, we found that most videos were either images of actual operations, which could be perceived as gory or off-putting, or they were animations that tried hard to simulate real bodies. These animations were anatomically correct, but they were often alarming in appearance, suffering from the effects of the so-called “uncanny valley” wherein “humanoid objects that imperfectly resemble actual human beings provoke uncanny or strangely familiar feelings of uneasiness and revulsion in observers.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncanny_valley).
To present the details of the surgical procedure without inciting fear or discomfort in our viewers, many of whom are expectant mothers, we developed an animation of the surgical procedure that is based on the concept of a paper collage-style children’s book. We paired this animation with interviews with team members of the UC Davis Fetal Center team and the Center for Surgical Bioengineering team. The result is a very family-friendly video that communicates the essential elements of the surgical procedure without alarming images."
From the Judges
The judges were impressed by the exceptional animation, which brought the content to life and enhanced the overall presentation. The doctor's ability to effectively explain complex concepts in a clear and concise manner was commendable, making the information accessible and engaging for the audience. The judges recognized the talent in combining compelling animation and informative explanations.