Biologist Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz’s research about the first few cell divisions – the beginning of life – is groundbreaking and earth-shaking. Her team hit the news with the development of a synthetic mouse embryo which established heart and brain structures in vitro. Furthermore, the labs created the first system that allows culturing human embryos until the legal limit of 14 days in vitro and research about programmed cell death and cell fate determination.
Zernicka-Goetz says about herself that she is driven by curiosity and aims to unveil the processes that enable a few cells to build our complex bodies. In a short video portrait, the researcher, professor, mother, art-lover and author of the book The Dance of Life talks about her research, the sensitive outcomes and the links between her passions art and science.
The video was commissioned by the Swiss foundation NOMIS which supports high-risk researchers through annual awards. In 2022 Zernicka-Goetz became their awardee. As a member of the Imagining Science film team, I travelled to Los Angeles and Pasadena to direct, film and edit the short video portrait of the world-known scientist.
screenshots of the video