Master's Research Project
An educational animation about a novel route of medulloblastoma metastasis
Medulloblastoma is the most common childhood brain cancer. It has one of the highest mortality rates of paediatric cancers and currently has no targeted treatments. Cancer cells that break off from the primary tumour, known as metastases, are the leading cause of treatment failure and death in medulloblastoma patients.
For over a century, scientists assumed that medulloblastoma metastases travel exclusively in cerebrospinal fluid; however, novel research published by the Taylor Lab at SickKids Hospital in Toronto may revolutionize our understanding of this disease and offers promising leads for the development of new therapies.
Dr. Michael Taylor | MD, PhD, FRCS(C)
Dr. Craig Daniels | Hons BSc, PhD
Prof. Nick Woolridge | BFA, BScBMC, MSc, CMI, FAMI
Prof. Marc Dryer | Hons BA, MSc, MScBMC
Scientific Community: Graduate students, oncologists, researchers, and physicians
Lay Audience: Families of medulloblastoma patients, grant panels, people with interest
Understanding that metastases can travel in a previously unknown way is critical for the development of therapies, disease management, and prognosis.
Despite its significance, scientists are largely unaware of this new mechanism. Additionally, there is currently a lack of treatments that target metastases.
Research has show that 3D animation can be an effective way to disseminate research findings to the community and increase interest in scientific topics.
The proposed solution — a 3D animation — will be used to visualize novel research on the circulatory route of medulloblastoma metastasis in order to achieve the following goals:
Disseminate this research to the scientific community
to fuel further research
Educate a lay audience (e.g. families of patients)
Before diving in to the project, I had to understand why animation is an effective medium to carry out my goals, what best practices are used for animation, and how to measure the project's success.
The script establishes the story, tone, and use of analogy and metaphor. It is crucial to refine the script as much as possible in order to reduce any possible big changes down the road.
After the scratch narration is recorded, images from the storyboard are sequentially ordered and roughly animated to determine the pacing and basic motion that will bring the story to life.