The Lybbaverse / jesse-dylan  

I am a scientist

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Lybba is thrilled to have just released the film I Am A Scientist, to inspire youth about the benefits of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Released in collaboration with The California Endowment, California Biotechnology Foundation, and the California Department of Education, the film explores how STEM education can open up career opportunities in the life sciences, particularly for students from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds.

The film chronicles a day with students from L.A.s Manual Arts High School at the biohackathon that Lybba conceived of and created. Inspired by traditional hackathons by computer programmers and software developers, our biohackathon offered students a real-world DIY science experiment. Lybba’s partner, Wondros, captured the whole day on film, and this footage is the main backdrop of I Am A Scientist.

“The biohackathon was a hands-on, immersive experience that yielded palpable energy and excitement from the students. I was inspired by their imagination and wonderment as they explored outside of their comfort zone,” said Jesse Dylan, founder of Wondros and Lybba. “These students are genuinely passionate about pursuing careers in science, medicine, and research.”

Events like the biohackathon and films like I Am A Scientist strive to create the next generation of health and science leaders. “At the California Endowment, we know that health and academic achievement go hand in hand. This film gives students the opportunity to share how they’ve been inspired by STEM education and that’s the most effective way they can encourage their peers to consider the life science field as well. That’s how healthy communities are built,” said Kathlyn Mead, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of The California Endowment. “We want to help students find their passion and to get a sense for what’s possible in the future.”

Enjoy the film and spread the word!

 

View the press release for I Am A Scientist 

Learn more about Lybba's Biohackathon projects

 

 

A mother’s perspective on caring for a child with Crohn’s disease

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In response to the Healthier Together campaign to support collaborative care for IBD, Lybba board member Stacy Dylan wrote a letter about her and her son's experiences with IBD.

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My 13-year-old son, Lowell, has Crohn’s disease. He was diagnosed at age two, after we saw a gastrointestinal doctor and Lowell had a colonoscopy and endoscopy.

Lowell has been on many medications, and at times his disease was well controlled. However the past three years have been the most challenging: hospital stays, tube feeding, TPN, medication injections, endless medical tests, procedures and appointments both in Los Angeles, where we live, and out of state.

Over the years, I have learned so much about Crohn’s disease and every aspect of Lowell’s treatment. In a sense, I became an expert at each phase of his care. I shared valuable information about my son with his doctor, information that is crucial to his ongoing treatment and care. I reached out to parents who had been through similar experiences with their children, and then parents started reaching out to me; even my son’s doctor asked me to talk to parents whose kids were facing treatments Lowell had already been through, such as a new injectable medication or tube feeding. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of newly diagnosed young children with Crohn’s.

I began to create my own informal network. I was involved in IBD charities and met even more people. In 2010, I decided to join Team Challenge, the endurance and fundraising program of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, and started training for, and participating in, half marathons and triathlons. Along the way, my network expanded. I learned from the challenges of other parents and patients, and also helped them face those challenges. I felt connected. I had a community of people who understood. And I felt less alone.

Seeing me create a network of support, my son Lowell has become more open sharing his disease experience. He even made a video showing how he inserts his NG tube to share with other kids, parents and doctors. On most days, although facing challenges most kids his age would never have to confront, Lowell perseveres—participating in normal kid activities and maintaining his sense of humor.

While my son is not a patient in an Improve Care Now (ICN) clinic, I learned about the data sharing and tools these clinics are using to improve patient outcomes for pediatric IBD patients. Tracking symptoms, peer to peer support, community sharing of information—these are the things that create a more informed and connected patient, while increased remission rates let doctors know that this kind of sharing works.

Networks such as ICN are an invaluable tool, and prove that people coming together around a shared experience increases well being, good health and a strong sense of community. Each person’s voice is heard and valued, so both patient and doctor feel supported.

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Dylan & Deitch: contemporary art and the health of our culture

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Art enriches our lives by helping us connect with each other and the world around us. Often, art evokes empathy and a sense of community. Art therapy can reduce stress, help resolve conflict and improve interpersonal communication. Not only does art enhance our experience of the world, it is an essential element of our wellbeing.

In 2011, Lybba and Wondros founder Jesse Dylan attended “Art in the Streets,” an exhibit about street art at Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). Fascinated by the exhibit and the new audience of museum-goers it drew, Dylan sought out the exhibit’s curator, Jeffrey Deitch, then Director of MOCA. The film above is Deitch’s reflection on art as a fundamental part of our society and museums as a forum for social experiences.

Says Dylan, “'Art in the Streets was inclusive, challenging, different and fun. It compelled intense feelings from ardent fans, vocal critics in the press and non-expert attendees, like me. My fascination with the exhibition led me to its curator—Jeffrey Deitch—whose work on this particular installation sparked a public debate about the merits of street art and the philosophical direction of our art institutions. Attendees were left to wonder: what do art and art museums mean in the 21st century?

"I believe we will look back at Jeffrey Deitch's tenure at MOCA as a high point for culture in Los Angeles. At his core was the wish to make known what is unknown: to reveal. That is his legacy in Los Angeles and the reason I felt compelled to interview him in the film."

How does art impact your life?

Let’s get healthier together

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Health is a team effort involving patients, families, care teams and researchers. It isn’t a one-way conversation in which a doctor makes a decision that a patient, without question, accepts.

Healthier Together is a campaign that encourages a collaborative approach to healthcare. Collaborative care unites the knowledge of patients and families, nurses and doctors, pharmacists and researchers in order to gain a fuller picture of each patient’s health. The result? Superior care for everyone.

Networks like ImproveCareNow are at the forefront of this new model of care. ImproveCareNow uses collaboration and data to drive improvements in the care and health of kids with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

In partnership with ImproveCareNow, Lybba has built Healthier Together to support collaborative care. We’re collecting statements and stories in support of such care, and to demonstrate the value of networks like ImproveCareNow —not just for kids with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, but for all patients with chronic illnesses.

Our goal is to collect 1000 statements by September 15. Your voice will help change the way we think about healthcare in America!

We need your voice. Visit HealthierTogether.org today and take a moment to share your story about how collaborative care has helped you or a loved one. 

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A brief timeline of will.i.am’s STEM education advocacy

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Recording artist and producer will.i.am has won seven Grammies, but his impact extends beyond music. will.i.am is an outspoken advocate of STEM education, and he has leveraged his popularity to shine a spotlight on science. Here are a few examples of will.i.am.’s dedication to making STEM cooler than it already is:

2011 – will.i.am speaks at FIRST Robotics Competition and tweets that founder Dean Kamen is one of his heroes.

2012 – will.i.am broadcasts his single “Reach for the Stars” from Mars.

2013 – will.i.am announces he is going back to school to study quantum physics. 

Thanks, will.i.am, for raising awareness of STEM!