If you're going to dance the proteome, make sure you've got plenty of friends.
That's the advice of Anna-Maria Lahesmaa-Korpinen, a researcher at the Finnish Institute of National Health and Welfare and creator of the below video —a depiction in dance of the cancer proteome.
Lahesmaa-Korpinen came up with the dance as an entry in Finland's ScienceSLAM competition — an event run by a group of Helsinki-based researchers in which scientists take the stage to present their research via performance pieces.
With a group of friends and colleagues — including a few currently studying directing and cinematography — Lahesmaa-Korpinen choreographed a take on her recently completed PhD thesis — an investigation into computational approaches in high-throughput proteomics data analysis.
A life-long dancer, "it was sort of a natural thing to use dance for communicating what I've been doing for my PhD research," Lahesmaa-Korpinen tells the Daily Scan.
As for actually putting the piece together, rounding up a large enough cast was key. "Having a dance about proteomics with only two or three dancers would have been kind of incomplete," she says.
"I also think proteomics-related studies are optimal for visualization with dance, since things like interactions, signals and structures can be quite naturally depicted using dancers," Lahesmaa-Korpinen adds.
The proteomics world may have to wait a while before it's again immortalized in dance, though. Since defending her thesis this summer Lahesmaa-Korpinen has shifted her research focus towards public health.
"I've moved away from proteomics," she says. "But, of course, I will continue following the field because it's always been inspirational and there are a lot of exciting things happening."