Private Project

Zebrafish: Practically People, Transforming the Study of Disease

Zebrafish: Practically People, Transforming How We Study Disease is a new film that provides an overview of the benefits of Zebrafish as a biomedical research model, in an easy-to-understand, visually-stunning documentary.

Though viewed by many in the biomedical community as relatively new research model, Zebrafish have been helping scientists effectively investigate and fight human disease for over 30 years. The scientists who work with Zebrafish are passionate about its benefits, and have had amazing success using Zebrafish to develop and test therapies for some of the most prevalent and devastating human diseases. Zebrafish: Practically People shares the areas where biomedical research using Zebrafish is making a difference, from cancer to Alzheimer’s to spectrum disorders such as autism. Zebrafish are a low-cost vertebrate model organism with some very unique attributes, including the fact that Zebrafish share almost all of the same organs as humans, are cost-effective, and reproduce in a transparent embryo which develops outside the womb – a feature that provides unprecedented scientific opportunity. The increasingly-recognized value of the Zebrafish model is demonstrated by the fact that today even scientists on NASA’s International Space Station work with them to study gravity effects. Zebrafish: Practically People concludes with a call for additional funding to support the critical work of scientists using the Zebrafish model.

  • Jennifer A. Manner
  • Wendy Leonard
  • Sue O'Hara
  • D
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    9 minutes 46 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 8, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    35,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Jennifer A. Manner

Jennifer is a Zebrafish advocate, spreading the word about how Zebrafish have the potential to be the salvation of humankind. Jennifer is also the CEO and Founder of ZScientific, LLC, a company focused on biomedical research utilizing the Zebrafish model. Jennifer is also a Board Member of ZScientific Foundation, a not-for-profit committed to funding the innovative biomedical research that includes the Zebrafish model.

​When not making films, Jennifer is the Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs of EchoStar Corporation, the largest U.S. commercial geostationary orbit satellite operator, where she is focused on spectrum management and policy. Jennifer is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center. Jennifer has authored two published books and numerous magazine and scholarly articles. Jennifer holds a B.A. from the State University of New York at Albany in Theater Arts and Political Science, a JD cum laude from New York Law School, and an LLM from Georgetown University Law Center. She lives in a house full of Zebrafish paraphernalia with her husband, Dr. Eric Glasgow, and her golden doodle, Sophie.

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Director Statement

Healthcare spending is out of control. What if…we could get better biomedical data, spend pennies on the dollar, and get results in a fraction of the time? Zebrafish, a proven but under-recognized and underutilized biomedical research model, can do that. Zebrafish are human avatars: their immune system is remarkably similar to ours, they share 70 percent of the same genes, and 84 percent of genes associated with human disease have a Zebrafish counterpart!