"NATURALLY OBSESSED: the making of a scientist", documentary by Richard Rifkind & Carole Rifkind
“This is a movie about anxiety narrating itself, and to some extent about beauty, which is why it succeeds so well in communicating a compulsion to do science.”
Naturally Obsessed: The Making of a Scientist is the best film ever to depict what goes on inside a real science lab — period.
NATURALLY OBSESSED opens a penetrating view of laboratory life, provides unique insights into what it’s like to do biological research and honestly portrays the quid-pro-quo of the apprentice system, by which students working for their PhD degree work under a master scientist at the frontiers of biomedical research. Drawn from three years of filming, live action scenes capture the day-by-day experiences of doing science, highlighting the ups and downs of the mentor-student relationship, the collaboration that science depends on, and the self-knowledge that success requires. The film was shot at the Shapiro laboratory at the Columbia University Medical Center. In a way that the lay person can easily understand, it presents a picture of the lab’s advanced techniques in genetic engineering, protein chemistry and x-ray crystallography, which are paving the way for a new generation of structure-based drugs – “designer drugs” — specifically targeted to correct malfunctioning, disease-causing, proteins. (The remarkably successful HIV protease inhibitor was the first of the kind.)