Mount Sinai’s Joy S. Reidenberg, PhD, Part of Documentary Series Honored by British Academy of Film and Television Arts

Dr. Reidenberg is a featured anatomist on the award-winning wildlife documentary series “Inside Nature’s Giants.”

New York, NY
 – June 11, 2010 /Press Release/  –– 

Inside Nature’s Giants, a wildlife documentary series airing in the United Kingdom that explores the anatomy of the world’s largest animals, won a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Award in the category of “Specialist Factual.”  Joy S. Reidenberg, PhD, Professor in the Center for Anatomy and Functional Morphology, Department of Medical Education at Mount Sinai School of Medicine is the series’ featured anatomist. The awards were presented June 6 at The Palladium in London, England.

The BAFTAs are the British equivalent of the Emmys. The "Specialist Factual" category includes programs in the Arts, Religion, History, Natural History, and Science. A US version of the show titled Raw Anatomy airs on the National Geographic Channel.

For Inside Nature's Giants, Dr. Reidenberg investigated the anatomy of a fin whale, a giraffe, an elephant and a crocodile, demonstrating the unique and the common features of these animals and how those features evolved to adapt them to their unique environments.  Particularly striking were the intestinal adaptations across the different animals and finding the remnant of the hip in the whale, the giraffe’s extraordinarily long nerve to the larynx, the elephant’s trunk musculature and ear blood vessel network, and the crocodile’s armored skin and fascinating double circulatory system. Season two of the series, currently airing on Channel 4 in the UK,examines a great white shark, Burmese python, lion, tiger, and giant squid.

Dr. Reidenberg's research lab at Mount Sinai examines the comparative anatomy, development, and evolution of the mammalian upper respiratory tract, focusing on breathing, swallowing, and vocalizing abilities relevant to clinical disorders. She was asked to participate in an episode involving the dissection of a whale, and soon after was invited to join the program as a series regular.

"The producers at Windfall Films had already started production on the series when they found out about a dying whale stranded on the shore of Ireland. They quickly decided to add it on to the episode list and needed to find someone who knew how to dissect a whale," said Dr. Reidenberg. "They got my name, and within hours I was on a plane to Ireland. Then, when they realized I had a broader-based knowledge in anatomy, they asked me to join them for the other episodes. I jumped at the chance, because it’s really an exciting project to be a part of.  And winning a BAFTA is the icing on the cake."

About The Mount Sinai Medical Center
The Mount Sinai Medical Center encompasses both The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Established in 1968, Mount Sinai School of Medicine is one of few medical schools embedded in a hospital in the United States. It has more than 3,400 faculty in 32 departments and 15 institutes, and ranks among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institute of Health funding and by U.S. News & World Report.  The school received the 2009 Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service from the Association of American Medical Colleges.

The Mount Sinai Hospital, founded in 1852, is a 1,171-bed tertiary- and quaternary-care teaching facility and one of the nation’s oldest, largest and most-respected voluntary hospitals.  In 2009, U.S. News & World Report ranked The Mount Sinai Hospital among the nation’s top 20 hospitals based on reputation, patient safety, and other patient-care factors.  Nearly 60,000 people were treated at Mount Sinai as inpatients last year, and approximately 530,000 outpatient visits took place.

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