October 22, 2014, Washington, D.C. – Iranian American and award-winning computational geneticist at Harvard University, Pardis Sabeti, recently released an uplifting music video honoring the victims of the Ebola virus.
Born in Tehran, Iran, Sabeti is an Assistant Professor at the Center for Systems Biology and Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University, and a Senior Associate Member of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. For the past few years, Sabeti has been studying the effects of genetics on the evolution of disease at Harvard University, hoping to find cures to diseases such as Malaria, Tuberculosis, and Ebola. The recipient of multiple awards, Sabeti works closely with scientists located in African countries to understand and better address the spread and treatment of such diseases.
In her free time, Sabeti is the lead singer in an alt-rock band called Thousand Days. She was inspired to write the song honoring the victims of Ebola after several health care workers with whom she had been collaborating with in Africa contracted Ebola.
According to Sabeti, following the news about her colleagues, she and her peers began humming and singing to lift their spirits. The result was a cheerful and hopeful melody that unified Sabeti and her colleagues while also honoring their affected cohorts in Africa.
Hoping to spread this feeling of optimism, Sabeti and six Nigerian and Senegalese scientists created the music video, which includes song and dance. The video aims to also invoke high-spirits and unity during a time where joy and optimism are easily lost in the shadow of Ebola.
For Sabeti and her colleagues, the fight against Ebola virus is universal and a reason for us to be unified. In an interview with Common Health, she explained: “To the virus, we’re all the same, and we’re all in the same boat. And a virus infecting your neighbor is one that can affect you one day.” According to Sabeti, the music video is just one of the many ways that one can connect to others who have suffered from the debilitating Ebola virus.