Signals Blog

Jonathan Garlick, a professor at Tufts University near Boston, has been helping students connect to science through original rap lyrics that he composes and sings in class.

Professor Garlick says rapping curriculum “immediately creates a common language that didn’t exist before.” ( Apparently he finds it quite simple too. “All the words rhyme with each other anyway. I can pretty much do it on the spot.”

In honour of Professor Garlick’s efforts to instill a love of science in his students, here is my tribute rap to him (to the tune of “The Real Slim Shady” by Eminem).

May I have your attention please?
May I have your attention please?
Will the real Stem Cell Rapper please stand up?
I repeat, will the real Stem Cell Rapper please stand up?
We’re gonna have a problem here…

Y’all act like you never seen a rapping prof before
Jaws all on the floor like Yamanaka and Thomson just burst in the door
And started reprogramming iPSCs better than before
They once worked together and they still keep in touch
Yamanaka introduced him at ISSCR with a “he’s my dude and I dig him so much”
But back to our prof who might be Pennsylvania Dutch
Except he raps at Bar Mitzvahs and apprenticed to be a dentist
Well now he’s rocking cells and occasionally yells
As he tries to make a point and teach the kids before they’re on the skids.

‘Cause he’s the Stem Cell Rapper, yes he’s the real thing
All you other Stem Cell Rappers are just imitating
So won’t the real Stem Cell Rapper please stand up,
Please stand up, please stand up?

OK, so it’s not that simple. Kudos to Professor Garlick on 30 years of teaching through rapping.

Our regular feature, Right Turn, showcases the “lighter” side of stem cells and regenerative medicine. Every Friday, we will bring you cartoons, photos, videos and other content that may be just as thought provoking as the written submissions that you are used to finding here, but they definitely won’t be blogs.

As always, we welcome your feedback and we also welcome suitable submissions. Be creative! Use the right (!) side of your brain. Make us laugh! Let’s see if we can make this new direction a positive one for all of us. Send your submission to info(at)

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Stacey Johnson

Stacey Johnson

For almost 20 years, Stacey has been providing strategic communications counsel to government, corporate, technology and health organizations. Prior to that, Stacey was at the CTV Television Network, first as a researcher, then as a story producer for “Goldhawk Fights Back,” a special ombudsman segment that aired weekly on the National News and Canada AM. Before joining CCRM as the Director, Communications and Marketing, Stacey was the Director of Communications for the Canadian Arthritis Network. Stacey is editor of Signals. You can follow Stacey on Twitter @msstaceyerin.