Serving up a fun “twist” on ice cream, Capitals Ice Cream in Oklahoma City’s Midtown District allows you to pick toppings such as fruits, cereal, candy, cookies, and more to ‘swirl’ into your ice cream. Uncovering Oklahoma talks to Landon Ferguson about what you can expect when you visit their dreamy ice cream shop that also includes coffee and beer.
Dr. Jennifer Chain is an experimental immunologist with 20 years of scientific and research experience in academia, biotechnology, consulting, and non-profit. She grew up in Amarillo, Texas and graduated in 2000 from Southern Nazarene University (Bethany, OK) with a B.S. in Biology and Chemistry.
Beginning in 1998, Jennifer worked as a research technician at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF) and as an undergraduate intern for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She earned her Ph.D. in Immunology in 2005 from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center studying human αβ and γδ thymocyte developmental checkpoints under the mentorship of Linda Thompson, PhD. In early 2006, Dr. Chain began the first of her postdoctoral fellowships at National Jewish Health where she studied γδ T cell activation and function with Rebecca O’Brien, PhD and Willi Born, PhD. Next, Jennifer studied CD4 memory T cell and macrophage function in clinical and autoimmune lung disorders in the laboratory of Andrew Fontenot, MD at the University of Colorado Denver. In 2014 Jennifer followed her postdoctoral fellowships with an industry experience at a CLIA-accredited diagnostic testing company in Oklahoma called Moleculera Labs. There she performed diagnostic testing, secured $300,000 in grant funding, and led a project to discover new biomarkers in autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders.
To apply and expand on the expertise she gained in her early-career research experiences, Dr. Chain started her own R&D consulting firm in 2016 called Experimental Solutions to help scientists advance their research and product development goals. As a consultant, Jennifer has helped academic, biotech, and non-profit clients design, perform, and analyze experiments, train staff, manage projects, and write procedures, publications, grant applications, and marketing documents.
Since 2017, Dr. Chain has served as the Science Officer for Cellular Therapies at the Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI). Through the organization’s Bio-Development division, Jennifer is starting a stem cell and cell therapy research and development laboratory. The work Dr. Chain is doing through OBI will lead to cutting-edge advancements in anti-cancer immunotherapies and regenerative medicine applications and increase the accessibility of these therapies to more patients.
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Hello, Adventurers and Friends!
I’m Dennis Spielman, the producer of Uncovering Oklahoma, Yes! Science!, Quarter Minutes, and Colorful Escapes. Today I am excited to publicly announce I am aligning all of my shows under a new non-profit organization, The Show Starts Now Studios.
The Show Starts Now Studios (TSSN Studios) is a collective dedicated to adding adventure, sharing knowledge, and fostering collaboration in people’s lives through shows and events. In a future phase of development, we’ll create a place for studio audience productions in Oklahoma City, with the shows being broadcasted live online. In addition to the shows, we’ll offer film related classes, such as acting, improv, podcast recording, and complete video production.
The Future Vision:
The primary draw of The Show Starts Now Studios will be the creation of studio audience productions, with the shows being broadcasted live online. You’ll be able to see shows similar to Saturday Night Live, Steven Colbert, Last Week Tonight, and even morning shows and sitcoms. In a way, we’ll also be like an Oklahoma based Netflix, pooling together resources to create shows. When the studio home is complete, we’ll also partner with local schools to allow them to film shows there and have grants for documentary filmmakers. In addition, there will also be public spaces for small filmmakers to borrow or rent for their projects.
Visiting the studio itself will be an experience. The lobby area will have a mix of functions with art, a bar, and a stage for bands. Studio shows will be able to take over the lobby with art that relates to an episode’s theme. For example, if a show is featuring a celebrity, there can be fan art in the lobby. There will also be a dedicated space for art exhibitions not relating to any show. Artists will be allowed to either sell or not sell their artwork.
Shows will be more than their episodes as they’re each have their own element of community engagement. This will range from providing internships, live studio shows having a corresponding art show, shows hosting a festival, doing mini-episodes, having a podcast similar but different from a video series or vice versa, having a comic book version, interacting with fans on social media by using their suggestions for the series, and/or doing a live tour production across the world. Even before the studio is built, shows will start doing events and being at places, like art walks, in an effort to build audiences.
There are some core values I do wish to share here in the overview that encompasses what this studio is about. For starters, the studio will be grounded in collaboration, equality, and transparency. Collaboration will be vital to making everything happen and with that comes equality. For example, shows will be team based with everyone putting in equal work and getting paid equality. This is completely unheard of in the film industry. Just because something was done that way because that’s how it was always been done in the past won’t apply here if there’s a better and fairer way to do it, let’s do it.
For me on Uncovering Oklahoma, I’m all about getting people to led more adventurous lives and getting them outside of their bubble. This personal mission will be applied here as well.
The first phase involved realigning all the shows I currently produce under this parent company. The main mission here was to reveal this studio project, which I’m doing today.
Phase two will involve the creation of new shows, the first of which is a new podcast called Tales Unveiled. Combining real Oklahoma urban legends with a fictional plot line of a greater mystery, Tales Unveiled follows two writers with different pursuits as they team up to unveil stories in their city. Details on the other new shows will be announced when the time comes, but know that there are more in development already.
In phase three, the studio will start the application process to become a 501(c)3 non-profit. As we build a community and resources, we’ll begin building a home to create our shows. As for where exactly the studio will be built, that is up in the air. Oklahoma City is growing and changing, and we’re a few years away from that stage of development. Events and community engagement will also start to become more prevalent in phase three. We’ll do live shows around town to build excitement for what we’re creating here.
How You Can Help:
The best way you can right now is to become a Patron on Patreon. Patreon is a platform for creatives to not only earn a living creating things but to engage with their supporters to improve their craft. For a cup of coffee a month, you’ll be able to get early access to shows, vote on what I work on next, as well as exclusive content in The Vault. There are all kinds of rewards for you. Plus I want you to know that I have never charged anyone for coverage, and I never want to get into any situation where I have to choose between an advertiser or a story. I am asking for your contribution to keep being independent.
While ambitious, I believe that through the power of collaboration, all things are possible. I’ve been working toward this for years now, brainstorming ideas, meeting talented people, and learning how to make this possible (and still learning).
I thank you for your time and your support.
Executive Program Director