JIM PARSONS SET TO NARRATE DISCOVERY CHANNEL’S DOCUMENTARY SERIES FIRST IN HUMAN
January 17, 2017
Unprecedented Access Inside the National Institutes of Health’s Building 10 Premieres August 10
Directed by Emmy® Winner John Hoffman; Produced by McGee Media
Near the nation’s capital, on the campus of the National Institutes of Health, sits Building 10: the largest hospital in the world devoted solely to research. Inside, our country’s most brilliant scientific minds carry out some of medicine’s riskiest and most critical research, testing new treatments in people for the very first time.
With unprecedented access to the halls of Building 10, First in Human reveals for the first time how the medical breakthroughs of tomorrow make their way out of the hi-tech research laboratories and into the hands of our world’s medical professionals. The series explores the lives of the doctors, researchers, and patients who together make progress possible in this cutting-edge testing ground. Narrated by Emmy,® Golden Globe®, and Critics Choice® winning actor Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory,” “Hidden Figures,”) directed by Emmy winner John Hoffman, and executive produced by Hoffman and Emmy winner Dyllan McGee, the three-part documentary series begins airing in August 10 at 9pm ET/PT exclusively on Discovery.
Because the treatments they’re testing are so new and their outcomes are entirely unknown, the doctors leading first in human trials at Building 10 can only partner with patients who have exhausted the options the medical establishment has to offer. This doctor-patient partnership is utterly unique to medicine: live or die, each of these brave “first in human” volunteers immediately becomes part of medical history. Previous trials in the building led to the development of modern chemotherapy treatments, the first treatments for HIV/AIDS, and the first successful gene therapy.
First In Human represents the first time cameras have embedded in Building 10 and followed first in human patients throughout their entire trial. This unique access is the product of Hoffman’s nearly twenty years of filmmaking in partnership with the NIH on projects such as The Alzheimer’s Project and The Weight of the Nation.
“NIH’s Building 10 has given generations hope when they need it most,” comments Rich Ross, Group President, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Science Channel, and Velocity. “We are proud that the NIH has invited Discovery inside their doors for an unvarnished look at how these brave men and women work hand in hand with their doctors and technologists to seek cures to the most confounding diseases that exist.”
“Because of the very nature of first in human trials, most of the patients who enter Building 10 to enroll in them are remarkably unique: all standard care out in the world has failed them,” says Hoffman. “What was most powerful about embedding in Building 10 and following these trials was observing how the doctors and patients came to rely on each other in a true partnership to advance medicine.”
States Parsons, “I know that everyone who watches First in Human will feel the same sense of pride I did when I discovered this incredible institution that our country created. I hope viewers will share the sense of gratitude and awe that I felt when learning about the human beings who bravely put their lives in the hands of some of our most innovative scientists and doctors as they search together for the medicines and cures that give all of us fuller, longer lives. This is truly the story of how we, as human beings, function: both at an elemental level and at our most profound.”
"The NIH Clinical Center’s more than 60-year history has resulted in remarkable medical advances, from the first use of chemotherapy to treat cancer, to the development of the technique to keep the blood supply clean and safe from viruses," said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. “For millions of patients around the world, it is known as the National Institutes of Hope.”
From leukemia to sickle cell disease to the rarest diseases on the planet, First in Human captures the stories of the doctors, researchers, staff, and, most importantly, the patients and families in this remarkable facility that together are pushing far into the unknown.
FIRST IN HUMAN is produced by McGee Media for Discovery Channel. The series is directed by John Hoffman; produced by, John Hoffman, Beth Wichterich, and Michael Epstein; narrated by, Jim Parsons; executive producers Dyllan McGee, Jim Parsons, Todd Spiewak, and Eric Norsoph; producer, Jon Bardin; supervising producer, Stacia Thompson; senior editor, Adriana Pacheco; director of photography, Simon Schneider. For Discovery Channel, supervising producer, Jon Bardin; executive producer, John Hoffman.