publication date: Sep. 4, 2020

Mojo Sharpless, “world’s smartest dog,” shows off her talent to kids at NCI’s Camp Fantastic

By Alexandria Carolan

Earlier this summer, NCI Director Ned Sharpless faced a big challenge: produce a video for kids with cancer at Camp Fantastic.



Campers are a tough audience, far less forgiving than members of BSA, NCAB and CTAC. “What do I have that they would want to know about?” Sharpless pondered.

Stories about achieving a higher payline on R01 grants wouldn’t work. Playing guitar didn’t seem promising. “I do play the guitar and stuff—but I’m not nearly as good as [NIH Director] Francis Collins,” Sharpless said to The Cancer Letter.

So what could Sharpless do?

Meanwhile, the answer was staring at him with soulful, amber-colored eyes.


NCI Director Ned Sharpless introduces Mojo, “world’s smartest dog,” in a video to kids at Camp Fantastic.


“The only thing that would be interesting that I could do was the dog video!” Sharpless said. “Rather than an atrocious music video, I decided to go with my dog, because she’s a really smart dog.”

They were a hit. In “Mojo—The World’s Smartest Dog,” the six-year-old tricolor Australian Shepherd performs some very fine tricks. She sits, she lies down, she spins, she rolls over, she leaps through a hoop, she listens and with a scratch of the paw signals … Continue reading Mojo Sharpless, “world’s smartest dog,” shows off her talent to kids at NCI’s Camp Fantastic

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