MScBMC Viewbook 2019

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Master of Science in Biomedical Communications Viewbook 2019


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“Knowing how to think...”


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MScBMC Viewbook 2019


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MScBMC Viewbook 2019 Showcasing work by the graduating class of 2019 from the Master of Science in Biomedical Communications at the University of Toronto.

Edited by Chelsea Canlas, Jerry Gu, and Geoffrey Cheung Published by the Biomedical Communications Alumni Association of Toronto Printed by PrintZone Digital, Toronto, ON


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Foreword The Biomedical Communications program at the University of Toronto began in 1945, and its roots go even farther back to the establishment by Maria Wishart of the Department of Medical Art Services at U. of T.’s Faculty of Medicine in the 1920s. 2019 is MScBMC’s 74th year as an academic program, and we are looking forward to being able to celebrate the 75th anniversary next year. When we introduce people to the program, they are always surprised by the age of the program; we think this is because what we do at MScBMC seems to be so current, so of the moment. What is that moment? We live in a time where science advances at a more and more hectic pace, and the myriad challenges of explaining those advances is crucial to learning, and to informed decision-making. That decision-making can be local and particular, as in an individual choosing a course of therapy for an illness, or it can be broad and societal, as in advocating for effective responses to environmental threats. The need for effective science communication is growing, and the challenges exist across a range of subject matter and audiences. Our students and graduates, unique in the country, are extraordinarily well-equipped to take on these important challenges. Seeing these possibilities is gratifying, but on a more personal level, working with our brilliant and motivated students is a complete joy. They bring their deep domain knowledge, their commitment and enthusiasm, and their boundless creativity to every project. They are challenged to learn new content, new technology, and new strategies every day. What almost every project in MScBMC demands, though, is empathy: the ability to metaphorically step into the perspective of the learner, or the researcher, or the patient yearning for information, and ask themselves, “how would I need this to be depicted?” Our students care, and as a result they illuminate a little bit more of the world every day. We think you will agree that illumination spills from the following pages in the beautiful and informative work of the Class of 2019. We would like to profoundly thank our alumni association Viewbook team, including Chelsea Canlas, Jerry Gu, and especially Geoffrey Cheung for working with the class of 2019 to put this year’s Viewbook together. It was Geoffrey’s vision that started the Viewbook last year, and the superb result that you hold in your hands is largely due to his selfless dedication and unrelenting effort. MScBMC is truly lucky to have such an engaged and active alumni group providing support and community for our graduates and students.

—Jodie Jenkinson and Nicholas Woolridge, October 2019


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Copyrights to all artwork belong to their respective creators. All artwork are reproduced here with the creators’s permissions. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or in any means – by electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise – without prior written permission from the editors and the creators.


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Legend Alexander Young

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Amy Cao

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Avesta Rastan

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Carmen Burroughs

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Colleen Tang Poy

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Contessa Giontsis

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Felix Donghwi Son

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Jenny Chin

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Julia Devorak

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Kim Nipp

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Maurita Hung

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Mona Li

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Nitai Steinberg

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Rachael Whitehead

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Shawn Liu

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Shirley Long

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Tracy Xiang

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Alexander Young Alex specialized in 3D modelling and the design of impactful, interactive user experiences. His research project focused on the development of a digital surgical simulator capable of teaching physicians how to perform fetoscopic laser ablation therapy, while simultaneously exploring if the fidelity of digital visualizations could be used to scaffold learning within simulators. Alex joined the MScBMC program with a Bachelor of Science from McMaster University and a love for narrative-driven video games.


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Editorial Illustration A magazine cover designed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Institute of Medical Science (IMS). Used for a special edition of IMS Magazine, a studentrun publication that highlights health science research, the cover celebrates the rich history of the IMS and the diverse research, clinical and professional aspects of the department.

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Alexander Young 1. Final Illustration. The final cover was rendered in Cinema 4D and composited in Illustrator. Each room represents a different facet of the IMS and the diverse programs that operate under its umbrella.

3. Composite Draft. Several thumbnail iterations were completed before the final, isometric room concept was settled on for the final cover.

2. Thumbnail Sketch. Preliminary sketches were made to plan the isometric arrangement of each room and ensure there was space to showcase the many departments of the IMS.

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Alexander Young

Molecular Visualization Diet, Obesity, and Type 2 Diabetes is an illustration depicting the relationship between high-fat diets, obesity, and insulin resistance in Type 2 Diabetes. The purpose of the project was to illustrate a scientifically accurate molecular interaction for the educated layperson, in the form of a Scientific American style figure.

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1. Thumbnail Sketches. Sketches were made to compare traditional, comparative approaches with dynamic molecular views while determining which characters and environments were necessary for the narrative. 2. Composite Drafts. Refined sketches explored character placement and potential colour schemes for the final render.

13 3. Final Illustration. Combining several thumbnail elements, viewers are guided through a familiar gross-anatomic pathway before introducing more complex molecular processes. 4. Final Illustration. The final visualization compared the normal and pathological molecular processes along the top and bottom respectively.


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Data Visualization Indigenous & Incarcerated is a mock data visualization project meant to highlight the disparities within the Canadian justice and prison system with respect to Indigenous peoples. The visualization was designed as an interactive web article for both desktop and mobile devices that allowed users to explore data points and statistical information.

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Alexander Young 1. Final Wireframes. Meant to resemble a web article, the final piece was designed as a series of pages that users could scroll/ navigate through. Each page provided introductory text along with animated, interactive data visualizations. 2. Thumbnail Sketches. Quick sketches were used to both compile research and statistics while arranging content into a cohesive and compelling narrative

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chronicling how Indigenous peoples are targeted by the Canadian justice system. 3. Mockup. The final piece was meant to be viewed on a desktop or via mobile devices that users could directly touch and interact with in a manner that rewarded exploration.


Alexander Young

Interactive Design WTF, or What’s in The Fridge, is a recipe builder that allows users to select the ingredients they have on hand and search the web for recipes that utilize just those ingredients. Working with fellow MScBMC students Julia Devorak and Shawn Liu, the team designed and created a prototype iOS application geared towards busy university students and young professionals (or those with a sad fridge).

1. User Wireflow. Low-fidelity wireframes were used to provide an initial example of our user interface and establish the interactions and microinteractions required for users to navigate the app.

15 3. Pitch Presentation. The final deliverable for the project was to formally pitch the app, demonstrating the design research our group completed and a low-fidelity prototype of the app.

2. Wireframe. High-fidelity mockups of select screens were produced to showcase what the final, polished versions of the app would look like. The concept was a minimalistic, modern design that was simple and fun to use.

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Twin-twin Training Simulator Twin-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) is a rare, but major complication during monochorionic twin pregnancies, and requires fetoscopic laser ablation, a complex surgical procedure. The Masters Research Project was designed to create a prototype digital simulator to help teach physicians while exploring if adapting visual complexity could improve learning outcomes.

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Alexander Young 1. Initial Wireframe. An initial concept sketch of the final simulator. This early iteration helped guide how the 3D assets, UI elements, and user interactions should be designed.

2. Joystick Construction. A proof-ofconcept laparoscopic joystick was created using 3D printed pieces, the analog stick of a game controller, and the optical sensor of a mouse sliding along a wooden dowel.


Alexander Young 3. Simulator Stills. The final prototype consisted of a single in utero scene developed in Unity, optimized to run on both Windows and Mac OS devices.

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4. Wireframes. Robust design documentation complimented the working prototype, including a developer walkthrough featuring high-fidelity wireframes outlining the final design and the necessary user interactions and microinteractions.

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Amy Cao Amy focused on compelling 2D and 3D visual storytelling during her time in the MScBMC program, specializing in editorial spreads, covers, infographics, and 3D animations. At the heart of her work is the desire to inspire viewers to see the wondrous beauty of the biological world from new perspectives. Her 3D animation research project focused on publicizing a new discovery in the realm of lupus research. Before MScBMC, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Integrative Biology from the University of California, Berkeley.


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Molecular Visualization Let There Be Light: Using Fireflies in Cancer Research is a magazine spread explaining how the interactions of the firefly enzyme luciferase allow for its use in the laboratory technique of in vivo bioluminescence imaging.

Amy Cao 1. Thumbnail Sketches. Various rough sketches helped to explore different layouts of visual elements at different scales, which in turn affected storytelling elements. 2. Composite Draft. Refinement of the story focus led to more solid layout compositions using protein images created in Chimera.

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3. Final Illustration. After various iterations, the final layout takes the audience smoothly through each curated step of the story.


Amy Cao

3D and Editorial Illustration Whether depicting literal subjects like in Osteocytes in Bone or painting abstract metaphors like in the mock Scientific American cover A Common Root of Mental Illness, 3D imagery is a powerful tool for biomedical illustrators.

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1. 3D Study. Soft jelly-like osteocytes sit in their lacunae caves within hard, matured bone matrix. Their long cytoplasmic extensions snake through the bone’s tiny canaliculi canals. 2. Thumbnail Sketches. Experimental sketches for a mock journal cover explored how to represent the concept that major mental illnesses share common genes.

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21 3. Final illustration. Titled A Common Root of Mental Illness, the final piece used particle and deforming effects in Maya to create a brain-shaped tree with DNA-shaped roots.


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Pathological Illustrations Iron-Deficiency Anemia is a magazine spread illustrating for the public the pathological step-by-step progression of anemia in the bone and blood at tissue and cellular scales.

Amy Cao 1. Thumbnail Sketches and Colour Study. Rough sketches explored various layout designs. Colour studies were conducted on the final design, chosen because it immerses viewers into the tissue environment of the bone. 2. Study. Preliminary tissue cube illustrations were created to gain an in-depth understanding of anemia and helped to decide on which story points to cover in the final spread.

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3. Final Illustration. The warm colours used for rendering on the left side imply health, while the cool colours on the right imply a diseased state.


Amy Cao

Infographic Illustration Biomimicry: Mimicking the Masters is an infographic explaining the concept of biomimicry (the imitation of natural biological designs in human invention) to an educated lay audience. It integrates text, illustrations, and diagrams to explain complex scientific concepts in an approachable manner.

1. Sketches and Notes. Sketches and notes, as well as preliminary layout ideas, were jotted down during the indepth research process into biomimicry concepts. 2. Composite Draft. The base layout, experimenting with the locations of images and text, was designed in Photoshop. 3. Final Illustration. The final infographic integrates text, illustrations and diagrams in a layout designed for a fold-out magazine spread, such as in National Geographic. Illustrations were rendered in Photoshop, and the entire infographic was assembled in Illustrator.

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O Death Where Is Thy Sting? Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks healthy tissues. Our understanding of the disease is poor and treatments are few, but a new discovery about the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) has promising therapeutic potential. This 3D animation aims to educate students, researchers, and the science-savvy public about this discovery to fuel interest and hope in SLE research.

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Amy Cao 1. Animation Stills. The development of SLE is closely tied with how the immune system disposes of apoptotic cells. Animation of the steps of apoptosis, from healthy to dying cell, was achieved through 3D modeling, texturing, and particle simulations.

2. Storyboard. Multiple storyboard iterations were created to flesh out each scene. The last iteration is shown here.


Amy Cao 3. Production Process. After the storyboard/animatic sketches (left), shots were created in Maya (middle) and edited in After Effects (right).

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4. Final Stills. The final animation immerses viewers in the cellular and molecular environments through camera angles, colour, and lighting.

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Avesta Rastan During her time at the MScBMC program, Avesta regularly sought to push the boundaries of biomedical media in order to create a more engaging experience for the audience. Her illustrative work emphasizes innovative layout design and information architecture, and her animation work has a strong focus on atmospheric mood and metaphor. For her research project, she developed a 3D animation in collaboration with SickKids Hospital about a pediatric brain cancer called Medulloblastoma. Prior to entering MScBMC, she completed a Bachelor of Science in Life Sciences at Queen’s University.


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Molecular Visualization The Cancer Paradox is an editorial spread aimed towards an educated lay audience. It visually represents how protein p53, known as the guardian of the genome, is related to cancer risk. Specifically, it illustrates how structural mutations can prevent p53 from binding DNA, compromising its function and promoting cancer.

Avesta Rastan 1. Sketches and Notes. Rough sketches were made to determine the most effective way to visualize the data. After doing a literature review on the structural and functional data of p53, the most important information was distilled and organized in order to increase comprehension and educational outcomes.

it interacts with other proteins and molecules. Considering how prevalent cancer is in our society, the chosen story explores the link between p53 and cancer. 3. 3D Studies. Structural data from the Protein Data Bank (PDB) was imported into UCSF Chimera where it was refined. The 3D models were exported as OBJs and brought into Cinema 4D for further modelling and rendering with the Arnold renderer.

2. Thumbnail Sketches. Several different visual stories were explored, each one focusing on a specific aspect of p53 and how

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Avesta Rastan 4. Look Development. The background scene was modelled in Cinema 4D (later re-rendered in Autodesk Maya) and composited in Adobe Photoshop. The background gives us a glimpse into the nucleus of a cell, where p53 migrates to bind DNA.

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5. Final Illustration. The page layout naturally guides the eyes from the healthy hero, p53, on the left page, to the negative implications that occur when p53 is mutated on the right page. This flow facilitates knowledge scaffolding. The 3D assets were compiled in Adobe Illustrator, along with textual and graphical assets.

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2D Animation Rethinking Nerve Therapy is a 2D science-explainer that highlights a novel surgical technique developed by researchers at the University of Alberta; this technique can be used to treat patients with peripheral nerve injuries. This was a collaboration with Tracy Xiang, Kim Nipp, and Felix Son.

Avesta Rastan 1. Final Stills. Avesta animated scenes with a particular focus on motion graphics and data visualization. She wanted to emphasize seamless transitions and colourful visuals to engage the audience. 2. Asset Development. One of Avesta’s main roles was asset development, which was done in Adobe Illustrator. During this stage it is critical to facilitate team feedback as the assets need to optimized for animation.

3. Look Development. The visual style and colour scheme established the overall look and feel for the final animation. The cartoon style makes the animation more relatable to a broad audience and the bright colours set an optimistic mood.

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Avesta Rastan

Data Visualization Planetary Satellites is a data visualization that simplifies hundreds of lines of data from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory into a poster in order to educate a lay audience about planetary satellites. Many people are unaware of the vast number of moons in the Solar System and the fact that several of them may even be able to sustain life.

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1. Sketches and Notes. With the vast amount of data that was available, it was important to pick and choose the most relevant variables. Various designs and calculations were then used to organize the data in a meaningful way. The final data was visualized using Tableau software. 2. Low Fidelity Prototype. A concept for a mobile platformer game was developed as a supplementary tool to the poster. The main character is an astronaut who

31 is on the quest to find life on the various moons that have promising environmental conditions. 3. Final Illustration. The final was presented as a wall poster approximately 40� by 60�. The design emphasizes the sheer number of moons, their orbital speeds and direction, which planetary system they belong to, the history of discovery, and some fun facts about what it would be like to jump on these moons.


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Illuminating Medulloblastoma Medulloblastoma is the most common childhood brain cancer. For over a century, scientists assumed that it spreads exclusively in cerebrospinal fluid; however, novel research reveals that it can spread through blood as well. This educational 3D animation aims to disseminate this information to the scientific community and educate affected families.

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Avesta Rastan 1. Storyboard. The storyboard includes the visuals and narrative that determine the linear storytelling of the animation, as well as animated aspects such as transitions. The narrative emphasized metaphor, comparing the process of scientific discovery to a light in a maze. This allows the audience to see the bigger picture.

2. Production Process. Assets were modelled in ZBrush and Autodesk Maya, animated in Autodesk Maya, rendered using Arnold, and composited in Adobe After Effects. During the production process, Avesta focused on 2D/3D motion graphics and establishing atmosphere.


Avesta Rastan 3. Final Stills. Various screenshots from the animation reveal the overall colour scheme and mood. Considering the sensitive material of the topic, a cinematic mood was chosen as this facilitates a good balance of emotions and creates a more immersive experience.

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Carmen Burroughs Carmen entered the MScBMC program with a passion for rendering intricate narratives after completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts (specializing in drawing and printmaking) at East Tennessee State University. During her time at MScBMC she focused on refining her digital painting techniques and learning both 2D and 3D animation. Her research project – a collaboration with The Royal Ontario Museum – involved developing a 3D and traditional handdrawn 2D animation about bat flight.


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Carmen Burroughs

Pathological Illustration Along Came a Spider is a magazine spread for the educated public detailing the pathological changes in tissue over time due to loxoscelism (tissue necrosis) resulting from the bite of a brown recluse. Misdiagnosis of loxoscelism is common, often due to victims overlooking the spider bite and poor identification of the brown recluse spider itself.

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1. Study. A grayscale tissue cube study done to experiment with digital painting techniques that could be used to realistically convey the pathology over time across the different layers of skin and muscle. 2. Composite Draft. After several iterations, a final comprehensive sketch was decided on that effectively detailed the spread layout for both images and text elements of the magazine spread.

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3. Final Illustration. After sketch refinement and final alterations, flat colours were rendered using Illustrator. These colour flats were brought into Photoshop for final rendering, and then the spread was finalized with text and labels back in Illustrator.


Carmen Burroughs

Molecular and Surgical Visualizations Using 3D in Visual Storytelling. For both a molecular spread for the educated public and an instructional surgical illustration, 3D programs were utilized to aid in the visual storytelling – to render out final visual pieces for the composition (molecular) and to act as a maquette to help in creating accurate, final 2D renderings (surgical).

1. Final Illustration. A magazine spread for the educated public detailing the process of how the Ebola virus enters and takes over a host cell.

3. Maquette. Referencing the system brochure of a specific modular rail system (MRS) used in an observed surgery, a 3D maquette was constructed.

2. 3D Studies. Different 3D renderings of the binding of NPC1 and GPcl. They were then composted together in Photoshop for the final spread so that the binding site of the two is represented simultaneously with the overall structure.

4. Final Illustration. The 3D maquette was then posed, printed, and used to aid throughout the final rendering of the MRS in the illustration.

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Carmen Burroughs

2D Animation The Power of Obedience is a 2D animation created for an Intro to Psych course at McMaster University. The goal was to make the information from classic studies more readily accessible, and to summarize the social psychology concept of obedience using engaging and clear character animation and motion graphics. This was a collaboration with Colleen Tang Poy, Contessa Giontsis and Nitai Steinberg.

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1. Look Development. Sketches that detail the look and feel of the final animation. Colour palettes, line widths, and stylization were all designed to match the overall tone of each scene of the animation.

2. Storyboard. The final storyboard of the introductory scene of the animation. Aspects such as camera movement, character movement, transitions, motion graphics, and narration are all detailed and worked through.


Carmen Burroughs

3D and Editorial Illustrations Two projects that involved utilizing 3D programs to create editorial style visualizations.

1.Production Process. Referencing photos of Cockatoos, a basic model was created in Maya. It was then brought into Zbrush where the model was refined/detailed/ coloured. The model was then brought back into Maya, rigged, posed, and placed into the final scene. 2. Final Illustration.

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39 3. 3D Study. A 3D scene of a moray eel. The eel was modeled, detailed, and coloured in Zbrush, referencing photos and a sculpey maquette. It was then brought into Cinema 4D where it was posed and lit with modeled rocks.


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Bats in Flight A 3D and 2D animation on bat flight that conveys the basic information needed to understand bat flight (anatomy, aerodynamics, morphology, etc.) in an engaging and explicit way for the general public. This animation will further educate the public on bats in hopes of decreasing negative perceptions and myth beliefs. With an increase in knowledge, positive perceptions, and interest, hopefully the general public interest in bat conservation will also increase.

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Carmen Burroughs 1. Storyboard. The first version of the storyboard for the intro scene of the animation that went on to go through several iterations. Aspects such as camera movement, character movement, transitions, motion graphics, and narration are all detailed and worked through. 2. Production Process. Two key elements of the animation: the 3D bat model and hand-drawn 2D animation. Shown on the left are the Zbrush cleaned, detailed,

and posed CT scan data bat bones, and a finalized bat model sculpted initially in Maya, refined in Zbrush, and brought back into Maya where it has been rigged for movement and given flexible membranes. On the right is an in-progress shot from a 2D scene compared to the finalized version.


Carmen Burroughs 3. Render Studies. A series of still images taken from the finalized flight cycle of the bat model. The flight cycle went through many iterations to achieve accuracy.

Motion graphics and text were added where needed and sound design was added to finalize the animation.

4. Final Stills. A set of still images from various scenes – both 3D and 2D – throughout the final animation. Renderings from both Maya and Photoshop were brought into After Effects where they were composited together to align with the final narration and edited.

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Colleen Tang Poy Colleen specialized in interactive media design in the MScBMC program after completing an Honours Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behaviour at McMaster University. She has always found herself at the intersection of art and science, particularly interested in using mediums such as games and comics to communicate complex topics. She is driven by a passion for good storytelling and accessibility in education, and seeks opportunities to increase diversity in media, learn new skills, and see the real impact on real people.


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Graphic Medicine Unboxing the Bitterness is a graphic memoir that reflects upon personal experiences amalgamated with other’s perspectives on grief in the context of diasporic ChineseCanadian individuals.

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Colleen Tang Poy 1. Panel Blocking. Shapes were created to block out the space for illustrations bounded by panels on the page. This provided an idea of composition early on in the production process. 2. Final Layout. Using the panel blocking as a guide, text and panels were created on top of the final illustrations.

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3. Look Development. Different styles and representations of characters and imagery used in the comic were explored prior to rendering.


Colleen Tang Poy 4. Thumbnail Sketches. Rough sketches of imagery for each panel/page were created to communicate the outline for the comic and test out visual storytelling ideas, such that feedback could be collected prior to rendering.

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5. Final Illustration. Final illustrations, panels, and text were compiled for the finished comic.

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Molecular Visualization Poison for Pain is a two-page spread intended for a printed venue like Scientific American. Its goal is to illustrate the mechanism behind how the neurotoxin tetrodotoxin (TTX) disrupts the action potential and its possible clinical applications. This project’s major challenges was finding a cohesive narrative that could be told within two pages without being overly technical.

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Colleen Tang Poy 1. Thumbnail Sketches. Several thumbnail sketches were created to explore different possible narratives and visualizations for the spread, receive feedback, and identify which narrative was most successful.

2. 3D Render. Molecules, membranes, and channels were rendered in 3D to differentiate from the digitally painted elements of the spread that exist on the macroscale.


Colleen Tang Poy

Pathological Illustration This piece was designed as a two-page spread to summarize Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) information in an engaging and accessible way, by depicting a person of colour with PCOS and actively using gender inclusive language and symbols. Additionally, two different rendering styles were used to differentiate between the presentation of the pathology at two different scales.

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1. Colour Studies. Once a composite sketch was created, different colour schemes were explored. 2. Tissue Cube Study. Drawings of the physical changes the follicles undergo in a body with PCOS were created to garner a better understanding of the pathogenesis of the condition, and experiment with different visualization methods for communicating.

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47 3. Final Illustration. Individual parts of the illustration were rendered in Photoshop and then composited into the layout created in Illustrator.


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Sugar Scramble Sugar Scramble is designed to be a 2D computer game that uses a digital game-based learning (DGBL) approach. Games actively engage the learner with an immersive environment that facilitates productive negativity—players making and learning from their mistakes—which can potentially promote a conceptual understanding of the pathways. This project involved creating robust design documentation and all of the visual assets required to create the game.

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Colleen Tang Poy 1. Bonus Illustrations. Prior to rendering, illustrative components—such as bonus infographics for successfully completing levels—were thumbnailed and sent to the project’s content advisors for feedback and to check for inaccuracies.

2. Level UI Documentation. The project’s design documentation includes an annotated view of the level environment and all of the user interactions possible.


Colleen Tang Poy 3. Level Solutions Map. The relationships between the metabolic pathways within the scope of the game were visualized and sent to the project’s content advisors to confirm its accuracy. This document was primarily used for reference of a successful player’s end-state in the game.

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4. Game UI Documentation. Other UI elements outside of the level were also described using annotated versions of the assets to communicate user interactions.

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49 5. Final Level UI Wireframe. All of the game’s assets were created in Illustrator and a short animation demonstrating a robust context scenario was produced to communicate the functionalities of the game and UI.



Contessa Giontsis Upon entering the MScBMC program, Contessa completed an Honours Bachelor of Kinesiology at the University of Toronto. She then specialized in 2D and 3D animation while creating a patient education animation for fertility patients to understand what happens in the fertility lab between egg retrieval and embryo transfer. Contessa has always been passionate about creating effective communication material. Her goal is to implement what she has learned to bridge communication gaps across various disciplines, and to learn more about designthinking and how this can change the way we think, teach, and learn.


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Contessa Giontsis

Molecular Visualization This two-page magazine spread shows how escitalopram interacts with the serotonin transporter protein to treat depression. This illustration compares, at the molecular level, the interactions between serotonin, the serotonin transporter protein, the primary and allosteric binding sites, and the serotonin receptor during a depressive state vs. treated state.

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1.Thumbnail Sketches. Several rough sketches were created to explore the best way to communicate how escitalopram interacts with the serotonin transporter protein at the molecular level. 2. 3D Studies. Different structural representations of the serotonin transporter protein were explored to find the one that best shows the structural relationship between the transporter protein, and the escitalopram molecule.

3. Final Illustration. The final synaptic cleft image was created as a 3D model in Cinema 4D and then exported into Photoshop for colour enhancement. Additional labels and arrows were added in Illustrator.


Contessa Giontsis

Pathological Illustration This illustration shows the anatomy and pathology of GERD and the progressive morphological changes of esophageal tissue on a macroscopic and microscopic scale when exposed to chronic gastric acid. The design of this illustration maximizes space to visually show the action and pathology of GERD, enabling viewers to make connections between different stages of the disease.

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1. Sketches. Several initial sketches were created to explore different visual storytelling methods. The primary goal was to find a layout that best communicated what GERD is, and the pathology behind the disease. 2. Colour Studies. Once the final sketches were created, different colour schemes were explored.

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53 3. Final Illustration. Final sketches were created in Procreate and then rendered in Photoshop, while final compositing and labeling was completed in Illustrator.


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Contessa Giontsis

Kinesiological Illustration

1. Sketches. Several sketches were created to find the best layout to compare and contrast the effect of ankle dorsiflexion range of motion on lifting mechanics. 2. Colour Studies. Several colour studies were created to explore the best visual communication method that enhanced storytelling and reduced visual clutter.

In collaboration with a kinesiologist at the University of Toronto, a series of PowerPoint illustrations were created to help undergraduate kinesiology students understand the relationship between ankle, knee, and hip biomechanics of a person with sufficient and limited ankle dorsiflexion flexibility, and how this affects posture during lifting.

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3. Final Illustrations. Final images were created in Illustrator and separated into multiple PowerPoint slides instead of one, to distribute the visual information in a way that enhanced the storytelling.


Contessa Giontsis

2D Animation

1. Initial Storyboard. Several rough sketches were created to explore various transitions between scenes.

This 2D animation was part of a team project produced in collaboration with McMaster University for an introductory psychology course. The goal of this project was to communicate to undergraduate students the psychology behind obedience in a fun and engaging way. Specifically, the animation discusses the experimental setup and main findings of two main obedient studies.

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2. Storyboard. Several colour studies were created to explore different ways to enhance the look and feel of each scene.

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Contessa Giontsis

Illuminating the Black Box of Procedures in the Fertility Lab It is important for fertility patients to understand the process of in vitro fertilization (IVF). This animation was created to increase patient knowledge on fertility lab procedures, by accurately visualizing the laboratory processes between egg retrieval and embryo transfer.

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In-Vitro Fertilization...

There are 3 stages of egg maturity:

...or IVF is made up of 4 main components:

1) Germinal vesicle egg, a very immature egg 2) Metaphase I egg 3) And Metaphase II egg, a mature egg.

1) Germinal vesicle egg, a very immature egg 2) Metaphase I egg 3) And Metaphase II egg, a mature egg.

If you are planning IVF, all 4 components will apply to you.

Understanding each of these components is important, but, between egg retrieval and embryo transfer lies a crucial step that patients cannot observe…

...the Lab.

Important decisions about your eggs and embryos are made in the lab. Not knowing what takes place there can make it seem like a black box.

Let’s demystify what happens in the fertility lab...

...by looking inside this box.

After egg retrieval, the embryologist identifies the eggs from the surrounding follicular fluid...

and places them inside individual wells within a drop dish.

The eggs...

...are then placed inside an incubator for 4-6 hours before fertilization.

Fertilization can occur either by: conventional fertilization, or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

In conventional fertilization, each well containing an egg is injected with sperm from a sperm sample provided from the intended parent or a sperm donor.

Now surrounded by numerous sperm...

...the eggs are placed back into the incubator, in the hopes that one will fertilize the egg.

In intracytoplasmic sperm injection, or ICSI...

While there are sufficient resources available to explain all of the stages, there are very few resources outlining what happens in the fertility lab between egg retrieval and embryo transfer. Patients are not permitted to enter the lab, which makes it feel like a “black box”. This animation was designed to address this knowledge gap.

1. Storyboard. An initial storyboard was created to determine the linear storytelling of the animation, as well as animation transitions between scenes.


Contessa Giontsis 2. Lab Doors Closed. The lab doors are initially closed representing the knowledge gap between egg retrieval and embryo transfer.

4. Final Stills. Various screen shots from the animation development that reveal the design thinking process.

3. Lab Doors Open. The lab doors are now open inviting the viewer to “come in� and be illuminated on what happens in the fertility lab.

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Felix Donghwi Son Felix is a biomedical communicator with a passion for storytelling in science, and aesthetics of nature. He is from South Korea with a background as a medical representative in the pharmaceutical field, a military chef, and a world traveler. His mother is a painter, so his love of art and nature started early in his childhood. This intrigued him to pursue microbial engineering at Konkuk University in Seoul where his interests in science visualization grew. He continued to develop his artistic and technical capabilities in 2D illustration and 3D animation at MScBMC. He is looking forward to continue exploring visualization of cellular and subcellular processes.


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Felix Donghwi Son

Infographic Illustration

1. Thumbnail Sketch. Layout explorations created in service of determining the most effective organization of content and intuitive display of information.

Information on organelles other subcellular structures is fragmented and difficult to find, and often, available information misrepresents their scale and size. This creates ample room for misconceptions. Quantification of Cellular Organelle Size aims to provide students with an accurate and comprehensive view of the typical mammalian cell and its composite structures.

2. Final Illustration. The cell and its organelles were modelled with the prevailing scientific data such as the proportions and dimensions of organelles described in Cell Biology by the Numbers (Milo and Phillips, 2015).The colourscheme was designed to emphasize the

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relationship between cellular structures depicted in the central graphic and the scientific data presented in the legend. The simple black background helps to focus attention on the relevant sections of the visualization.


Felix Donghwi Son

Editorial Illustration VIROCOP is an editorial illustration concept for a for a science journal targeting both the general public and scientists. The concept features a modified adenovirus, a vector expensively explored as an oncolytic virus. In the final image, a “viral cop” searches and targets a cancer cells via its surface receptor.

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1. Concept sketch. The initial concept created in Procreate depicts a lock and key model that emphasizes the targeting mechanism of oncolytic viruses targeting cancer cells. 2. Composite Draft. This 3D mock-up shows the concept having evolved to depict the virus as a viral cop searching for and targeting cancer cells.

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61 3. Final Cover. The final image emphasizes the engineered nature of the virus by its highly manufactured appearance. Mechanical parts and inorganic materials dominate the model’s design. In contrast, the cancer cell is organic in form and texture. Spotlights highlight the targeted receptor protein, drawing the viewer’s gaze towards the moment of cancer detection.


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Felix Donghwi Son

Pathology Illustration

1. Study. This drawing explores of the landscape of the effected tissue. Depicted are the mitral valve and left ventricle as seen from the apex of heart.

Chronic Rheumatic Heart Disease was designed for an educated lay audience. This editorial illustration visualizes the pathological processes in the mitral valve resulting from chronic rheumatic heart disease. The goal was to create a conceptual illustration demonstrating etiology, pathogenesis, and clinical consequences of a disease.

2. Composite Draft. This image captures an intermediate layout. Etiology, pathogenesis, and clinical consequences of the disease are clearly laid out. 3. Final Illustration. On the first page of the spread, the anterior part of the left ventricle including right ventricular

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outflow tract is removed to better show the mitral valve. Etiology and pathogenesis are explained in three steps, using colorcoded labels and vector elements for clear communication. On the second page, the mitral valve is visualized at a bigger scale with call outs to ensure effective connection between pathogenesis and clinical consequences.


Felix Donghwi Son

Molecular Visualization Designed for an educated lay audience, ATR-inhibitor shows the biomolecular structure, function, and mechanism of action of a promising cancer suppressor, VS-970.

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1. Comprehensive Sketch. Initial ideation exploring layout considering eye-flow. 2. Composite Draft. Initial draft incorporating 3D assets, sketches, and text.

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63 3. Final Illustration. ATR suppression is explained in five steps. Key events are depicted on two microscopic scales: the atomic and the macromolecular. Colours and depth are used in combination atop a simple clean background to enhance clarity and communication.


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The Role of Actin in Cell Motility

Felix Donghwi Son 1. Final Still. Animation still depicting rapid elongation of parallel actin bundle regulated by elongation factor, Formin.

2. Final Still and Storyboard. Animation still and storyboard panel depicting the mesh-like actin network inside of lamellipodia.

This 3D animation was developed as a supplementary learning resource for cell biology students. The Role of Actin in Cell Motility’s primary goal was to bridge common yet crucial knowledge gaps the students’ understanding of the actin cytoskeleton and its role in cell movement.

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Felix Donghwi Son 1. Final Still. Animation still depicting lymphocytes crawling in tissue.

3. Final Still. Animation still depicting tissues emitting inflammatory signals.

2. Final Still and Storyboard. Animation Still and Storyboard Panel showing a top down view of a crawling lymphocyte and its contractile stress fibres within.

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Jenny Chin Jenny has been using art to learn science from a young age. During her undergraduate studies in cell systems biology and immunology at the University of Toronto, she took an interest in anatomy and the microscopic world of cells, as well as the way they were taught in courses. She enjoyed applying this knowledge at MScBMC to create unique 2D and 3D perspectives into unseeable cellular phenomena. Her MRP included a 3D animated look into subcellular structures aimed at undergraduate biology students.


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Jenny Chin

Editorial Illustration The goal of Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a ‘T’ was to research, plan and model a 3D scene based on an existing scientific article. The article discussed engineering NK cells to “fight” cancer in the same way as previously successful T-cell therapies, which inspired the boxing metaphor and the final title.

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1. Thumbnail Sketches. The initial sketches explored the boxing metaphor and worked out layout and colour blocking in Photoshop. After feedback, it was decided that the final design would be a direct homage to Neil Leifer’s famous 1965 photo of Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston.

2. Final Illustration (without text). The characters, boxing ring and clothing items were modeled in Maya, then refined in ZBrush. The texture and displacement maps were edited in Photoshop. The scene was rendered in Maya using Arnold. The final elements were composited with text and depth of field effects in After Effects.


Jenny Chin

Molecular Visualization The goal of Hold on Tight: How Cadherins Keep our Cells Together was to create a two-page 3D spread for a popular science magazine that focused on the unique qualities of a particular protein. This spread focused on cadherins, a family of adhesion proteins that uses calcium to bind cells to each other.

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1. Thumbnail Sketches. Layout sketches were done to determine the most visually interesting way of presenting the information. Inspiration was taken from a zipper, a rock climber, and Michelangelo’s “The Creation of Adam”. 2. Comprehensive Sketch. The layout was refined in Photoshop by tracing over the cadherins’ ribbon structures. The first draft of text was composited in Illustrator.

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69 3. Final Illustration. The protein structures were accessed from the Protein Data Bank, spliced together in Chimera, and rendered in Cinema 4D using the ePMV plugin. Separate render layers of the cadherins and lipid bilayers were composited and colourcorrected in Photoshop. The final text and 2D diagram were added in Illustrator.


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Graphic Medicine This is Nuts. A Comic About My Food Allergy is an educational graphic memoir about a unique experience, in this case, growing up with a severe nut allergy. The comic was originally intended to educate and reassure parents of children with serious food allergies, but it evolved into a story that can provide insight to anyone interested in learning about food allergies.

Jenny Chin 1. Production Process. The script was first written up in Word, then divided into pages. In Photoshop, the text was divided into text boxes and placed into a rough layout of panels. After feedback, the layout of some pages changed, and the visual style was decided upon.

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2. Final Illustration (excerpt). The final drawings were done in Photoshop and the text was put together in Illustrator and compiled into a printable booklet in Acrobat. This page shows a collection of common snacks that contain peanut and nut products.


Jenny Chin

Surgical Illustrations The goal of Laparoscopic-Assisted Right Partial Nephrectomy was to observe a surgical procedure and break it down into steps that may be referenced by a doctor or a medical student. This procedure was a laparoscopicassisted right partial nephrectomy, during which the bowel is moved in order to access a tumor on the kidney.

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1. Final Illustration. After many rounds of feedback, one of the final drawings shows the procedure by which laparoscopic tools are used to identify the blood supply to the kidney in the retroperitoneal space. The drawing was done in traditional pen and ink, edited in Photoshop, and labeled in Illustrator.

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2. Sketches and Notes. Taking notes and photos during the surgical observation was a crucial part of the process. The below sketchbook visually and verbally notes each step and each view through the laparoscopic camera. A timestamp on each note aids the review process.


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Jenny Chin

A Visual Literacy Module on Subcellular Scale

1. Rigging (Character). The main character of the 3D animation is this character, Blobert, who was modeled from scratch, rigged and animated in Maya. 2. Rigging (Hands). Both hands were meticulously programmed with driven keys to control wrist flexion, extension, pronation, supination, ulnar/radial flexion, and individual finger flexion and extension. All of these settings resulted in the ability to animate realistic hand movements.

Students often develop misconceptions based on how information is represented, especially when it comes to the microscopic scale. Two animations were developed into a module to dispel these misconceptions: a 3D one that teaches the scale of subcellular structures, and a 2D one that explains why scale is sometimes misrepresented in visualizations.

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3. Rigging (Object Tracking). Blobert was modeled without 3D facial features for ease of animation. His face was a transparent, animated 2D layer that was tracked onto his head in After Effects using object tracking, which allowed facial expressions to be added in post-production.


Jenny Chin The 3D animation gives viewers a frame of reference for the relative scale of microscopic structures by magnifying a fibroblast cell to the size of an average person and comparing the organelles to familiar everyday objects. For example, if a cell were the size of a person, mitochondria would be approximately the size of sub sandwiches.

4. 3D Modelling and Rigging (MASH). The base sandwich was modeled and textured in ZBrush, then replicated using MASH in Maya. The replicated sandwiches were animated colliding with Blobert and the surrounding models using MASH dynamics.

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73 5. 3D Studies. The organelles were sculpted in ZBrush and rendered in Maya, then composited onto an empty fibroblast cell in After Effects. The organelles were composited in layers like this to save rendering time and to add flexibility when editing.



Julia Devorak Julia entered the MScBMC program with a Bachelor of Science in Cognitive Science and graduate training in Neuroscience. During her time at MScBMC, she specialized in interactive media design while also having particular interests in data visualization and didacticeditorial illustration. She loves using creative problem-solving and storytelling to increase the accessibility of complex topics in science and medicine.


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Julia Devorak

Anatomical and Kinesiological Illustrations

1. Sketches. Top left: final draft of CSF production figure. Bottom left: first draft of CSF circulation and drainage figure. Right: earlier iterations of CSF production figure.

Knee Joint: Ligaments and Articular Surfaces and Production, Circulation, and Drainage of Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) are didactic illustrations intended for undergraduate-level textbooks. Each illustration aims to communicate the key anatomical and/or physiological aspects of its respective subject matter.

2. Comprehensive Sketch. An early experiment with placement of figures and supporting text. The layout was iterated several times to determine the best way to organize and present information.

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3. Production Process. Left: vectorization of sketch. Right: comprehensive sketch drafted from observation of anatomical specimens. 4. Final Illustration. Final digital painting created using the vectorized sketch (at right) as a base.


Julia Devorak

Pathological Illustration Pathology of Celiac Disease is a two-page illustration intended for a popular science magazine with an educated lay readership. This piece aims to communicate what is currently known about the etiology and pathogenesis of celiac disease at the cellular, tissue, and organ levels.

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1. Composite Draft. Early iteration of layout. Visual elements and text were mapped into the allotted space in multiple iterations to determine the best organization to support storytelling. 2. Study. A visual exploration of the affected tissue in celiac disease; created to better understand the ‘landscape’ in which the pathology occurs - i.e. the duodenum of the small intestine.

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3. Final Illustration. Final render of the spread created based on the final layout iteration (not shown).


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Data Visualizations Suicidal Ideation in Indigenous Canada is a novel information visualization graphic created for a lay audience. It aims to tell a contextualized, visual story about the subject matter using a large and complex set of data whose message would otherwise be difficult to glean.

Julia Devorak 1. Sketches. Preliminary ideation of visualization strategies for the data; informed the eventual creation of rough draft visualizations. 2. Composite Draft. Visualization strategies generated during preliminary ideation were translated into coloured, draft visualizations and organized on a page.

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3. Sketches & Notes. Further ideation of visualization strategies for the data, and evaluation of their relative merits, guided decision-making for final draft visualizations. 4. Final Illustration. Final visual elements and text were placed in a way that best supported the storytelling and created maximum visual impact.


Julia Devorak

Data Visualization and Interactive Design Data Visualization Postcards were created as a weekly challenge to collect and visualize data from our daily lives. These postcards document the journey parsing information as a first-time viewer of Game of Thrones. Jawbone3D is an augmented reality pathology atlas for dental students learning oral pathology. The app permits visualization of rare pathologies using custom 3D printed models.

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1. Postcards. Weekly data doodles were an opportunity to think creatively about, and practice creativity in, the visualization of quantitative information. 2. Prototype. The secondary anatomy atlas is opened, and selected AR structures are projected and highlighted on the 3D printed mandible model.

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79 3. Wireframes. A preliminary draft of the user interface and the interactions and microinteractions required for navigation within the app.


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Julia Devorak

MedStats

1. Information Architecture. An initial framework for the structure and flow of hypothetical information within the e-modules was created prior to receiving content.

Evidence-based medicine is an approach to medical practice that applies information from medical literature to day-to-day clinical problems. Knowledge of biostatistics facilitates this practice; however, biostatistics is often a challenging topic for undergraduate medical students to learn. MedStats was created to support learning of this conceptually-abstract content.

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2. Wireframes. Preliminary brainstorm of how module pages would appear; focused on user interface elements critical for navigation and interactive functioning on each page.

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3. Prototype. High-fidelity functioning drafts of the e-modules were created to test with end-users and refined based on feedback collected; multiple iterations were produced.


Julia Devorak 4. UX Research. An exercise that allowed for better understanding of end-user needs and goals and which guided initial determination of the modules’ functionalities and behaviours.

5. Final Stills. Final product included a web-based proof-of-concept e-module covering variable and distribution types present in a psychiatric research case study.

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5 JON LAU “ I F E E L P R E PA R E D F O R H S R , B U T I T ’ S B E E N A W H I L E SINCE I’VE SEEN SOME OF THIS STUFF!”

K E Y AT T R I B U T E S Took courses in statistics, epidemiology, and critical appraisal during undergrad Not a ‘math person’ but is naturally curious and inclined to learn/push himself when it comes to math

PERSONAL INFO

Age: 23 years Occupation: first year undergraduate medical student @ U of T

PERSONAL PROFILE Jon has always been interested in medicine, since both of his parents are doctors. With hopes of applying to medical school afterward, he completed a bachelor’s degree (BSc Honours) in Health Science at McMaster University. Through several of his compulsory courses (i.e. epidemiology, critical appraisal) he became familiar with clinical epidemiology and evidence-based medicine and gained a true appreciation for the role of research in the advancement of medicine and clinical practice; he also gained a clear understanding of the role that analysis and interpretation of data have in research and how they can impact the way medicine and clinical practice advance. During his undergrad, he also completed coursework in statistics and carried out a thesis-based research project on genetic determinants of osteoporosis. He didn’t love his statistics course as he was never a fan of math, but he was motivated to work hard to understand the concepts that didn’t come easily to him. His research experience helped him gain an appreciation for the scientific method and gave him the opportunity to apply his statistics knowledge to data he collected himself. He graduated with a cGPA of 3.97 and was accepted to U of T Medical School. However, he decided to defer his entry one year, so he could backpack around the world. Now 18 weeks into his first year of med school, he finds himself extremely busy with coursework, though everything is going relatively smoothly. He is a few weeks into a component of CPC1, Health Science Research (HSR), and he is pleasantly surprised to find that he is somewhat familiar with this content. He’s relieved to find that HSR is mostly a review of things he has already learned in undergrad but has forgotten over his gap year – in comparison to his other courses, he doesn’t have to work as hard to understand the material, though he still does have to make a bit of effort in his learning, especially for the math-centric bits. He finds it odd that HSR content has nothing to do with his other coursework, which is centered around weekly themes (e.g. blood); it feels disjointed to him. He attends mandatory HSR lectures and completes the required readings and e-learning modules at home. He is motivated to challenge himself and gain a deep understanding of the HSR content because he knows its importance in research and the advancement of clinical practice; however, the amount of time he has to study HSR varies depending on how busy he is with other, more demanding coursework.

Location: Mississauga Lives with family Belongs to Mississauga academy Status: single

GOALS

Uses the tool to: Guide his decision-making regarding analysis for his Practicum Exercise (2nd year) Review course content as necessary Overarching goals: Do well on Mastery Exercises Do well on Practicum Exercise (2nd year) Gain a deep understanding of HSR content Become a consumer of research, i.e. take evidence from literature and apply it to patient care Prioritize/focus energy on coursework that is more highly represented in evaluations

K AY L E I G H K O R T R I G H T “ O H N O , I H AV E TO D O M AT H I N M E D S C H O O L? ! ”

K E Y AT T R I B U T E S Didn’t take statistics during undergrad Little research background Not a ‘math person’ Compared to other subjects, math is difficult to learn/understand Not that interested in developing better quantitative skills

PERSONAL PROFILE Kayleigh has wanted to become a doctor ever since she began watching Grey’s Anatomy in high school. She decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree (BSc Honours) in Life Sciences at Queen’s University, as this program would provide her all the requisite coursework/knowledge to write the MCAT: she completed coursework in coursework in biology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology, microbiology, biochemistry, and physics; she also took a single mathematics course (differential and integral calculus). She graduated with a cGPA of 3.95. While she is above average in intelligence, most of her ‘smarts’ come from her uncanny ability to memorize vast quantities of information in relatively short periods of time. She found her introductory calculus course to be one of the most challenging as she couldn’t rely on memorization alone to succeed; similarly, she found some of her upper-level science courses challenging as they required more critical thinking and application of knowledge than regurgitation of information and execution of procedure. During undergrad, she also volunteered in a physiology wet lab for one semester to help beef up her CV. From that experience, she learned that doing research was not to her taste (she wasn’t expecting it to be), though she began to appreciate role of research in the advancement of medicine and clinical practice; however, since her experience was limited, she didn’t gain a complete understanding of what research entails (in particular, analysis and interpretation of data). She was so excited when she got in to her firstchoice medical school, U of T!

PERSONAL INFO

Age: 21 years Occupation: first year undergraduate medical student @ U of T Location: downtown Toronto Lives with roommates Belongs to Wightman-Berris academy Status: single

GOALS

Uses the tool to: Become familiar with course content before she attends lectures and/or review course content after lectures if she finds herself struggling with the material Study/prepare for HSR questions that appear on the Mastery Exercises, including solving practice problems Overarching goals: Do well on Mastery Exercises

Now 18 weeks into her first year of med school, she finds herself extremely busy with coursework, though everything is going relatively smoothly. She is a few weeks into a component of CPC1, Health Science Research (HSR), which she is slowly realizing will present her with learning challenges she may have difficulty overcoming. Not only does this course seem to be about math and applications thereof (which she had trouble with in undergrad), but it also has nothing to do with her other coursework, which is all centered around weekly themes (e.g. blood). For these reasons, she feels both intimidated and relatively unmotivated to learn HSR material. However, she does attend mandatory HSR lectures and she does complete the required readings and e-learning modules at home to the best of her ability (which varies depending on how busy she is with other, more interesting and seemingly more relevant coursework). She hopes that she can get through the HSR content by relying on her ‘strengths’ in mathematics: memorizing and applying formulas. For her Mastery Exercises, she hopes her performance on other types of questions (not covering HSR content) will make up for her likely poor performance on the HSR questions.

Prioritize/focus energy on coursework that seems the most relevant or is more highly represented in evaluations (Mastery Exercises) Try to get by by “getting the most out of doing the least work possible” for coursework that seems less relevant or is less frequently represented in evaluations (not challenge herself more than the minimum necessary to succeed)

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Kim Nipp Kim is a visual designer and animator with a passion for biomedical visualization. Originally trained in neuroscience, Kim moved onto the University of Toronto to begin a Masters of Science in Biomedical Communications. Their art practice focuses on creating engaging user interface designs, animations, and emotive illustrations for science dissemination and story-telling. Kim’s projects have included creating concept art, storyboards, visual designs and animations for educational media and the film industry.


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Editorial Illustration This project was produced for the Maya modelling course in the MScBMC program. The aim was to create a mock editorial journal cover for a proposed research topic. The other aim was to convey the concept of bioprinting through a simple, but memorable way.

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Kim Nipp 1. Final Illustration. The final composite for a mock spread of a Scientific American cover featuring a 3D printed replica of the heart.

2. Composite Drafts. Everything begins with a sketch. Three to four possible cover concepts were created before the decision was made to focus on a single, detailed model. Following the composite sketch, the base of the heart was modelled in Maya. The simple heart model was then transported into Zbrush and details were sculpted on top.

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Kim Nipp

Surgical Illustrations These illustrations were produced for the Human Anatomy and Surgical Illustration courses. The surgical illustration projects were created in collaboration with fellow classmate, Maurita Hung, and orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Jihad Abouali. The goal was to effectively communicate the surgical procedure for the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) replacement.

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1. Study. The goal of this project was to effectively communicate the ligaments of the posterior knee as a flat illustration. The sketches were created from studies conducted in the Grants’ anatomical collection. The final drawing was rendered in Illustrator. 2. Maquettes. Models of the arthroscope, tibial ACL guide and flipcutter were created in Cinema 4D to generate 3D composites which would help guide Maurita and Kim in

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85 creating their 2D visualizations. Patricia Ng provided the 3D femoral, tibial and fibial data, which were extracted from CT scans and recovered using Zbrush. 3. Sketches and Final Illustration (Excerpt). Final sketches from the detailed 10 page document created by Maurita and Kim. This document contained multiple images and figures describing the entirety of the ACL procedure from start to finish.


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Kim Nipp

2D Animation

1. Final Stills. Screenshot stills from the animation frames created by Kim.

Rethinking Nerve Therapy is an animation created in collaboration with Avesta Rastan, Felix Son and Tracy Xiang. This animation will be used to teach researchers about novel peripheral nerve regeneration techniques and their potential broader application for patients with nerve damage.

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2. Storyboards. Storyboard developments created by Kim for Rethinking Nerve Therapy.


Kim Nipp

Molecular Visualization

1. Thumbnail Sketches. Several thumbnail sketches were created in order to move towards finding the best learning solution.

Lighting Up the Genome was produced for a two-page editorial spread on molecular visualization. This illustration explores the functionalities of the dCas9 Complex. The dCas9 Complex and green fluorescent protein work together to find specific segments of DNA in order to make them visible by “lighting� them up.

2. Composite Draft. The layout was created using a mix of 2D and 3D composites generated from the Protein Data Bank.

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87 3. Final Illustration. The final editorial spread showcasing the dCas9 Complex with a fluorescent green protein as it glides along a strand of DNA unravelling from a chromosome.


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Animations on Endovascular Aneurysm Repair (EVAR) This 4-part patient education animation series was created in collaboration with the Vascular Surgery Department of Toronto General Hospital to help educate their intake patients about the Endovascular Aneurysm Repair (EVAR). The goals of this project were to educate patients on their condition, teach the ins and outs of the EVAR procedure, and to communicate what the patient is required to do before and after their surgery.

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Kim Nipp 1. 3D Study. 3D renders of the abdominal aorta, and the EVAR graft. In the early stages of this project, Kim was interested in figuring out whether a combination of 2D and 3D animation would be the best way to help visualize the surgical procedure. After further experimentation, a 2D model was decided upon for clarity and simplicity.

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2. Storyboards. The animation storyboards were designed with minimal text and simple, colourful visuals in order to engage the patient without overwhelming them with excess information. Since a vast majority of the EVAR patient population is also elderly, the patient avatar was designed with this contributing factor in mind.


Kim Nipp 3. Rigging (Character). Once storyboards and animatics were completed, production began. Assets were created in Illustrator and character rigging was completed using the After Effects plugin, Duik.

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4. Final Stills. Screenshots from one of the four completed films.

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Maurita Hung Maurita joined the MScBMC program with a Master’s of Science in Physiology at the University of Toronto. She specialized in the interactive media design stream, with a strong interest in data visualization and information design. She enjoys working on projects that involve the use of data for creating visualizations that are well designed, engaging and effective at communicating complex information.


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Data Visualizations Featured are three novel data visualization projects. On the left, the poster on cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) mutations for a scientific audience. First up on the right, a Dear Data postcard inspired by information designers Stefanie Posavec and Giorgia Lupi. Following, an interactive website on eBird biodiversity data for ornithologists and bird watchers.

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Maurita Hung 1. Thumbnail Sketch. Rough sketches were created to explore different ways of visualizing cystic fibrosis mutations and to compare potential layouts of the final poster, Cystic Fibrosis Data Visualization. 2. Composite Drafts. Multiple drafts of the legend were created to explore different ways of describing the variables present in the data visualization.

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3. Final Illustration. The central graphic was created with Illustrator, Circos, and Tableau. The final visual shows the frequencies and consequences of a subset of CFTR mutations, as well as their positions along the CFTR protein sequence.


Maurita Hung 1. Postcard. This data vis postcard, Dear Data, displays data recorded from Maurita’s sleeping patterns over the course of a week. Variables include the amount of sleep and number of snoozes. 2. Composite Draft. This draft of A Comparison on Bird Biodiversity is one of multiple documented steps created to explore different ways of visualizing eBird biodiversity data. Such drafts were part of an iterative experimentation and

elimination process which informed the final line-up of data variables. 3. Interactive Still. This image captures a moment from the final data visualization, an interactive website created using HTML, CSS, and D3.js. The final website provides a condensed visual summary of the eBird Observation Dataset by showing the frequencies of reported bird species and organizing the data based on taxonomic classification.

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Maurita Hung

Molecular Visualization

1. Final Illustration. The final illustration illustrates the relationship between the structure and function of calmodulin in calcium signaling with 3D molecular models and schematic diagrams. Colourcoding, labels and visual metaphors were also used to further enhance the information being conveyed.

Role of Calmodulin in Calcium Signalling is a biomolecular visualization piece that illustrates the molecular basis of calmodulin regulating intracellular levels of calcium and is designed for the educated lay audience. Upon binding to calcium ions, calmodulin becomes highly flexible and dynamic, enabling it to bind to different target proteins and perform a wide range of functions.

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2. Thumbnail Sketches. Small thumbnail sketches were created to explore different popular science magazine layouts and different visual storytelling methods. 3. Comprehensive Drafts. Process work showing different experimentations with colour, texture, typeface and layout design.

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Calmodulin: A universal calcium translator Myosin light-chain kinase peptide (MLCK) Calmodulin is a calcium-modulated protein. It senses intracellular concentrations of calcium and relays information to various calcium-sensitive target proteins throughout the body. Calmodulin is highly versatile and plays an important role in activating a wide range of biological functions.

ME P

1 Apocalmodulin (calcium-free)

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3 Calmodulin bound to

target peptides

N domain

The flexible linker region allows calmodulin to be versatile, adopting different conformations when binding to various target proteins via the exposed non-polar surfaces. This allows calmodulin to perform a wide range of functions in the human body.

Linker

C domain

In the inacti doma protei protei

Calcium-bound calmodulin ( ) binds to and activates myosin light chain kinase ( ). MLCK then phosphorylates myosin ( ), allowing it to bind to actin ( ) and driving smooth muscle contraction.

Calmodulin is composed of two globular domains (N domain and C domain) with a flexible linker region in between. In the absence of calcium ions, the non-polar surfaces are hidden in calmodulin.

Hidden non-polar surface

One m calmo by rel

Calcium ion (bound to EFhand motif)

Calcineurin p P

Exposed non-polar surface

EXPLORE MORE

Interleukin-2

Calcium-bound calm Calcineurin then acti dephosphorylation, r and the activation of


Maurita Hung

Pathological Illustration Acute Alcoholic Hepatitis provides an overview on the etiology, pathogenesis and consequences of acute alcoholic hepatitis. It illustrates the three stages of the disease on a cellular level and was designed as a doublepage spread for a popular scientific magazine.

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1. Comprehensive sketch. Shown here is a detail of the comprehensive sketch created to finalize the text, layout and placement of key elements of the story. 2. Colour Studies. Colour studies were conducted to explore different colour schemes.

95 3. Final Illustration. The final two page spread describes the normal function of the liver and the effects of acute alcoholic hepatitis on the liver over time. Numbers, labels and call-outs are used to enhance communication of the material.


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Genetics in Autism Spectrum Disorder Families of patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and genetic counsellors often face two problems: (i) a lack of resources on why patients should opt for genetic testing, and (ii) the challenge of explaining complex genomic results after undergoing testing. This project aims to lower these two communication barriers with the development of an interactive web-based patient education tool.

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Maurita Hung 1. Wireframe. A low fidelity wireframe was created to show the possible layout of the homepage and the potential interactions for the end users. 2. Concept Sketches. Rough sketches were created to brainstorm possible vector graphics that could be used to accompany the text.

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3. Final Illustration. An example of a finalized vector graphic used to show a blood sample being taken from a child diagnosed with ASD.


Maurita Hung 1. Interactive Still. The final patient education resource is an interactive website created using HTML, CSS, JS, Illustrator, and Adobe Animate. It organizes the information into four modules: (i) the roles of genes and proteins in ASD, (ii) the genetic basis of ASD, (iii) the purpose of genetic testing for ASD, and (iv) the possible outcomes.

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2. Interactive Stills. The patient education tool employs the use of visual metaphors and analogies to explain the roles of genes and proteins in ASD and the genetic basis of ASD. This series of images are taken from the same module.

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Mona Li Mona entered MScBMC after completing a Bachelor of Science in Psychology at McGill University. During her time at MScBMC, she specialized in 2D illustration and concept design, particularly in projects heavy on visual storytelling. She loves finding opportunities to leverage her visual problem-solving skills and behavioural science background to improve human healthcare experiences.


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Pathological Illustration Pathology of Coronary Artery Disease is a two-page magazine spread that depicts the pathology of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) at the level of muscular arteries to an educated lay audience. One goal of this project was to develop inclusive written and illustrated content, as certain patient demographics are often under-represented in educational pieces about CAD.

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Mona Li 1. Study. Initial break-down of key cellular processes involved in arterial plaque formation visualized in 3D space. The design of the tissue cubes was improved in subsequent iterations to improve accuracy and clarity in storytelling. 2. Colour Studies. Choosing backdrop colours that would work well with the conventional red of heart and blood tissue was a major design challenge.

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3. Final Illustration. The final layout visualizes plaque progression while giving a face to the patient experience of CAD. The child and older adult patient on opposite ends of the timeline emphasize the decades-long time course of physiological events, pictured in the tissue cubes, that lead up to clinical CAD symptoms.


Mona Li

Molecular Visualization Recent research has shed light on the likely biomolecular mechanisms behind the notoriously potency of the psychedelic, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). Molecular Visualization: Potency of LSD, designed for the lay science enthusiast, tells a colourful story about how LSD’s particular structure allows it to “hijack” serotonin receptors for such long periods of time.

1. Final Illustration. The final spread shows the journey of the drug, from administration to its activation in the brain. Colour and style seen were chosen to be playful, engaging, and on-theme with vivid imagery popularly associated with psychedelic drugs. 2. 3D and 3D Studies. Both cut views of the serotonin receptors containing LSD on the second page began as surface models of PDB data visualized in Chimera.

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101 Models were painted over iteratively to reduce surface details, creating a simplified illustrated structure. 3. Concept Sketches. Early versions focused heavily on specific interactions between LSD and the serotonin-2D receptors, within the binding pocket, rather than using the “bigger picture” sequence of events as the leading narrative.


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Mona Li

Graphic Medicine

1. Final Illustration. The opening page (top left) starts with the statement: “I’ve always thought that, ‘It’s all in your head,” was a strange thing to say…”

Upset Tummy: A graphic memoir about feelings, chronic pain, and the gut-brain axis is a graphic medicine comic that describes a childhood experience with recurrent “tummy aches” in response to emotional stress, and explains the likely involvement of the gut-brain axis. Targeting a lay audience, the goal of the comic is to use humour, metaphor and visual storytelling to challenge the popular notion that emotional distress is “all in your head.”

The following four exposition panels (top right) show the style of illustration and panel design in the memoir portion of the comic: loose, a little cloudy, nostalgic. Colour is used sparingly as an identifier for the protagonist, whose viewpoint is focalized through panel designs that direct

the reader’s eye to her expressions and body language. 2. Character Studies. Child (protagonist), mother, and “mean girl” (antagonist). The antagonist is a caricatured villain, sharply contrasting the protagonist; however, they were not completely abstracted (e.g., into a dark shadow or other non-human form) to leave the possibility of redemption later in the narrative.

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In the first grade, I met this girl.

Since I was a child, I was convinced that:

- but because she wouldn’t let me play with anyone else.

We played together a lot. Not because I wanted to -

When we hung out, I didn’t get to play the roles that I wanted to.

... was a strange thing to say to people who were having a hard time with their feelings.

Let me explain.

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And in general, she wasn’t even that nice to me. 2

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Mona Li 1. Final Illustration. The composition for the section, “Avoidance Agenda,” takes up an entire spread, maximizing the narrative capacities of the illustrations both within and outside panel borders. In earlier iterations of this passage, I had experimented with panel grids for days of the week, perhaps with “mean girl” lurking insidiously behind them. Ultimately, this composition seemed more powerful and better captured the protagonist’s fear.

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2. Final Illustration. Using repeated imagery with just a few visual cues for growth and seasonal changes, this series of illustrations from “Passing Season” shows passage of time in the protagonist’s life, where she continues to experience chronic “tummy aches” for two years.

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I hated spending recess with her, but giving into her demands felt easier than saying “no”. I liked learning, but often didn’t want to go to school because of her. Throughout the first and second grade, I tried to avoid her control by joining clubs and activities that took place during recess, -

Other people, including my parents, knew that I didn’t like hanging out with her, Want to play at recess?

- ones that she wasn’t part of, obviously.

I want to... Oh. Right.

But, still, - but didn’t seem to understand why I couldn’t just tell her to leave me alone.

Well when I was little

- I saw her every day.

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and someone tried to bully me or your uncle, what I did was I...

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My Palliative Care Journey: A Patient Education Comic Palliative care is multidisciplinary, person-centred care that helps patients with serious illnesses improve their quality of life. In this project, I developed a patient education comic booklet about palliative care, primarily targeting adult patients.

Mona Li 1. Research Design. The graphic, used as part of conference posters on which this project was presented, shows a breakdown of the comic’s contents, and an overview of the design and formative evaluation protocol. The comic is broken into chapters with two alternating narratives: a situational narrative following a patient and their caregiver’s first trip to an outpatient palliative care clinic, and a

didactic narrative about palliative care. Mixed-methods (both qualitative and quantitative) feedback was collected from a pilot sample of readers prior to finalizing comic. 2. Final Illustrations. Excerpts from the final comic showing the differences in narrative approach (situational and didactic).

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Mona Li 1. Character Sketches and Design. When it came to the characters, the goal was for readers to perceive the patient/caregiver as relatable, and the palliative care staff as trustworthy/welcoming/friendly. The doctor and other palliative care staff are given distinct uniform and more defined features, while the patient and caregiver were made to be as generic as possible; to this end, “atypical� features and colours were explored in initial designs of the

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patient/caregiver. Overall, I tried to use a style that was relatively simple, and drew with round instead of sharp lines whenever possible.

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Nitai Steinberg As a former scientist, Nitai entered the MScBMC program with a strong passion to communicate complex scientific knowledge to the public. His research project was a short movie that aimed to remediate common misconceptions regarding antibiotic resistance. During the process, he sought the fine balance between simplifying the science, and avoiding imposing additional misconceptions. Before MScBMC, Nitai completed a PhD in Microbiology at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel.


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Molecular Visualization This two-page spread for a popular science magazine presents the molecular mechanism of the resistance of bacteria to the antibiotic vancomycin. Vancomycin binds to the building-blocks of the bacterial cell wall, preventing its synthesis. The resistance mechanism involves changes in components of the cell wall, lowering the affinity of vancomycin.

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Nitai Steinberg 1. 3D Studies. The cell wall synthesis reaction involves elongation of chains (green/cyan) by the addition of individual building blocks by a specialized enzyme (blue). Vancomycin blocks this and other steps in bacterial-cell wall synthesis. 2. Composite Draft. Vancomycin (pink, transparent) binds to specific part of the building blocks (light cyan) and forms three hydrogen bonds (white dots). In the resistant strain, a change in the building

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blocks (orange) eliminates one of the hydrogen bonds, and lowers the affinity 1000-fold. 3. Look and Layout Development. The illustrations were made in Cinema 4D, and laid out in Illustrator.


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Editorial Illustration This cover illustration for a scientific journal was based on research that investigated the relation between sugar concentrations and bacterial pathogenicity in the guts. The main finding was that elevating the sugar concentrations in the intestines of mice, reduced the pathogenicity of the bacteria, and alleviated the disease in the treated mice.

1. Thumbnail Sketches. Based on the research findings, different conceptual directions were explored. Among them were candy offerings to bacteria, or peace agreement between humans and bacteria. The final concept involved a replete bacterium sprawling on a pile of candies, exemplifying that in this situation it is not eager to do anything else. 2. Comprehensive Sketch. In this stage the final concept for the illustration was

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109 chosen, and a sketch was made in order to estimate the final layout. 3. Final Illustration. Made in Maya. Special attention was given to the realistic modeling and texturing of the candies, and the texture of the bacterium, as well as its pose, making it seem more anthropomorphic.


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Surgical Illustration In collaboration with Amy Cao. This illustration is part of a series demonstrating steps in scoliosis correction surgery, and intended for orthopedic surgery textbook. The surgery involves insertion of metallic rods onto the spine, inducing fusion of vertebrae and the correction of the scoliotic spine.

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Nitai Steinberg 1. Final Illustration. In this step, the rod is inserted through extender tubes, that aid deforming the shape of the scoliotic spine to match the shape of the rod, and by this correcting the scoliotic spine. The illustration was made in Illustrator. 2. Maquette. In order to understand the correct size and angle relationships between different components of the illustration, and realistically represent mechanical tools having exact proportions,

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a 3D maquette was made in Cinema 4D. The maquette was based on the proportions of the tools as indicated in product manuals. This maquette was used in order to explore different angles of view, and, after selecting the preferred angle, making the final illustration of the tools.


Nitai Steinberg

Kinesiological Illustration In collaboration with Julia Devorak. This illustration is part of a two-page spread intended for a kinesiology textbook for undergraduate students. The entire spread explains the flexion-relaxation phenomenon, which occurs, among other situations, when bending forward with the lumbar spine is flexed instead of neutral.

1. Final Illustration. When bending forward with neutral lumbar spine, most of the load is on the low back extensor muscles. Instead, when bending forward with flexed lumbar spine, the load shifts towards the spine ligaments, which can lead to irreversible damage. Done in Illustrator. 2. Composite Draft. Different angles and layouts were explored in order to best depict the different components and the

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111 overall context. It was realized that a lateral view is better for the comparison, and that a section through the vertebrae better shows the various ligaments. 3. Maquette. In order to more accurately depict the positions of the spine, a 3D maquette based on an existing spine model was built in Cinema 4D.


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Nitai Steinberg

Misconceptions Regarding Antibiotic Resistance

1. Thumbnail Sketches. During the literature review, common misconceptions regarding antibiotic resistance were identified, and a script was developed to address each of them specifically. To best understand how to order the different concepts to reach one complete story, rough thumbnail sketches were made. These allowed for easy organization of scenes and deciding the best order, even before storyboarding.

While most people have heard the term antibiotic resistance, they usually have fundamental misconceptions about it. It is hypothesized that these misconceptions are so prevalent because evolutionary processes go against human intuition.

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2. Storyboards. A few iterations of storyboards and animatics were needed in order to perfect the storytelling and decide on the best visualizations, metaphors and timing, prior to the actual production stage.


Nitai Steinberg 3. Final Stills. The movie combines various visualization styles (live action, 3D and 2D animation), and uses many visual metaphors in order to address the misconceptions. For instance, one of the misconceptions is that resistance mutations appear in reaction to antibiotic exposure rather than randomly. Mutations are represented by colours, and their randomized nature is represented by a multitude of colours. The antibiotic

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resistance mutations are represented in green, just another colour among others. The antibiotic itself is presented as a liquid wave, and for the natural selection cycles a schematic 2D representation was selected to reduce the information load and help the viewer understand this complex unintuitive concept.

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Rachael Whitehead Before BMC, Rachael received a Bachelor of Science in General Biology and a Bachelor of Arts in Painting and Drawing from the University of Washington. Through her work, Rachael enjoys creating detailed illustrations and organic 3D models. She is passionate about finding new approaches to visually describe complex scientific concepts so to make them understandable for a general public audience. For her research project, she specialized in visual storytelling using 2D and 3D animation.


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Infographic Illustrations Rufous Hummingbird Info Visualization is a poster that illustrates the long-distance migration patterns of the Rufous Hummingbird from northwest USA and Canada to Mexico and southwest USA. The data comes from sources including Cornell University’s Ebird citizen science data, from 1940-2018, and Partners in Flight. It also includes information about habitat and population size changes.

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Rachael Whitehead 1. Sketches. Initial graphite sketches of the Rufous hummingbird poster were created to help explore various layouts and storytelling strategies. 2. Final Illustration. The illustrations were rendered in Photoshop while the graphs and map were created in Tableau and Illustrator. The final version was organized and composited in Illustrator.

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3. Final Illustration. A further example of an info visualization work created at MScBMC. The graphic depicts what real life animals make up hybrid mythical creatures. The rest of the poster (not visualized) also includes visualizations on what geographic regions these creatures’ myths originate from and a taste of the history of some of the creatures.


Rachael Whitehead

Pathological Illustrations Hypertrophic Scarring Editorial was created to depict the stages of wound healing and the process that leads to the formation of a hypertrophic scar, a scar with an abnormal buildup of collagen fibres in the dermis. This pieces also discusses the main causes and locations of these scars, and the groups who commonly get them.

1. Thumbnail Sketches. After initial sketches, several different layout schemes were explored to find the best way to represent the information. 2.Study. A tissue cube Photoshop painting exercise was completed to explore how to depict hypertrophic scarring stages and to determine the best techniques for rendering the skin tissue.

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117 3. Final Illustration. The illustrations were rendered in Photoshop and the whole spread was composited and arranged in Illustrator.


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Rachael Whitehead

Molecular Visualization Botulinum Toxin Editorial is a composition that visualizes how the protein Botulinum toxin prevents muscle contraction. How it enters the neuron terminal bouton and how it prevents neurotransmitter release was focused on. To help the general public audience understand, background information about normal muscle contraction was included.

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1. 3D Studies. The botulinum toxin and other protein models were imported first into Chimera and then placed into Maya. Special attention was given to the colour and texture of the surface shaders used. 2. Thumbnail Sketches. Initial thumbnail sketches were created to see what elements should be focused on in the story, and how much information and detail should be included.

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3. Final Illustration. The proteins were imported into Chimera and then Maya. The neuron terminal boutons were initially created in Cinema 4D but then exported into Maya. The whole spread, including the Photoshop illustrations, were compiled in Illustrator.


Rachael Whitehead

Editorial Illustration This cover was created as a Maya practice exercise. The topic chosen involved the use of baby teeth by researchers to detect certain diseases early on. This topic was visualized metaphorically as a library housed inside a tooth. The scientist figure, reading in the tooth, represents the real-life researchers extracting information from teeth.

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1. Thumbnail Sketches. A couple of metaphors were initially explored with the first journal cover sketches. The favourite ended up being the library metaphor.

119 2. Final Illustration. The tooth and library were created and rendered in Maya. The scientist figure was sculpted in Zbrush.


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Zuul crurivastator’s Life, Death and Fossilization In 2014, a new ankylosaur genus call Zuul from the Late Cretaceous was discovered in the Judith River Formation, Montana. The fossil discovered was excellently preserved. It had also gone through a series of very specific events that lead to its preservation and fossilization. An educational animation was created to inform the general public about Zuul’s death and unusually excellent preservation and fossilization.

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Rachael Whitehead 1. 3D Modelling. A large portion of the MRP process was sculpting and painting a reconstruction model of Zuul in Zbrush. From this model seven different versions of Zuul, in varying degrees of decomposition or fossilization, were also created.

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2. 3D Modelling. Included in the habitat of Zuul were several other dinosaur characters. They were also sculpted and painted in Zbrush before being placed in an environment in Maya.


Rachael Whitehead 3. Rigging. The dinosaur characters were rigged and placed in Maya. The environment’s plants, trees and ground were created in Maya and Zbrush. Maya fluid and particle dynamics were used to create a flowing river and moving sand. MASH dynamics were used to add tree foliage.

4. Final Stills. Select rendered frames of the final animation.

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Shawn Liu After Shawn received his Bachelor of Science in Health and Disease from the University of Toronto, he entered the MScBMC program to acquire the 2D and 3D visualization skills. He specialized in molecular visualization and interactive media design. During his Master’s Research Project, he realized the importance of teaching diagrammatic visual literacy in microbiology field due to the ever-increasing volume and complexity of scientific data, and then he focused on the explanation of the meanings of visual elements and their spatial arrangements in figures since novices may have difficulties to understand those visual elements used in these intricate graphic designs.


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Pathological Illustration Hepatitis B infection is a major global health issue that can potentially cause patient death from cirrhosis or liver cancer, but a detailed visualization of this disease process has not yet been created. This conceptual medical illustration depicts the pathological change in the liver tissue over time, and each significant disease stage is explicitly explained.

Shawn Liu 1. Comprehensive Sketch. The final sketch was created based on the maquette shown in figure 2. Shapes were redrawn, and cells and organic textures were added to the tissues so that the sketch looks more realistic compared to the original simple model. 2. Maquette. A simple model was built to help solve perspective issues and challenges of shapes.

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3. Look Development. This is one of three colourized versions of the final illustration. Colour schemes and typefaces of these three versions were used to experiment with different palettes and fonts.


Shawn Liu

Molecular Visualization This molecular visualization depicts a novel therapeutic strategy to treat the bacterial infection as well as to prevent antibiotic resistance. The primary goals are to show the steps of bacterial type III secretion system (T3SS) assembly, the roles of length-sensing ruler proteins in controlling T3SS growth, and a potentially novel method that can inhibit those ruler proteins to prevent antibiotic resistance.

1. Thumbnail Sketches. These three different versions of thumbnails were created to work out the proposed composition. 2. Maquettes. Different compositions were tested on paper. Eventually, final models were built in Cinema 4D.

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125 3. Final Illustration. This is the second half of the double-page spread for the mockup of a popular scientific magazine, such as Scientific American.


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Kinesiological Illustrations This illustration depicts lumbar anatomy, and the forces of muscle and passive tissue involved in lifting with a neutral versus flexed spine. The goal of this project is to educate lay audiences about the correct lifting postures to prevent unnecessary injuries.

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Shawn Liu 1. Composite Drafts. Different versions were created based on feedback received from the course instructor and classmates. 2. Final Illustration. Once the pencil sketch was converted into full vector shapes, a cel-shading style was used to render the final piece.


Shawn Liu

Interactive Design Viral transcription maps are a type of complex diagram that frequently appear in undergraduate virology courses or virology journal articles that students are expected to interpret. This interactive website uses the adenovirus transcription map as an example to teach undergraduate students the visual literacy of this microbiology figure and specifically how the viral genome is organized, transcribed, and related to its gene products.

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1. Initial Wireframe Sketch. Various button designs resulted in an inconvenient interface for users as they need to click all the buttons to finish the required tasks. Moreover, users had no 3D model to relate the schematic map to the actual virus. 2. Developed Wireframe Sketch. The wireframe was iterated by incorporating the 3D virus model and reducing the number of buttons. By clicking these buttons, users are able to switch between

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127 visual representations of viral DNA/RNA, to relate the gene products to the 3D model as well as see viral RNAs expressed during the three different infectious stages. 3. High-fidelity Wireframe. The interface design was explored to produce a high fidelity interface with visually pleasing colours and intuitive interactive functions.


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ViraLiterate: A WebBased Visual Literacy Teaching Resource An online interactive educational resource designed to help undergraduate virology students interpret viral transcription maps. This teaching resource explains the complex maps in general as opposed to teaching a specific example of the viral transcription map.

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Shawn Liu 1. Project Concept. This figure was created to show that all the diagrams consist of essential graphical elements arranged in specific order. These visual elements are similar to textual elements, which have their visual meanings. Therefore, it is equally important to teach novices the language of visuals.

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2. Site Map. This figure was created to show the structures of the final website. Audiences can clearly see how individual subpages are linked to one another. 3. Final Still for Interactive Animation. This figure shows how RNA polymerase synthesizes RNA (orange) based on the provided DNA template (black).


Shawn Liu 4. Storyboard for Interactive Animation. This storyboard displays the animation in an image sequence for pre-visualization purposes.

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5. High-fidelity Interface Design. Wireframes that show the interactive functions such as before-after slider, slidein menu, pop-up window as well as the quizzing mechanism.

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Shirley Long Shirley lives at the intersection of science, art, and design; she specializes in communicating complex biomedical stories using 3D animation and storytelling. With her background in healthcare and academic research, she brings a passion for education and empathy for audiences into all her endeavours. She joined MScBMC after completing her Hons. Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Western Ontario, and has worked on projects ranging from educational 3D animations to augmented reality mobile applications. For her thesis project, she designed a case study and 3D animation to explain complex metabolic pathways to biochemistry students.


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Surgical Illustration Syndactyly Release Surgery is a common procedure that releases conjoined fingers on toddlers. However, it is difficult to visualize for medical students because the patient anatomy is so small. The goal of this project was to clearly and accurately visualize Syndactyly release for medical students learning the procedure for the first time.

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Shirley Long 1. Rough Sketches. These notes and rough sketches were made while observing a syndactyly release at SickKids Hospital. 2. Final Illustration. “Dorsal flap dissection” is one of the first steps of the procedure, this prepares the patient’s fingers for reconstruction after the conjoined fingers have been separated.

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3. Final Illustration. It is important to visualize the location of the dorsal digital nerve and artery prior to making the deepest incision, as the surgeon would not want to sever these important structures. “Digital nerve and artery identification” illustrates these structures are situated relative to surgical incisions.


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Interactive Design A lack of universal medical records presents many challenges for everyday patients, as many have difficulty remembering medications and medical histories when travelling to different caregivers. EMILY was created to address this gap and proposes a new way for users to keep track of their own medical records similarly to current fitness tracking apps.

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1. UI Design. This flow diagram showcases the main screens and interactions within the EMILY app, and points out key features of the design. These include a calendar and appointment system, medication logging, and the ability to enter data for a loved one’s profile. You can also easily share your entire medical history with any healthcare provider with the click of a button using email or bluetooth.

133 2. Wireframe. These wireframe screens were made to flesh out the functionality and UI design of EMILY. 3. Thumbnail Sketches. Rough sketches and functionality brainstorming took place before delving into wireframes and UI design.

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Molecular Visualization The bacterial type 4a pilus machine is a complex and beautiful piece of molecular machinery whose structurefunction relationship has only recently been elucidated. This two-page molecular visualization piece was created to showcase the design of this protein complex and to help visualize its function for the first time.

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Shirley Long 1.Comprehensive Sketch. These sketches were created to resolve the storytelling challenges of showing a molecular structure change using a still image. In the final version, it was decided that these representations would be kept schematic in order to simplify the story further. 2. Layout Development. The layout drafts show different design explorations and methods for depicting the molecular story.

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3.Final Illustration. The final two-page spread took advantage of an isometric “exploded view” for the pilus machine in order to emphasize its complexity and connectivity. By combining schematic representation for the structure changes and realistic depictions for the “exploded view”, I was able to tell a clear story of its function while simultaneously illustrating its complexity.


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Pathological Visualization Lack of awareness regarding measles pathology may contribute to growing apathy towards the disease and rising non-vaccination rates. This two-page public health pathology piece is designed for the lay public, and it visualizes the infection, microscopic effect, and gross symptomatology of measles virus.

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1. Studies. The first series (top row) show sketch and colour studies of skin tissue cubes depicting the pathology of the measles virus at a cellular scale. The second series (middle row) are landscape studies that illustrate viral entry at the grossanatomical scale–the level of small lymph nodes and lung alveoli.

135 2. Final Illustration. The final illustration was rendered using Procreate, Photoshop, Illustrator, and using 3D virus assets from Maya.


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Shirley Long

Metabolism in Motion Biochemical metabolism is a challenging subject for undergraduate students due to its high-volume of information and inherent complexity. Students become too focused on memorization, and struggle to see the big picture of the metabolic pathways and their application to the real world. To address this learning gap, Metabolism in Motion: An Introduction to Metabolic Pathways was developed as (i) an educational 3D animation and (ii) a web-based clinical case study.

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1. Final Illustration. Within this 3D animation, I decided to use a 2D city analogy to explain the complex purpose of metabolism and its role in energy production. By using 2D assets, I created a visual metaphor for the analogy and simplified its explanation by reducing visual complexity.

2. Storyboard. Before delving into animation creation, I developed in-depth storyboards which helped me evaluate story flow and alignment with visuals.

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Shirley Long 1. Final Stills. These still images represent key scenes within the animation: the molecular players (main), the metabolic pathways (top left), cellular receptors (top right), mitochondrial proteins (bottom left), and impacts in the real world (bottom right).

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Tracy Xiang A firm believer of iterations, Tracy’s process focuses on the refinement of render techniques and intuitive information visualization. Tracy loves to explore unconventional colour palettes and styles in her illustrations and animations. Her research project explores blending 2D and 3D techniques using a hand-drawn style, as well as using character animation to inspire patient activation for anemic surgery patients. To pursue BMC, Tracy transferred from the University of Alberta to University of Toronto Mississauga, where she completed an Honours Bachelor of Science with a specialization in biology.


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Pathological Illustration Alopecia Areata (AA) is a common autoimmune disease with defined molecular mechanisms and treatment targets. However, its therapeutic potential is poorly understood by patients as existing visuals often oversimplify hair microanatomy, and they misleadingly portray hair cycle and immune response as non-communicative physiological processes. This illustration aims to provide a much needed comprehensive picture of this complex disease.

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Tracy Xiang 1. Final Illustration. The two-page spread aims to bridge many of the communication gaps that impede patient understanding. The illustration compares an AA scalp and normal scalp at multiple scales: gross, cellular, and molecular.

2. Colour Study. This coloured illustration was an intermediate design of the tissue cubes that would occupy the upper portion of the final illustration. However, this iteration was abandoned due to the ambiguous depiction of parts of the air follicle.


Tracy Xiang

Editorial Illustration “During an impending crash, would you rather run over the baby or the grandma? Or, should you crash the car, saving the pedestrians but killing the driver?� These questions, or rather the real and uncomfortable human responses, will drive future A.I. learning and development. The illustration, Coding a Moral Machine, invites audiences to ponder these questions.

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1. Composite Drafts. The illustrations in this series explore various ethical dilemmas. The first depicts an impending crash with a cat. The second raises the stakes by depicting the dilemma of crashing onto an oncoming vehicle or crashing into the child and cat. The final concept explores the idea of the Moral Machine as a student of chess where the machine mirrors and learns from the decisions of his opponent, a human.

141 2. Final Illustration. The Moral Machine Algorithm as a game of chess was the chosen concept for the cover. The hand and individual chess pieces were modelled in Maya, and rendered using Arnold.


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Tracy Xiang

Molecular Visualization

1. Study. This sketch, created with ballpoint pens, illustrates CRISPR’s many components.

CRISPR is one of the biggest science stories of the decade. Yet, most CRISPR visualizations focuses on its structure, leaving out its application beyond gene editing. Living Circuits explains not just individual elements of a circuit, but also how a logical operation is computed — in the context of both electronics, and dynamic genetic control. From there, we hope to introduce a new perspective to CRISPR: It’s not just a pair of molecular scissors, it’s a synthetic decision-making system.

2. Studies. This series of ballpoint sketches begin relating CRISPR components to those of an electronic circuit.

3. Look Development. To help immerse readers into the parallels we draw between the organic CRISPR and inorganic circuitry, an 8-bit style was developed. This image depicts a key aspects of CRISPR’s innate logic system. 4. Final Illustration.

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Tracy Xiang

Anatomical Illustration A ventral-lateral view of the brain is rarely seen in textbooks and atlases. Other than its scarcity in anatomy education, looking at the brain from this perspective has two advantages: clarifying how the cranial nerves connect to the brainstem, while highlighting how parts of the brainstem fits into the diencephalon and the telencephalon.

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1. Observational Sketch. A pencil sketch of midbrain white matter based on serial dissections from the Grant’s Museum. 2. Comprehensive Sketch (enlargement) and Maquette. Third revision of the caudate nucleus and the Sculpey clay maquette used for the final render. 3. Final Illustration.

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Preoperative Anemia Patient Education Preoperative anemia affects 75% of surgical patients and is a strong predictor for blood transfusion. Patient blood management (PBM) can effectively treat preoperative anemia and prevent unnecessary transfusions, but many patients are unaware. This character-driven animation aims to educate preoperative patients on the risk and benefits of blood transfusions and to raise awareness of PBM.

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Tracy Xiang 1. Motion Studies. Displayed are three motion sequences depicting different characters experiencing the symptoms of anemia. Character animations were purposefully designed to create a more relatable story for audiences.

2. Storyboards. The major communication challenges of this project were crafting stories that were not only relatable to a general and diverse audience, but also designing intuitive analogies of complex physiological concepts. The storyboards seen here display a selection of the scenes and analogies explored.


Tracy Xiang 1. Final Stills. The final animation was created in Maya, After Effects, and Illustrator, and features a blended style that harmoniously combines both 2D and 3D techniques.

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Acknowledgements The publication of this sophomore volume of the MScBMC Viewbook wouldn’t have been possible without the tireless dedication of many, many individuals. A round of applause first goes to the students whose creativity and intellect adorn the pages of this book. The next round goes to my fellow compatriots on the BMCAA exec team who continually pour countless hours towards the betterment of our community. Finally, the largest applause is dedicated to Chelsea and Jerry, without whose brilliance and artistry, these pages would not have been filled. Thank you all truly.


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“... empowers you far beyond those who know only what to think.” — Neil deGrasse Tyson


Biomedical Communications s Alumni Association Master of Science in Biomedical Communications University of Toronto Ontario, Canada