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UNCON 2017

Saturday, November 18th, 2017
9:30am - 3pm
Bahen Centre for Information Technology (BA)
Room 1170
40 St. George St
Toronto, ON, M5S 2E4

Our speakers

Keynote Speaker - Gaël McGill



Gaël McGill is faculty and Director of Molecular Visualization at Harvard Medical School where his teaching and research focuses on visualization design and assessment. He is founder & CEO of Digizyme, a firm dedicated to the visualization and communication of science. Gaël is the creator of the portal (originally, Molecular Maya (mMaya) and co-author and digital director for E.O. Wilson’s Life on Earth. After his B.A. summa cum laude in Biology, Music, and Art History from Swarthmore College, and Ph.D. at Harvard Medical School, Gaël completed his postdoctoral work at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute studying tumor cell apoptosis.

Talk: Molecular Maya - What's Here & What's Next...


The goal of Molecular Maya (mMaya) is to enable the rapid and intuitive creation of structurally accurate and simulation-ready macromolecular models. I will give an overview of the existing toolkit and, in particular, our most recently released DNA, Cytoskeleton, and Modeling kits. I will also share ongoing development for our upcoming kit releases in Molecular Rigging/Animation, RNA and Membranes. We’ll review new Clarafi training resources to explore how mMaya can streamline production of complex molecular models and environments.

Paulette Dennis


After graduating in 1995 and buying her first computer Paulette created her business, Medical and Scientific Illustration, and then was head-hunted by Imagineering (formerly PageTwo). She worked with them until June, 1999, when illness required a year and a half hiatus, but early in 2002 she was 'off and running' in her own studio with new clients, a lifestyle the continued until 2015. The drive to create is irresistible and as she and her husband, Peter travelled, the paints and sketchbooks went too. When Peter discovered a flare for story-telling, paintings that had been done for joy became illustrations accompanying his anecdotes.

Talk: Adventures In Costa Rica

The focus of the talk will be a slide show of work that appears in the book, 'Adventures In Costa Rica', and how and why these works became irresistible subjects to paint. Playa Chiquita is rich in colourful people, scenery and culture. Plants and animals abound and occupied several mornings and afternoons of study. The magic of the sea is ever illusive but always beckoning to be recorded. The rainforest and humidity-haze lends a softness to the light and a gentle aura to the sun, all of which are a challenge to capture with a brush.

Andrea Gauthier


Andrea is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto. Her doctoral research investigates the value-added effect of game design on learning complex mechanistic and emergent processes and systems in undergraduate medical and life sciences education.

Talk: What role does culture play in game-based learning?


Andrea will discuss her most recent findings from her PhD research that suggests a link between students' cultural background and how receptive they are toward game-based learning interventions.

Jerry Gu


I am training to be a biomedical illustrator and communications expert. Coming from a background in biochemistry and laboratory research, I hope to combine the rigours and methodologies of scientific academia alongside the creativity and efficacy behind biomedical communications.

Talk: Defining tissue colour & surface characteristics for the NLM3D anatomy collection


Proper understanding of human anatomy informs effective healthcare research and medical practice. The NLM3D initiative at NIH in Bethesda MD aims to faithfully reconstruct 3D human anatomy based on data from the Visible Human project. The goals of my internship project this summer were to further advance the progress and scope of the 3D anatomy curation process. Specifically, sets of organ models I curated were then used to establish style guides for organ colour and surface characteristics. As these standards are incorporated into the project workflow, they may provide additional usability for future end-users of the NLM3D collection.

Paul Kelly


Paul Kelly (1T1) is a medical illustrator at the Toronto Video Atlas of Surgery, where he develops animation-enhanced surgical videos with a team working alongside high-level surgeons. The work of TVASurg covers common and complex procedures from the clinical specialities of liver, pancreas, biliary, kidney, bowel, and abdominal transplant surgery.


Talk: Making “Until Then”

Paul led a recent initiative at TVASurg to create a 3-minute animation short inspired by the opening credits to the HBO series Westworld, a fictional amusement park of the future set in the American west, where guests can play god amidst a cast of android “hosts”. The opening credits display a montage of shots that feature the building of the android’s anatomy. Paul will discuss some of the challenges and discoveries that came up when working with a small team on a creative project that diverged from their customarily pedagogic work.

Cindy Lau


I graduated from BMC in 2012, and have worked as a UX Designer at AXS Studio and now at Synaptive Medical, where I help design workflows and interfaces for surgical robotics, navigation and medical informatics for Neurosurgery!


Talk: Safety Critical UX in a Med Tech Context


In contrast to standard user-centered design workflows in the world of consumer and mobile apps, there are a few more design considerations in the medical device field where efficacy, patient safety and adherence to regulations are paramount. I'd like to share how it's like to do UX in Synaptive, extra constraints, but that basic principles apply whether it's designing UI for a robotic arm, a brain GPS, an imaging system or a data vis portal.

Dave Mazierski


It's Dave.


Talk: The Boreal Alberta Dinosaur Project: New fossils from an underexplored locality


When people consider Alberta and dinosaurs, they usually think of the southern badlands. Another rich locality is in northern Alberta, west of Grand Prairie, where dinosaurs from an inland environment have been discovered. In 2017 field work, a new lambeosaurine fossil was discovered in a riverbed location, typical of northern Alberta fossil sites.

Dino Pulerà


Dino spent the first part of his career working for a biomedical art studio as a scientific and medical illustrator producing illustrations for textbooks. The second part of his career has been spent working in the medical legal field for Artery Studios as an associate art director and medical illustrator. He has also been running a freelance business in his free time. Some of his current freelance projects include illustrating extinct vertebrates for a fossil field guide, designing a collector coin for the Royal Canadian Mint and working on new editions of his co-authored book, The Dissection of Vertebrates.


Talk: A New Makeover for a New Tyrannosaur


A recent discovery of a new dinosaur shed light on an unconventional appearance of a tyrannosaur. The exceptional fossil preservation of this new dinosaur allowed the researchers to make an inference that suggested this tyrannosaur had a very croc-like face with large flat scales shrink-wrapped tightly to the skull. An illustration was commissioned to depict this new discovery. The illustration had an evolution of its own. The portrait of this dinosaur metamorphosed as the researchers delved deeper in the data and made comparisons with modern reptilian analogues.

Dani Sayeau


Dani Sayeau is a student in their second year of the MscBMC program. Dani has a keen interest in solving complex communication problems and user centered design.


Talk: The role of colour as an attention cue in communicating molecular motion


In an experiment conducted by Dr.Jodie Jenkinson we examined the effect of colour based attention cues on undergraduate biology student's understanding of molecular motion. This presentation will discuss the findings of that study and the data analysis carried out over the summer of 2017.

Nicholas Woolridge


Nick Woolridge is the Director of the MScBMC program.


Talk: Modelling neurons from data


I will present two scripts I have developed (one in Python, and one in ZScript) which allow users to import publicly available neuron morphology data into Cinema 4D and ZBrush. This allows for the relatively easy reconstruction of accurate neuron models of many types. These scripts re freely available on Github.

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