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Biomedical Communications Alumni Association


Last month, the Association of Medical Illustrators (AMI) hosted their 74th annual conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The conference brings together students and professionals in the field, to showcase their work and skills through a series of events. Attendees also got to experience great Midwestern hospitality in a new surrounding - Milwaukee proving to be a small city with a great deal of new offerings to explore.

University of Toronto’s Biomedical Communications alumni and students showed a tremendous range of work. Several graduating students held talks on their research as part of the Vesalian Scholar program.

Shirley Long presented, Metabolism in Motion: Engaging Biochemistry Students with Storytelling, discussing the ways in which her animation builds a high-level understanding of the connections between the pathways involved in metabolism.

Mona Li gave a talk, From Panel to Patient: Making Comics to Teach about Palliative Care, in which she discussed palliative care: what it is, and its importance throughout the course of disease trajectory. Her masters research project explores this topic through comics, and her talk explores this medium and its specific potential for communication.

Colleen Tang Poy presented her research project, A Digital Game‐Based Approach to Learning Glucose Metabolism, which explores the use of games and interactive media in order to communicate the complex pathways involved in glucose metabolism, a difficult subject for audiences to appreciate in its full complexity. The game uses Activity Theory Model for Serious Games (ATMSG), with an additional game-trace layer, to investigate in-game failure and provide more information about audience learning.

The Alan Cole Vesalian Scholar Talk was given by recipient Alex Young, speaking about his research project, Twin-Twin Surgical Simulator: Scaffolding learning using visual complexity in a surgical simulator for TTTS. His talk explores the development of a 3D library for a future TTS surgical simulator, and as a prototype and means for investigating learning scaffolding through this technology.

Keynote speaker, paleontologist-archaeologist Paul Sereno, presented on the use of CT scanning for more in-depth visualization of the surfaces, interiors, and structures of fossils and artifacts. His investigations have included the geographical to the anatomical, and attest to the wide-ranging power of visualization and visualization technologies.

The Muriel McLatchie Memorial Lecture was given by renowned biochemist and scientific illustrator David Goodsell, best known for his incredibly detailed watercolour paintings of molecular landscapes. His current work revolves around the development of AutoDock, a widely used computational docking program, and CellPack, a new program for visualizing atomic structures of cells. His presentation discussed methods for bringing together a wide variety of information in order to create cellular and molecular models.

BMC’s Prof Dave Mazierski also gave a lecture on the history of the development of two major anatomical atlases, by J. C. B. Grant and Eduard Pernkopf, around the middle of the 20th century. Exploring the connections between the two anatomists reveals striking threads across academic communities of the time.

BMC students and alumni also generously participated in creating fantastical illustrations of beastly mascots in this year’s new “Vesalian Beasts Draw-Off,” a fundraising event for the Vesalius Trust.

The AMI Conference was a wonderful chance for scientific illustrators, designers, animators, scientists, and creators to connect and share knowledge. We are so proud of the BMC graduating class for sharing their incredible research.

Stay posted for coverage of the AMI Salon awards, and for news about upcoming events.

BMCAA hosts events every month, so don’t miss out on the next one! You can see recent and upcoming ones on our Events Page. Also, please sign up for our mailing list in case you haven't yet done so!

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