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Biomedical Communications Alumni Association


An Online AMI

The Association of Medical Illustrators’ (AMI) Annual Meeting is a conference usually held in late summer, and is a chance for medical illustrators and communicators from across the world to connect with one another. The meeting consists of a broad offering of talks, workshops, networking events, a fundraising auction and the AMI Salon where awards are given to student and professional work.

Usually held at different locations across the US and Canada, this year’s conference was (unsurprisingly) online due to COVID. A series of online events kicked off on September 9th and ran until October 8th. Events included fantastic opportunities for collaborating and viewing work that haven’t been possible at in-person meetings, such as the Salon’s COVID Gallery and Vesalius Trust-A-Thon.


Webinars kicked off with a timely session on how medical communicators Alissa Eckert, Meredith Boyter Newlove and Christopher Smith at the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) helped to rapidly create visual communications about COVID at the emergence of the pandemic. Alissa Eckert spoke about a frantic week of creating a visual of the virus itself, with her colleague Dan Higgins. Meredith Boyter Newlove spoke about the ongoing creative data visualization as part of her work on the CDC Epidemiology Task Force - and the need to create visuals for a variety of audiences based on constantly emerging data.

Christopher Smith, a Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology at the City University of New York and the New York Consortium in Evolutionary Primatology, presented on the development of the vestibular system and its relationship to how we evolved to be upright. He highlighted the specific benefit of using research methods alongside visualization.

Andrea Kim presented on the challenges of developing and analyzing medical AR/VR applications, the core focus of her work as a Research Fellow in Medical Mixed Reality for the Division of Imaging, Diagnostics, and Software Reliability (DIDSR) in the Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Questions include how to evaluate devices based on performance standardization, a difficult thing to conceptualize and measure. Her discussions reveal the hardware and software limitations of XR systems, and the continued importance of human-centered design.

Medical illustrator Sarah Gluschitz spoke about her work on the depiction of human taphonomy (the study of how organisms decay) and the disarticulation of the skeleton in 2D and 3D. Her collaboration with forensic archaeologist Haley Mickleburgh highlights the ability of medical visualization to show processes that cannot otherwise be captured, and its application as a tool for other fields of study.

Scott Alan Burroughs, Esq., a highly experienced lawyer and champion for artist’s rights, held a session on copyright and protecting artwork in the world of social media. The lecture contained pros and cons, tips and tricks, and what terms of service really contain, all helping to bolster medical artist's ability to protect themselves in a complicated world of online sharing.

Francine Netter gave an intimate presentation on her father, the famous medical artist Frank Netter, giving a walkthrough of his life. She traced his family background, beginnings as a surgeon, and how his art practice developed, showing examples of his artwork and including never-before-seen pieces.

Cameron Slayden spoke about storytelling in scientific animation, outlining best practices as proven through templates used in filmmaking and literature. He discussed the 5-point story structure and the Monomyth, two prominent techniques. Slayden is the founder of Microverse Studios and long-time illustrator for Scientific American, Science and Nature.

A much-needed talk on the barriers to diverse representation in medical illustration was given by Hillary Wilson, medical artist at Visible Body. She discussed the unconscious barriers to diverse depictions and how to challenge them, as well as how to technically accomplish better depictions of darker skin tones.

Arnau Benet, MD, led medical illustrators through a tour of cerebellopontine angle anatomy. Intended to simulate the surgeon’s experience, the anatomy was shown through anatomical photography, surgical simulation in cadaver, surgical imagery and computer modelling.

Rounding off the lectures was a small series of technical webinars, which included one on data visualization in Tableau (Jeff Day), visualizing metal-organic frameworks (Valerie Altounian), and render management (Michael Hickman).

AMI Salon

The AMI Salon is usually a vibrant in-person gallery and demo space, where attendees can gather and admire the work of the medical illustration community. The virtual nature of this year’s salon made for some unique new possibilities. Having all of the work - still media, video and interactive - displayed online was a smooth transition for most of the work being shown, and allowed AMI members and the public to view all of the stunning work. In ways this made the salon more accessible, and allowed for a closer appreciation (and the possibility to revisit!) work months after the Salon. The AMI Salon Gallery can be viewed here. A special gallery displaying work created to communicate COVID can be viewed here, and demonstrates the incredible breadth of skill in the medical illustration community.

The Salon winners were announced through a virtual event. We are so proud to congratulate a huge number of winners from BMC. Please find our winners listed below, and be sure to check out their work on the AMI Salon Gallery page and on their personal websites. Congratulations to all!


Alexander Young (Interactive Media) Twin-Twin Training Simulator: an interactive 3D surgical tool for teaching fetoscopic laser ablation to treat TTTS; Supervisors Nicholas Woolridge and Marc Dryer

Hang Lin (Still Media – Editorial) Cyborg Botany; Supervisor Marc Dryer


Alexander Young (Interactive Media) Twin-Twin Training Simulator: an interactive 3D surgical tool for teaching fetoscopic laser ablation to treat TTTS; Supervisors Nicholas Woolridge and Marc Dryer

Hang Lin (Still Media – Editorial) Cyborg Botany; Supervisor Marc Dryer

Colleen Paris (Still Media – Didactic/Instructional – Molecular/Biological/Life Sciences) A Guide to Potentially Habitable Exoplanets; Supervisor Jodie Jenkinson

Brittany Cheung (Still Media – Didactic/Instructional – Molecular/Biological/Life Sciences) Emperor Penguins: Breeding Season and Adaptations; Supervisor Jodie Jenkinson

Hang Lin (Still Media – Didactic/Instructional -- Anatomical/Pathological) Acquired Ocular Toxoplasmosis; Supervisors Shelley Wall and David Mazierski


Tracy Xiang (Animated Media) Preoperative Anemia Patient Education: A Character Driven Story; Supervisors Marc Dryer and Shelley Wall

Avesta Rastan (Animated Media) Illuminating Medulloblastoma; Supervisors Nick Woolridge and Marc Dryer

Eric Chung (Still Media – Editorial) Predicting Peking Man: An Anthropological Approximation; Supervisors Marc Dryer and Chi-Chun Liu

Emily Taylor (Still Media – Editorial) Clinical Trials of Cancer Drugs Fail Due to Missed Target Protein; Supervisor Marc Dryer

Christine Shan (Still Media – Editorial) Space Biomining; Supervisor Marc Dryer

Zhen Bai (Still Media – Didactic/Instructional – Molecular/Biological/Life Sciences) The Perfect Match of Demise; Supervisor Derek Ng

Margot Riggi (Still Media – Didactic/Instructional – Molecular/Biological/Life Sciences) Pyocins: Natural Bacteria Killers; Supervisor Derek Ng

Evelyn Lockhart (Still Media – Didactic/Instructional – Molecular/Biological/Life Sciences) An Illusion of Fire and Ice; Supervisor Derek Ng

Ava Schroedl (Still Media – Didactic/Instructional – Molecular/Biological/Life Sciences) Mapping the Binding Sites of the Opioid Antidote; Supervisor Derek Ng A huge thank you to all of the students and alumni who participated in an incredible AMI Conference and Salon. We are so proud of you all!

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 or mailing list (sign up if you haven’t already!). Hope we see you at our next event!


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