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Foundations Lab Art + Science Series + Workshop / Janet Iwasa: Animating Biology

April 20, 2021 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM


Life as we know it relies on the constant tireless work of tiny molecular machines. Janet’s work focuses on creating animations and illustrations of how these machines are hypothesized to operate, based on a variety of data collected by generations of molecular biologists across the globe. In this talk, she will discuss the process of creating molecular animations, how these visualizations help researchers better understand and communicate hypotheses, and share a few past and current projects, including a project on visualizing SARS-CoV-2.

Janet Iwasa is an Assistant Professor in the Biochemistry Department at the University of Utah, and the head of the Animation Lab. The Animation Lab is broadly interested in creating accurate and compelling molecular visualizations that will support research, learning and scientific communication. After receiving a Ph.D. from the University of California, San Francisco for studies of the actin cytoskeleton in Dyche Mullins’ lab, she completed a postdoc with Jack Szostak where she focused on visualizations of the origins of life, and later worked on biological visualizations as a faculty member at Harvard Medical School.

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