The aim of my work is to ensure health information can be understood by health care professionals, patients and the general public. By using visual solutions, i.e. graphics or figures, illustrations, animations and interactive media, communication can be improved and understanding increased.
My training & work
I hold master degrees in global health (KI) 2013, and medical illustration (GA, USA) 2008, and have been active within both the KI community and the Association of Medical Illustrators (AMI). Over the years, I have gained a broad foundation in the visual and performance arts, as well as training alongside medical students, and experiences working with a wide variety of medical researchers.
In 2008, I was recognized as a Vesalius Scholar for my thesis work, and have frequently served as a judge for the Vesalius Trust Poster Session, where medical illustration masters students present their thesis work in scientific posters. I have presented at past AMI annual meetings on my work and research, as well as given introductory lectures on the field of medical illustration. In 2011, I became a certified medical illustrator, having completed the certification exam and portfolio review; renewable every five years providing continuing education credits in art, science and business are met.
From 2008-2012, I was a producer for 3D medical animations at XVIVO Scientific Animation. There, I helped develop animations, interactive programs, presentations and static images for pharmaceuticals, medical device companies, and the general public.
With my background, I serve as a translator of complex medical information into educational visuals, and as a facilitator between the fields of medicine, nursing, biology, microbiology, cellular biology, biotechnology, anatomy, public health, global health, health science innovation, medical marketing, and medical illustration.
I am often asked what is medical illustration?
To this I usually respond that is it all the visualization associated with the health sciences. From figures in text books and PowerPoint, to pharmaceutical 3D animations, to illustrations in court rooms, to editorial covers on leading science journals and magazines, to popular science infographics, and to the images used in patient education interventions. My peers and myself are experts in collaborating to deliver these visuals, which aim to inspire, inform and educate their intended audiences.
As a medical illustrator, I bring my creativity and passion for both health sciences and clear communication to all my projects. I enjoy engaging with others to clarify a challenge or problem, and to find innovative solutions. It is my hope that through interdisciplinary partnerships we can grow creative and effective health communication solutions.
My current research is in exploring the perceptions of Somali immigrants in Sweden on visual media for health communications. This includes perceptions on delivery of visual materials through new technologies, such as interactive touch-screen tablets.
Additionally, I am currently working at KI on projects within the department for Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics (LIME), and have been developing communications on the recruitment and selection of massive open online courses (MOOCs) at KI for development through edX, an educational consortium providing high-quality open online education. My activities have also included review, reorganization and migration of web-content to the new web management platform, Drupal, for ki.se and internwebben.ki.se.
MSc in Global Health, 2012 – 2013. Karolinska institutet. Sweden. Thesis: Exploring the perceptions of Somali immigrants in Sweden on visual media for health communications.
Certificate, Infographics and Data Visualization, 2013. Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas. MOOC.
MSc in Medical Illustration, 2006 – 2008. Georgia Regents University (Formerly, the Medical College of Georgia). USA. Thesis: Understanding LEEP (Loop Electrode Excision Procedure): Familiarizing indigenous women in Peru with a medical procedure they will undergo for prevention of cervical cancer.
Certificate, Business Bridge Program. 2005. The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.
Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art, with minor studies in biology and music. 2001 – 2005. Mount Holyoke College. USA. Magna Cum Laude with honors in biology. Thesis: The art of biology: Exploring and illustrating the hindlimb morphology of the marine toad, Bufo marinus.
Academic honours, awards and prizes
Global Swede Nominee 2013 - The Ministry of Foreign Affairs & The Swedish Institute. "The distinction is awarded to international students who are considered ‘good ambassadors for their university and for Sweden’, and have shown academic creativity, entrepreneurship or innovation."
Full Tuition Scholarship Recipient - Friends of Karolinska Institutet. 2012.
Study Scholarship - SWEA (Swedish Women’s Education Association), Boston Chapter. 2012.
Certified Medical Illustrator (CMI) - The Board of Certification of Medical Illustrators (BCMI). April 2011.
Vesalian Scholar - The Vesalius Trust for Visual Communications in the Health Sciences. February 2008. For the research and development of the masters thesis, Understanding LEEP (Loop Electrode Excision Procedure): Familiarizing indigenous women in Peru with a medical procedure they will undergo for prevention of cervical cancer.
The Stenstrom Award of Excellence - Student Scientific & Medical Illustration Exhibition, Univ. of Georgia. March 2008. Awarded for an illustrated poster, The Erythrocyte: A Closer Look
Honoree, Alpha Upsilon Phi - (Service Honor Society), Medical College of Georgia. May 2008.
Elected Associate Member, Sigma Xi - (The Scientific Research Society), Mount Holyoke College. 2005.
School of Graduate Studies Alumni Association Scholarship - Medical College of Georgia Alumni Association. 2007.