Blog 2 – Vanderbilt Science Research; What is your topic?

Below are homepage links to the  Vanderbilt laboratories that we will be visiting. Each of these laboratories are in need of artwork that represents their research. Take a few minutes to read about their research. Are you interested in having your final project be about their research? If not, what other Vanderbilt research interests you? How might to approach creating visuals to that lab’s research area?

https://www.vumc.org/skaar-lab/our-projects

https://lab.vanderbilt.edu/hasty-lab/research/

http://caliparilab.com

https://www.vumc.org/crowe-lab/

38 Comments

  1. I would really love to do my final project based on The Calipari Lab’s research. I have always been very interested in learning about psychiatric disorders and would want to create a visual representation of the neural dysfunction that they are researching. In addition to this research, I would also be interested in doing my final project on the Hasty Lab. Obesity is a a growing epidemic, and I think that it is important for an impactful visual to represent this lab’s findings on its consequences. For either of these labs, I would hope to create a painting or drawing showing its findings. While I am still unsure of the exact execution, I hope to create a picture that is easy to understand and impactful, with a description next to it to further detail the lab’s findings.

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    1. I think I share a lot of your interests here, I would like to create either a video or a digital illustration for the Hasty Lab to show the consequences of Obesity other than mere weight gain.

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  2. I would be interested in developing a project about either the Crowe or Skaar lab. Both of these labs work with infectious diseases, a topic I am very curious about. Specifically, in the Skaar lab, I am interested in their work imaging host-pathogen interaction and in the Crowe lab, I am interested in their work with influenza as it is a widely varying disease. I want to look into either print-making or 3D modeling projects but am not sure which would be the best method/most effective way of communication. I want to create a piece that helps better communicate with the public to work to eliminate some of the general confusion society often has when it comes to science.

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    1. I think that 3D modeling would be an interesting way to depict host-pathogen interaction. I think that seeing only drawings depicting these interactions makes us unconsciously believe that these interactions are rather 2D, so 3D modeling would be a break from that.

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    2. I think that using printmaking or 3D modeling would be great ways to communicate the complicated science to the general population. From seeing scientific presentations and forms of communication in the past, I think the 3D model would translate amazingly to a less knowledgeable audience. Being able to see a representation of what you are trying to convey in real life form makes it much easier for the audience to visualize and conceptualize what you are trying to communicate.

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  3. I would like to do my projects with Hasty Lab or Calipari Lab. Hasty lab provides data about the percentage of obesity in the U.S., which is very astonishing and shows that obesity is really a very urgent issue. Since they deal with how obesity influences human health by researching on Macrophages in fat and the difference between Macrophages in people with obesity and without obesity, a cartoon that personifies Macrophages and compares them would be a good idea. Calipari Lab concerns about how neural circuits integrate experiences with positive and negative stimuli to guide future behavior. I think trying to depict a scene in which ordinary objects represent these factors and interact would be an efficient way to convey their findings.

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    1. I like your ideas, if I were to do my final graphic on the Hasty lab, I would want to illustrate how simple macrophage dysfunction can turn someone’s life around for the worst.

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    2. I align with many of your interests and was also considering the Hasty or Calipari Labs. I agree that both research topics are very relevant. I was leaning toward both of these labs because I believe that they both have results that could directly impact the audience I would be trying to convey the research to.

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    3. I found both of these labs interesting as well. I was thinking about doing some representation of the Calipari lab to show the relationships between neural circuits and addictive stimuli.

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  4. I am most interested in the Hasty Lab, specifically comparing the compositions of lean and obese adipose tissue. In terms of visuals, I’d like to have two human figures, one obese and one not, created from cell imaging.

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    1. Hi Ellen! I really like this idea but am curious about how you will go about cell imaging? Is this more of a drawing and digital version of cell imaging or superimposing images to create the figures? Either way, I think it will turn out to be a great art piece and super powerful tool of communication.

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      1. I was planning on superimposing actual cell images obtained from the lab onto human figures. I ended up instead taking drawn images of cells from Dr. Hasty’s presentation because they more clearly showed the other components of her research.

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    2. I also found the Hasty lab very interesting. I was considering doing something involving the healthy and unhealthy fat tissue.

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  5. I am interested in working on projects for either the Skaar Lab or the Calipari Lab. In the Skaar Lab, researchers are attempting to provide a clearer view of the molecular process of infection. I would either use the visuals generated in this lab to create abstract art or work on a sculpture that visually conveys the biological elegance of this process.
    Researchers in the Calipari Lab are working on discovering the neural mechanisms behind dysfunction in associative learning which underly neuropsychiatric disease. For this work, I see myself working on a sort of visual collage that combines the raw and complicated emotions accompanying mental disorders with tangible representations of the concrete neural circuits that cause these diseases.

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    1. I love the visual collage idea! It would be interesting to see the emotions that accompany mental disorders and the science behind mental disorders all blended into one piece of artwork.

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  6. I want to work on making art for the Crowe Lab. I think it’s interesting how viruses work and I think I can draw some cool pictures that show how they work. I haven’t drawn since sophomore year but I want to use those skills again for this project. Hopefully I can take my art skills to the next level on the final project.

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    1. I totally understand what you feel. I haven’t drawn for a long time, but these labs and their amazing research results really drive me to draw more and to really create something for people without a scientific background.

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  7. Vanderbilt University is filled with all types of research. I, myself, even though am intrigued by all the labs we will visit, do not have a strong passion to work with any of the ones mentioned. However, the physics research occurring at Vanderbilt especially the particle astrophysics and particle cosmology theory call out to my curiosity. If possible I would love to assist in connecting these labs with some form of visual to engage the public. I would love to design some sort of particle-based image that could show how nano to how cosmic the scale really is. While also at the same time I would aim to describe the connection between the two extremes because I know how interesting that would be for everyone to see.

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    1. Go for it! I think this sounds great!! David Weintraub is a great source of information. Feel free to email him (david.a.weintraub@Vanderbilt.Edu) (cc me if you wish) and pick his brain.

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    2. I really appreciate your idea about insisting on what you like and your passion about physics. I’m excited to see how you connect two extreme together with an art medium.

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  8. I think all the labs are doing really interesting work. Particularly, I think that the Calipari lab would be cool to do my final project on. Perhaps I could do a flow-chart type of graphic that clearly illustrates the logic behind the project and explain what the findings mean.

    The Crowe lab also seems like it would be interesting. For my final project, I was thinking of creating an infographic that explains the process and findings of the research. Or, I would create a graphic demonstrating some compelling data. I would try to explain things clearly and concisely without dumbing it down too much.

    I think that both the work of both labs lends itself to cover art; this is definitely something that I want to explore.

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  9. I plan to make a project connected to the lab that I am currently in—we use PCR to test wild amphibians for the presence of amphibian chytrid (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) at Percy Warner Park. However, I have not delved deep enough into actual research for me to able to choose an art medium with which to best portray the scientific information. Alternatively, I have an idea to make a mosaic based on chromatophore patterns in the skin of squids or lizards.

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    1. I think the idea of a mosaic would be a super fascinating piece. However, I am not sure what that would convey as a piece? Is it about bacteria detection or more about captivating an audience to facilitate interaction with science? I would love to see how this develops!

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    2. I think it’d be really cool if you could do something with an ELISA or something like it. An antibody recognizes the protein and a color enzyme activates if it is present.

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    3. I think it’d be cool if you somehow used an ELISA or something similar in which an enzyme reacts with your bacteria protein to produce a color.

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    4. Wow! How awesome that you get to use this project to represent your own lab’s research! I think that will give you room for more insight and creativity as you know so much about what the purpose of the lab is to begin with.

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  10. The lab that seems to align the most with what I’m most interested in is the Calipari Lab. I’ve always been fascinated with the human body and its processes and the brain is one organ that is absolutely beautiful. I would want to reflect their work by illustrating the nervous system and focusing on the beauty of both its specificity and complexity. I would tie in all the neuropsychiatric disorders and show how the misregulation process occurs and its effects on both the internal and external wellbeing of the human body.

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  11. I am very interested in the research being conducted at both the Skaar and Calipari Labs. The Calipari Lab, in particular, is the one that I can really see myself being able to represent accurately and creatively in some artistic fashion. Neuropsychiatric diseases, neurobiology, and really anything concerning the human body’s psychology are fields I am happy to explore because so much of it is unclear and currently in the process of being discovered and understood. I really enjoy sketching and watercolors so I believe either a small series possibly depicting the journey of a neuropsychiatric disease through the brain or the brain’s response to reward in watercolor or sketch are potential ideas for my final project. I am sure upon actually going to the lab I will have a clearer idea of what I want to do, or perhaps I will find my final project in a different lab as the work each lab is doing truly is fascinating.

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    1. I think that the watercolor series is really cool. Watercolor especially an apt choice. I think because it is good for abstract work, it really fits your view on the still rather unclear field of human psychology.

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    2. I also found the work of the Calipari Lab fascinating! Watercolor would make a creative and unique medium (especially in terms of presenting scientific information), and I think that it will end up beautiful!

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  12. I would be most interested in creating a visual for the Skaar lab. I want to produce a piece that shows the significance of the different molecules on the processes of life and reproduction for the bacteria being studied in the lab.

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    1. I think it could be really interesting to see a visual that helps depict all the different molecules that assist in keeping life going.

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    2. I think the Skaar Lab’s research is so complex and fascinating. I feel you would really enjoy diving into it and facing the challenge of representing it both clearly and artistically.

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