Geneticist Perry Hackett is my mentor, checking my work and guiding me to experts and resources. Anthropologist Irma McClaurin championed the University of Minnesota commission for my DNA Portrait Exhibit.
As a Fulbright Senior Scholar to Israel, I worked with Dr. Dan Mishmar, an evolutionary geneticist at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, to develop an animated video about his research.
Another opportunity came from the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent). It was a National Science Foundation think tank for innovative, cross-disciplinary, evolutionary research at Duke University. I was granted a six-month residency to develop interactive media about genomics and human evolution.
During my residency at NESCent, I was with a working group led by Dr. Nina Jablonski and Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. We developed curricula for middle school students connecting their genetic ancestry with a family history that received funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).
The grants led to several successful, ongoing programs: the “Genetics and Genealogy” curricula for undergraduates at Spelman College and “Finding Your Roots” summer camp for teens at Penn State University.
I designed interactive media for the programs; a digital book for Spelman, and a visualization tool for Penn State. You can watch a short video introducing each program on my Vimeo site here and here.
“Skin We Are In,” a book about the evolution of human skin color, is another collaboration with Nina Jablonski. It celebrates the “glorious human rainbow” as an illustrated story with the science written by Nina and artwork by me. Available from Amazon.
Working with the Bioinformatics scientists at Be the Match was an advanced course on the HLA immune system. I made two videos explaining their research; Genetic Ancestry for a better match and meet the Bioinformatics Group.
I’ve shown my work and attended meetings at Cold Spring Harbor Lab (CSHL) by the generosity of Dr. David Stewart, executive director of meetings and courses. Geneticist Susanne Gollin at the University of Pittsburg, and Genetic Counselor, Judith Benkendorf at ACMG, offered speaking opportunities and art commissions.
Proud to be one of the founding members of the Genome Writers Guild (GWG) — a scientific organization building a better future for humanity through genome engineering and public outreach.
I’m a member of the National Association of Science Writers (NASW), the Philosophical Society of Washington, D.C. (PSW), and the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG).
The image at the top is an illustration from the last chapter in the digital book “We Want Our Genome Story.”