Seeking the Artistry in Research
Jefferson’s Research as Art Competition celebrates all Jefferson faculty, students, and staff who have an eye for the beauty in their research or scholarship. For this year’s competition, judges selected a winner from two categories: life under the microscope, reflecting cellular and molecular work as well as conceptual art that shows renderings of research observations, experiences and concepts in various media. They judged each piece based on aesthetic quality, meaning, and originality.
We had 40 researchers and scholars submit nearly 60 entries with representation from disciplines ranging from neuroscience to architecture, engineering to art therapy, and pathology to art therapy. Each of the works depict the aesthetic aspects of academic study that often go underappreciated. The images also do something that is rare in research: they invite the novice, the uninitiated, to interact with the topic, to bring their own experiences to bear in the interpretation and appreciation of research art.
(Top-image credit, left to right: Lyn Godley, Savannah Patterson, Alison DePew)
"Little Brain of the Heart"
By interweaving anatomical, molecular, and imaging data we’ve created the first 3D atlas of the intracardiac nervous system (ICN), otherwise referred to as the heart’s “little brain”. The ICN (shown in yellow) is the hearts very own nervous system that has the ability to function independently of the brain. We know it is essential in supporting heart health, but its exact roles are still not completely clear. This ground breaking work bridges the gap between neurology, cardiology, and researchers alike to address questions in a way that were never possible before.
Gabrielle Santulli, Amy Szajna, Laura Moyer
"Depression in the Postpartum Period: Exploring a Brief Behavioral Activation Intervention"
The Stratton Foundation provided the Jefferson College of Nursing with a gift that funded faculty-led health services research pilot projects. To improve research literacy and community engagement, nurse scientists were partnered with Kanbar College of Design and Engineering, MS Health Communication Design students and alumni. Combining research and art resulted in an engaging artistic poster that brings awareness of postpartum depression to new moms in India which is often not acknowledged. Inspired by traditional Indian folk-art and embroidery, the design informs struggling new moms about the importance of mental wellness and communicating with family and healthcare providers.
This Year's Judges
Megan Voeller (they/she) is Director of Humanities at Thomas Jefferson University in Center City, where they develop programs that infuse the arts and humanities into health professions education. Previously, Megan was a curator at the USF Contemporary Art Museum. They hold degrees in art, art history and media studies.
Lucy Reading-Ikkanda (she/her) is the graphic designer for the Simons Foundation where she produces explanatory diagrams to illuminate the work of computational research scientists. A graduate of the UC Santa Cruz Scientific Illustration Program, Lucy has worked as an art director for Scientific American, art director for The Scientist, and graphics editor for Quanta Magazine.