COVID-19: Visualizing a Moving Target by Jennifer Fairman for AMI Members

COVID-19: Visualizing a Moving Target by Jennifer Fairman for AMI Members

The AMI Online Learning Committee of the Association of Medical Illustrators Presents

COVID-19: Visualizing a Moving Target

Fri, Jan 29, 2021 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EST

By: Jennifer Fairman

Jennifer Fairman, an Associate Professor at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, has designed a presentation to teach attendees about the challenges involved in creating an infographic of the SARS-CoV-2 structure, replication cycle and therapeutics for public health consumption. An outline of content for this 1-hour presentation with a live question and answer period is available here.

Presenter bio:

Jennifer “Jeni” Fairman is an Associate Professor at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She specializes in medical and scientific illustration for publication, patient and public health education, animation, web, graphic & interactive design and small business practices. Her work has been published in hundreds of scientific journal articles, textbooks and book chapters, monographs, science presentations, websites and videos. Her contributions are highly recognized by the Association of Medical Illustrators, Guild of Natural Science Illustrators, Illustrators Club of DC, National Science Foundation, Ratcliffe Foundation, BioCommunications Association, James Smithson Society, and Vesalius Trust. She has been spending most of 2020 teaching from home and working on many COVID-19 related projects in addition to her everyday production work while juggling the “new norms” of family life.

This presentation will:

• Describe the beginnings of how the novel coronavirus pandemic inspired/spawned multiple visualization projects out of the need to educate the public.
• Introduce the AMI’s COVID-19 Medical Illustrators Group and contributions to the SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19 Research for Medical Illustrators Google Doc
• Describe the steps and challenges leading to and involving the creation of a SARS-CoV-2 replication cycle and therapeutics infographic for public health consumption.
• Describe enveloped vs. non-enveloped viral structure and the differences between different virus types
• Describe the enveloped structure of coronaviruses and how they related to each other and the novel coronavirus of SARS-CoV-2
• Describe of SARS-CoV-2 viral “behavior” (what it binds to, that it mutates slowly)
• Talk in depth about the of SARS-CoV-2 viral genome and what structural vs. nonstructural proteins play key roles in the replication process
• Describe each of the of SARS-CoV-2 structural proteins, their functions, geometry and surface ratios

The live presentation is approved for .05 Art and 0.05 BioMed Sciences CEUs. After viewing, login to and click “Submit my CEU Credits” under “my AMI” to locate the presentation and submit your CEUs.

Keep track using the COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU):

In a Pandemic, Medical Illustrators Made Science Accessible

In a Pandemic, Medical Illustrators Made Science Accessible

Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, illustrators have been working hard to create images that help teach scientists and lay people about how the virus works and how to take precautions to avoid it. There are images of the SARS-CoV-2 virus itself, depictions of how it wreaks havoc on the lungs, and diagrams of the nasal swab used for testing and how it extends deep into the sinus cavity. Some images are meant to illustrate specific research advances. Others aim to educate the public. But behind all of these drawings are people who combine scientific expertise with artistic flair. “It’s such a hidden field,” says Fairman. “It’s in front of people every day, but people don’t think about it.”

Faculty members Jeff Day, MA, MD (Assistant Professor) and Jennifer Fairman, MA, MPS, CMI, FAMI (Associate Professor), along with fellow MBI alumni Veronica Falconieri-Hays, Alan Hoofring and Association of Medical Illustrators President Joanne Haderer Muller, were interviewed by Sara Harrison for WIRED Magazine’s Coronavirus Science column regarding their contributions to educating the public about SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19.

Even if people may not notice it, medical illustrations are common; they’re in medical journals, textbooks, public health pamphlets, and everyday publications like newspapers and magazines. “Many people ask: ‘Why don’t you just have a photograph?’” says Jeff Day, an illustrator who teaches at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “But with an illustration, you have much more control.” Illustrators can decide what’s important to emphasize and which details might crowd the image and make it difficult to read. Plus, some things are too tiny or too difficult to capture clearly with a conventional camera: it’s hard to photograph a swab going up someone’s nose and into their sinuses.

When Fairman was asked to work on drawing the SARS-CoV-2 virus for the Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, she wanted to make it more approachable. “When you look at the virus, it’s really beautiful. The geometry of it is beautiful,” says the medical illustrator. “I think I wanted to just highlight that.” She ended up choosing to paint in blues, greens, and purples, colors that would intrigue people. What resulted was a 2 page spread for the SPH Magzine’s Special COVID-19 issue that was published this past summer.

Since then, Fairman, Day, Falconieri-Hays and many others in the medical illustration filed have been contributing visualizations that capture the public’s eye and educate many. The ultimate goal: to make understanding of the science behind the novel coronavirus’ structure, replication cycle, disease process and treatments/vaccines as accessible as possible.

Read the story in WIRED Magazine…

Jennifer Fairman publishes COVID-19 visualization article in JNSI

Jennifer Fairman publishes COVID-19 visualization article in JNSI

Jennifer Fairman publishes COVID-19 visualization article in JNSI

The latest issue of the Journal of Natural Science Communication is out (Volume 52, No 2, 2020), the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators’ peer-reviewed quarterly journal. Associate Professor Jennifer Fairman, CMI, FAMI published an invited feature article on COVID-19 research and visualization, “Science vs. Virus: Illustrating SARS-CoV-2” covering her visualization research and production work on the novel coronavirus. Fairman writes, “mortality continues as we speak and as researchers frantically work to find answers, effective treatments, and a cure. Our field is seeing a surge where we can’t draw pictures fast enough… Our best weapon is rapid, widespread, effective communication of trusted factual information and discrediting polarized and politicized misinformation in a fragmented media environment. Like 9-11, the world is in crisis with one major difference: [Artists] are needed.”


How did you discover our site?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

A Personal Note

Do You Collect Cats? Drawn Together Interview with Debbie Irwin

Do You Collect Cats? Drawn Together Interview with Debbie Irwin

Shout-out to an amazing colleague and good friend, Debbie Irwin, voice actor, speaker, audio producer, and Principal of Debbie Irwin Voiceovers. She has become a trusted advisor in the medical illustration community. We have had the pleasure of not only using her talent and clear voice for animation projects, but also knowing her as a wonderful friend and colleague within the Association of Medical Illustrators. People recognize her professionalism and value her work. She is a great resource as she also provides audio production services and manages the entire audio package: casting other voice talent, whether it’s for a male voice, a female voice that’s not hers, or multiple voices for eLearning projects, for example; and working with composers to customize canned music or create original scores. While you can hear her on Pandora commercials, as various video game voices, or guiding you on a museum audio tour (yes, she was once the voice of The Statue of Liberty), medical narration is her expertise. In fact, she is now coaching other voice-over talent who want to develop their skills in this particular genre.

Debbie writes a regular newsletter on a range of interesting topics, the newest being the Drawn Together Series, and this month, Debbie talks with Jennifer E. Fairman, CMI, FAMI about Medical Illustration, COVID-19, and Cats! Here’s an excerpt:

Q: Do you think anyone can learn how to draw?

“I do.  I think there is a difference between innate creativity and learning how to draw.  My feeling is, you know how to write…right?  You know how to write unless you can’t use your hands.  You can write. You have your own handwriting.  Everybody has their own handwriting.  You learn how to talk.  You learn how to walk. You learn a lot of different things.  I think you can learn how to draw the same way.  I think that in order to learn how to draw, you need to learn how to see and understand what you’re looking at.”

Read the entire interview here: Drawn Together Series, August 2020.

Photo Credit: © Emily Lambert Photography. Icon Illustrations: © James Archer, Anatomy Blue.
Art is Everything Podcast Interview

Art is Everything Podcast Interview

This was fun! Thanks to “Art is Everything’s” Aaron and Rose Miller for asking me to participate in this podcast. Here I answer questions about the field of Medical Illustration. Enjoy a fun discussion about Art + Medicine and what happens when these two worlds come together!!! Johns Hopkins MedicineJHU MedartAssociation of Medical Illustrators

Listen to Episode 3: Art and Medicine – Medical Illustration from Art is Everything on Apple Podcasts:

On Spotify:

On iTunes:

And follow along with the artwork on the website:

error: Content is on this site is monitored and © protected.