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The Art of Science with Shiz Aoki, Medical Illustrator – Real Scientists

The Art of Science with Shiz Aoki, Medical Illustrator

Dolphins_NatGeo_with-cover (1) After a huge week in Iceland, we’re delighted to welcome our next curator, Medical Illustrator, Co-founder & CEO of BioRender, Shiz Aoki  (@ShizAoki). Shiz is an award-winning medical illustrator, founder of Anatomize Studios, artist at National Geographic , co-founder of @BioRender, and an alumnus if Johns Hopkins Medicine. She’s an advocate of #SciComm, #womeninSTEM, #SciArt and accessible design. She’ll be sharing her work and drawing on 10 years of experience in visual sci-comm to offer tips on how scientists can improve their own science figures! More on Shiz below.


I’m insatiably curious and I think that science always fed that side of my personality. I’m also a big skeptic and question everything around me, which is a traitshiz-headshot-2017_sepia2 that science also encourages. Also, science is just cool! Scientific illustrators capture the beauty and phenomena of nature that can’t be seen with the naked eye or by technological means – everything from visualizing the complexities of astrophysics for NASA, to drawing anatomical cross-sections of the fastest swimming shark, down to biomolecular animations of cancer genetics. It takes a strange combination of skills including scientific knowledge, visual art skills, and empathic communication to excel in the field. I work at the intersection of science, art, and communication. This could mean I create anatomical illustrations for surgical textbooks, 3D animations for molecular interactions in the body, or shark dissection illustrations for National Geographic for a more global audience. Once you have the basic tools, it’s really fun how you can apply those skills across so many media and audiences. We are living in an era in which scientific advancement is accelerating as fast as the trust in science is eroding. It may sound cliché, but pictures really are worth 1000 words. Visuals play such a crucial role in effectively communicating a message, it’s imperative that these images are clear, accurate and accessible. In my spare time, I love oil painting (wish I had the time and ventilated studio to do it more often), cooking with friends, food/wine pairing, figure drawing, running, traveling On an Ideal Day Off I would go for a morning run, light reading, seeing family and friends for a feast and delicious wine 🙂



Please welcome Shiz to Real Scientists!


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