Gael McGill, PhD 

How do molecules really move? What are the methods and datasets that inform us about the nature of inter- and intra-molecular motion? How we can leverage this understanding to create animations that teach and engage while maximizing scientific accuracy? This TED-style talk will review the common challenges we face – both technical and aesthetic – when trying to depict the molecular choreography inside cells. Depending on your audience, skill and time, we will cover a range of options from challenging and time-consuming Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations to ‘faking it’ with 3D animation tools and techniques that emulate the basic characteristics of molecular motion.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Gaël McGill is faculty and Director of Molecular Visualization at the Center for Molecular and Cellular Dynamics at Harvard Medical School where his teaching and research focuses on visualization design and assessment methods in science education. He is also founder & CEO of Digizyme, Inc. ( a firm dedicated to the visualization and communication of science. Dr. McGill recently co-authored and served as digital director for E.O. Wilson’s Life on Earth iBooks biology textbook. He is the creator of the scientific visualization online community portal (originally, the Molecular Maya (mMaya) software toolkit and has contributed to leading Maya and ZBrush textbooks for Wiley/SYBEX Publishing. Dr. McGill was also a board member of the Vesalius Trust and remains an advisor to several biotechnology and device companies. After his B.A. summa cum laude in Biology, Music, and Art History from Swarthmore College, and Ph.D. at Harvard Medical School as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Sandoz Pharmaceuticals fellow, Dr. McGill completed his postdoctoral work at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute studying tumor cell apoptosis and melanoma.