Shirley Long –
Introductory undergraduate biochemistry courses often serve as a prerequisite for upper-year studies in a variety of life science fields, such as molecular biology and human pathology. Metabolism, the study of the body’s production and regulation of energy, is a core subject taught in biochemistry. However, many students struggle with this subject due to its inherent complexity and high-volume of information. Students end up focusing on memorizing individual metabolic pathways and pathway subcomponents (e.g., enzymes, substrates, and products) rather than developing a high-level understanding of the interplay between pathways, and appreciating the real-life application of this knowledge. We are currently working to address this educational gap through visual storytelling and 3D animation. We hope to test this tool in collaboration with lecturers at the University of Toronto Department of Biochemistry.
Shirley is a biomedical communicator with a passion for design, story-telling, and compelling aesthetic. She grew up drawing and painting from a young age, and was drawn to science for its complexity and opportunities to make positive impact on society. She completed an undergraduate degree in Human Physiology and Pharmacology at the University of Western Ontario, and was heavily involved in academic research and working within healthcare settings. She feels very excited to be finishing up her Master of Science in Biomedical Communications (BMC) degree at the University of Toronto, where she specializes in 3D animation and design. Since joining BMC, she’s been involved in numerous projects with professionals from hospitals and research institutions to improve patient and student learning material. She hopes to continue working with others to innovate scientific communication and make meaningful tools for users.