AMI2020 Webinars


We are very excited to announce an AMI2020 Webinar Series! These webinars and additional virtual events will be spread out to take place in September and October! See below to learn more about the offerings! Registration is now open!

9 Sept

9am EST

Online Salon Opening

The online salon is now open for public viewing! With over 300 pieces in professional, student and fine art galleries, this year’s salon is sure to inspire everyone! Special this year: a COVID-19-themed gallery which includes entries dedicated to teaching and informing various audiences about the pandemic and the novel coronavirus.

We’ll be engaging with our members on social media, and asking them to share the research, reasoning, process, and design choices behind their salon artwork. Use the hashtag #AMIsalon2020

12:00 -1:00 pm ET

Medical Illustrators’ Perspectives Behind CDC’s COVID-19 Response

Alissa Eckert, Meredith Boyter Newlove, and Kevin Clark / COVID-19 Discussion

In a continuously shape-shifting COVID-19 Emergency Response, the creative and communications support needed to visualize and define COVID-19 and its consequences remains constant. Join CDC medical illustrators Alissa Eckert, Kevin Clark, and Meredith Boyter Newlove as they share processes behind the most recognized SARS-CoV-2 image in the world and creative visualization of COVID-19 epidemiology findings for general public and professional audiences.

In late January 2020, soon after the Emergency Operations Center at CDC opened, Alissa and her teammate, medical illustrator Dan Higgins, took on a huge, time-sensitive challenge: within one week, develop THE visual representation of the novel Coronavirus, the unseen ‘public enemy’. At this time the virus had not yet reached pandemic status and the general public was not sufficiently aware (or alarmed), so it was important to balance the threat’s gravity with striking beauty. Through extensive research, consultations with CDC experts, and protein data bank assets, the virus’s characteristics and key surface proteins came into focus. Visual development in 3D Studio Max moved at an accelerated pace, blending accuracy with strategic artistic liberty. The virus’s singular aesthetic has defined the look and feel of the COVID-19 Emergency Response and is seen thousands of times per day in every possible context as the world grapples with the deadliest public health challenge in a century.

In the COVID-19 Response, torrents of data are collected and analyzed across complex networks, then interpreted and visualized for professional and general public audiences. In 2020, Meredith is embedded with CDC’s Epidemiology Task Force, collaborating with SMEs in epidemiologic discovery, disease surveillance, and communications strategy to address COVID-19 communications challenges and opportunities. Day-to-day, projects comprise custom creative data visualizations ranging in complexity from static and animated web and social media to leadership reports and journal figures. Currently, the unit is collaborating with the Georgia Tech Research Institute to develop visual and interactive strategies for SARS-CoV-2 serology findings. A creative partnership with Response epidemiology and communications is unique at CDC and one of the first ventures in agency-wide Data Modernization. Medical illustrators are uniquely suited for data visualization: exploring and explaining data relies on the academic foundations and specialized illustration, design, and communication skillsets medical illustrators practice to deliver clearer understanding to a curious public.

About Alissa Eckert

Alissa Eckert is a medical illustrator for the CDC. She received her master’s degree from the Medical Illustration Graduate Program in Augusta in 2006. She earned a BFA in Scientific Illustration from the University of Georgia. Alissa serves all areas of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) working in 3D and 2D illustration, animation and 3D printing and model creation. Her work has been utilized at the forefront of disease outbreaks and is part of many scientific publications and public health education initiatives. Her work with her team includes collaboration in several high profile and emergency response projects most recently with the creation of the visualization of the SARS-Cov-2 virus seen around the world. Other projects include Ebola outbreak, Zika, the Antibiotic Resistance Threats Report, Influenza pandemics (H5N1 and H1N1), Cholera, CDC Vital Signs, Healthy Homes, CDC’s Zombie Pandemic Novella, and more.

About Meredith Boyter Newlove

Meredith Boyter Newlove is Data Visualization Creative Lead in the Division of Communication Services (DCS) at CDC in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2004, she earned dual BFAs in Graphic Design and Scientific Illustration at the University of Georgia. From 2004 – 2006, Meredith worked as a print and digital designer in UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and Nucleus Medical Media in Kennesaw, Georgia. Looking for new creative challenges, she joined the Medical College of Georgia/Augusta University Medical Illustration Graduate Program class of 2008. After graduation, she returned to Nucleus and enjoyed medical illustration, design, and medical writing roles. In 2013 she joined CDC’s Medical Illustration and Multimedia team, where she spent over 6 incredible years collaborating, wearing multiple creative hats, and supporting all CDC Centers. Highlights include emergency response campaigns such as Ebola, Zika, and COVID-19 as well as the 2019 Antibiotic Resistance Threats Report, the 1918 Influenza Pandemic Centennial, CDC Vital Signs, airport communications, and multiple comics. In 2020, she has been embedded with CDC’s Epidemiology Task Force, creating COVID-19 data visualizations from data analysis and creative concept to publication in a variety of channels. Driven by a lifelong love of color, design, nature, and people, Meredith considers serving global public health, surrounded by top-notch creatives, leading expertise, and vision, a dream job and a privilege.

About Kevin Clark

Kevin Clark is a creative problem solver who specializes in translating complex scientific concepts into clear and memorable media. Kevin earned his B.F.A. in Scientific Illustration from the University of Georgia, and an M.S. in Medical Illustration from Augusta University. He has experience in for-profit and government and currently serves as a Health Communication Specialist within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. A teacher’s heart pulled Kevin toward developing interactive training in CDC’s Training and Workforce Development Branch (TWDB) where he’s spent most of his career. He’s worn many hats for TWDB from production artist to team lead but ultimately finds joy in helping teams craft elegant and engaging training products for TWDB users. Beyond the artwork, Kevin enjoys spending time with his wife and son, listening to podcasts, and playing competitive sports.

11 Sept

12:00 -1:30 pm ET

Business Meeting & Presidential Address

John Martini / Presidential Address

Join us for the Annual Business Meeting of the AMI and the Presidential Address.

About John Martini

John Martini is a Senior Medical Illustrator in Visual Communications at Biodynamic Research Corporation (BRC) in San Antonio Texas, a consulting firm specializing in impact biomechanics and injury causation analysis (where physics and anatomy meet) in support of litigation and research. Prior to this he was with the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio, and in his own illustration and design business.

He received a BA in Biology from the State University of New York College at Potsdam, and an MS in Medical illustration from the Medical College of Georgia. John is a Board Certified Medical Illustrator and a Fellow of the AMI. He has served 2 terms as Chair of the Board of Governors of the AMI (2003 and 2004), has chaired and served on several committees, and most recently co-chaired the Program Committee for Austin 2017. He has also served on the Board of the Vesalius Trust. John has always been impressed with what an amazing, talented and hard working group of volunteers we have as an organization. He looks forward to being back in that environment and giving back to the organization that has given him so much.

14 Sept

Applied Science Session

3:00 – 3:30 pm ET

Christopher Smith / Medical Illustration & Paleoanthropology: Visualizing the evolution of the human vestibular system

The primordial vestibular system located within the inner ear is responsible for our sense of balance and is integral to our everyday lives. Moreover, it played a vital role in the emergence of upright posture during human evolution. Despite its importance, we still know very little about the comparative anatomy of this system. My doctoral dissertation research focuses on addressing this knowledge gap. Using my skillset as a medical illustrator I aim to solve questions about the morphology of the inner ear related to the evolution of upright posture.  This talk will cover how I combine research methods with visual applications to clarify our understanding of human evolutionary anatomy.

About Christopher Smith

Christopher Smith is a Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology at the City University of New York and the New York Consortium in Evolutionary Primatology, working in the Center for Anatomy and Functional Morphology at the Icahn School of Medicine under Dr. Jeffrey Laitman. A Maryland native, Chris has always had a passion for scientific exploration and artistic expression. After graduating from Salisbury University with a degree in Exercise Science, he spent the following year studying at the Schuler School of Fine Art Atelier in Baltimore, MD. There he trained in classical artistic techniques of the old masters, studying oil painting, sculpture and drawing. Christopher graduated from the Art as Applied to Medicine Department at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 2014. While Chris’ scientific interests span most fields of biology and medicine, his deepest passions reside in paleoanthropology, human evolutionary anatomy and anatomical education.

3:30 – 4:00 pm ET

Andrea Kim / Medical AR/VR Applications: Evaluation Challenges and Research at FDA

Advancements in augmented and virtual reality head-mounted displays (HMDs) have prompted the development of many use cases in medicine, and current extended reality (XR) applications actively being investigated include medical
training, therapy, pain management, and visualization of medical datasets for diagnostics and surgical applications. While the growing enthusiasm for medical XR development open new possibilities for innovative applications in healthcare, they also introduce questions concerning technological performance and clinical evaluation challenges within a medical environment. This talk will discuss hardware and software limitations of the display technology and development platforms currently explored for medical XR applications from a regulatory perspective. Evaluation of XR systems within medical context depend on performance standardization across XR devices, which require precise measurements of all
components, including both hardware and software, involved in the system. These efforts have been met by several measurement challenges. Such challenges include systematic characterization of the optical performance of HMDs emulating the design of the human eye, color performance of the rendering pipeline deployed in popular software development platforms, and visual artifacts in an XR HMD. We will discuss our most recent optical metrology research addressing chromatic aberrations due to various optical fabrication techniques in HMDs, color characterization in a rendering pipeline not yet standardized for use in medical imaging, and spatiotemporal effects introduced in an XR system not typically relevant to traditional medical displays. This emerging field encompasses the weight of the question, “Why XR?” in the development of medical applications and the importance of human-centered design in the translation of scientific accuracy when using XR for novel biomedical visualizations.

About Andrea Kim

Andrea Kim received her Master of Science in Biomedical Visualization in 2018 from UIC with a concentration in 3D modeling, UI/UX design and development of interactive medical extended-reality (XR) technology. She delivers analysis of biomedical applications across 3D platforms such as AR and VR in her current position at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a Research Fellow in Medical Mixed Reality for the Division of Imaging, Diagnostics, and Software Reliability (DIDSR) in the Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH).Andrea received her Bachelor of Arts from Northwestern University, and her previous work experience includes over three years of clinical research and regulatory training in cardiothoracic surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute. She has held national certification (CCRC) in clinical research by the Association of Clinical Research Professionals.

4:00 – 4:30 pm ET

Sarah Gluschitz / Visualizing the Science of Death – Human Taphonomy and Disarticulation of the Skeleton in 2D and 3D

In this day and age, it is rare yet appreciated when scientific illustrators get to illustrate processes that have not yet been depicted. Visualizing the science of death and decay by digging into the rapidly developing field of archaeothanatology, which attempts to reconstruct the original conditions of burial of human remains and the ritual burial practices performed by the living, provides opportunities for scientific illustrators to illustrate cutting edge, innovative research. Collaboration with forensic archaeologist Hayley Mickleburgh has led to the first 3D animation of an actualistic archaeological experiment of the disarticulation of the human skeleton during the decomposition process. The result is an award-winning Master thesis on human taphonomy and disarticulation of the skeleton in 2D and 3D for archaeological applications. This research demonstrates the advantages of 3D technology for the field of human taphonomy, and highlights the technical difficulties we face when trying to not only imitate but reverse engineer the disarticulation process of human remains. Continuing into more actualistic experiments in human taphonomy and inspiring other researchers to pursue this line of research, we also aim to inspire other scientific illustrators to develop new visualization techniques that can expand the scope of archaeothanatology.

About Sarah Gluschitz

Sarah Gluschitz is a medical illustrator currently working as faculty at St. George’s University, Grenada, West Indies. She graduated with honours in 2018 with her MA in Scientific Illustration from ZUYD Hogeschool, Maastricht, the Netherlands. Apart from working on illustrations for the classroom and teaching in the anatomy wet lab, she works closely with the Department of Education to help faculty implement core principles of design into their lectures. Her passion for forensics, human anatomy and illustration weaves into the continuation of her Master’s research on the visualization of the taphonomy and disarticulation of the human skeleton.

16 Sept

7:00 – 8:00 pm ET

First Timer’s Session

Sam Bond / Welcome to All New Conference Attendees

New to the AMI? Join us for this informative session to learn more about the AMI and all it has to offer! 




Please check back soon!

Vesalius Trust Online Auction

Mark Miller / Wendy Jackelow

The Vesalius Trust is excited to host its very first online Alan W. Cole Memorial Auction on eBay for Charity. Despite the pandemic, we have received a wonderful assortment of donations and there will be something of interest for everyone—from the historical to the contemporary. Although the format is different this year, the auction still retains the spirit of the Trust in helping our student scholars. 

Since 1988, the Trust has been raising money for scholarships and research grants for students in health science visual communications. One hundred percent of proceeds from the auction and the upcoming live event subsidize these student awards. Our goal is to raise enough funds under these difficult circumstances to help support the next group of students as they move forward into our wonderful profession.

Thank you for your generosity in helping the Vesalius Trust and ensuring the future of our profession. Together, let’s make a challenging year into something visionary.

20 – 26 Sept

Vesalius “Trust-a-thon” 

The Vesalius Trust-a-thon is a virtual team challenge that aims to raise funds to support student and professional research in the field of medical and scientific communication.

Participants can team up with others, either within or outside the medical illustration profession, to compete in a 5-day marathon of pure creative and collaborative energy to create a visual communication piece inspired by a secret theme announced on the first day!

The deadline to sign your team up has been extended to Friday, September 18.  To register your team, send an email to

For more Vesalius Trust-a-thon challenge details, visit

Thank you for your generosity in helping the Vesalius Trust and ensuring the future of visual communications in the health sciences. Together, let’s make a challenging year into something visionary!

21 Sept

3:00 – 4:00 pm ET

Copyright Session: Instagram, Artwork, and Copyrights – What You Need to Know

Scott Alan Burroughs, Esq. / Recent Updates in Artists’ Rights

In this session, Mr. Burroughs will discuss the pros and cons of publishing copyrighted works on social media sites such as Instagram — including tips and common pitfalls from the point of view of a litigator, and champion of artists’ rights, in the U.S. and abroad. In doing so, he will address what you really grant when you sign their click-to-agree terms of service, and discuss how current court decisions have significant impact on enforcing copyrights. There will be a Q&A opportunity at the end of the speakers allotted time.

About Scott Alan Burroughs

Scott Alan Burroughs was selected as a Rising Star for the years 2015-2019 by Los Angeles Magazine and Super Lawyers. He practices out of his firm’s Los Angeles and New York offices, and has handled over two thousand art and business law disputes for his clients in the fashion, visual art, photography, music, and film worlds. 

Mr. Burroughs is passionate about protecting the rights of artists and content creators, and writes and speaks often on the subject. He has lectured for California Lawyers for the Arts, the Fashion Business Institute, the Loyola Law School Fashion Symposium, and the University of Southern California Law School, and written articles for the Daily Journal, Bloomberg News, and others. He also taught Fashion Law at the Art Institute of California, and writes a copyright law column for leading legal website Above the Law:

23 Sept

2:30 – 4:00 pm ET

Roundtable Session

Jill Gregory (Moderator) / Networking session in Zoom

Our roundtables will look a bit rectangular as we take this favorite networking session online. We will spend time in community via Zoom, breaking into small groups for two 35-minutes sessions to discuss various topics and share recent work. Make new connections with remarkable seasoned professionals and ground breaking newcomers while reconnecting with existing friends and colleagues. Topics will be sent to registrants prior to the event.

29 Sept

Art Session

12:00 – 12:30 pm ET

Francine Netter / Teaching Medicine with a Sable Brush

Francine Mary Netter, daughter of Frank Netter and his biographer, uses a selection Netter’s medical illustrations and non-medical paintings’ some never before published–to tell his remarkable story. Frank Netter came from humble beginnings as a merchant’s son, but had early artistic leanings. He attended medical school at the urging of his mother and had subsequent surgery practice. His first jobs illustrating for pharmaceutical companies were very popular, and his subsequent work influenced so many and secured his legacy as a great medical teacher. Ms. Netter gives a contextual and historical basis for Dr. Netter’s vanguard work and presents a personal introduction to the man behind the paintings.

About Francine Mary Netter

Francine Mary Netter is the daughter of Frank H. Netter, MD, and his biographer. She grew up on Long Island, spending many an hour with her father in his large studio in the family home, while he painted his magnificent pictures. Francine has written for numerous publications on the history of medicine. She has a BA from North Carolina State University, an MA from Hofstra University, and an MBA from the University of North Carolina. Francine lives in North Carolina.

12:30 – 1:00 pm ET

Cameron Slayden / A Skeleton Key for the Mind: Story Structure as Applied to Scientific Animation

The art of storytelling is as old as language itself. Our profession, whether we’re illustrators or animators, is that of the storyteller. It may seem somewhat intuitive for most, but in recent decades, the specific conceptual framework that makes a narrative optimally engaging has been explored in depth by experts in filmmaking and literature, both historical and contemporary. What has emerged could be described as a “file format” for the brain, and the closer a story adheres to that template, the more it captivates and gratifies audiences through to the end. The more it strays, the less the story feels like it has a “point,” and the more audiences have to struggle to pay attention. Whether we realize it or not, we are expected to master the science of storytelling and apply it to our own work in a way that operates below the awareness of our audiences. I intend to discuss the concrete details of 5-point story structure and the Monomyth (the academic names for the two most popular descriptions of narrative architecture), and how they apply to short-format storytelling, specifically biomedical animation.

About Cameron Slayden

Cameron Slayden started his scientific visualization career as Science Magazine’s primary scientific illustrator in late 2000, producing illustrations and covers for the journal and animations for its online presence. Three years later, he began his Masters in Medical Illustration from Augusta University Health, and continued to provide illustration and animation to the periodicals Science and Nature. After graduating in 2005, Cameron founded Microverse Studios under its original name, Cosmocyte. Since then Microverse Studios has worked with multi billion-dollar pharmaceutical corporations, educational institutions, biotech startups, and produced scientific graphics for documentary TV series for Discovery, National Geographic and the History Channel.


2020 Virtual Mentor Mixer

Please note: this event is being rescheduled. A new date will be announced shortly. 

While we are sad that we cannot hold our annual “Mentor Mixer” in-person this year, we’re excited to offer the first ever virtual Mentor Mixer on Zoom! Join us for an hour and a half of networking. We’ll utilize breakout rooms so everyone can get to know each other. You can expect to network with many others in the Mentor Program as we’ll change up the breakout rooms three times during the event. We’ll also share “virtual trading cards” during the event – tune in here for more information on that front We will be posting specifications on the virtual trading cards.


1 Oct

5:00 – 6:30 pm ET

Awards Announcement and Happy Hour Event

Awards Committee Members / Announcement of Salon Awards

First, we’ll gather online to reveal this year’s winning Salon pieces live, sponsored by the Barrow Neurological Institute! The Salon is the annual exhibition of medical art created and produced by AMI members. The salon will open online, here on Sept. 9th, 2020. 

After the announcements, Andrew Swift will host a happy hour event sponsored by his company, iSO-FORM, co-owned with Nick Klein and Russ Adams. While we can’t replace the camaraderie of an in-person meeting, we’d like to replicate some of the random short conversations that we’re able to have during breaks and after-hours. We’ll provide an opportunity for members to meet in rotating small groups. Grab your favorite drink, whether coffee, beer, or tap water and join us to catch-up!

2 Oct

12:00 – 1:30 pm ET

Embracing Human Variation: Tools for Painting Compelling Brown Skin Tones and Diverse Facial Features

Hillary Wilson / Diversity Talk

The human species displays an endlessly rich level of variation. People come from all different ethnic groups, have a vast spectrum of skin tones and hair textures, and have genetic backgrounds that lead to diverse bone structure and features. There is no one default or standard human, and our increasingly global society leads to more and more diverse people occupying the same space, consuming media, and desiring to have their stories be told. Unfortunately, the art field, particularly the field of medical illustration, lags behind, neglecting to take into account just how diverse the their audience can be, and how important it is for different groups to be represented for the sake of effective visual storytelling, medical care and education, and social equality. Individuals portrayed in medical art are overwhelmingly Eurocentric in their skin tones, features, and hair texture and style. For people who do not fit that group, this can lead to the overall sentiment that resources and art just aren’t created for them, that their naturally occurring features aren’t “normal”, or that they are distracting. This is particularly poignant for individuals who are black or brown. That is not to say that your average illustrator doesn’t mean well, or is actively attempting to refrain from portraying diverse people and skin tones. An artist may run into some common barriers that  lead to hesitation when the topic of portraying racial diversity arises, such as a fear of stereotyping or offending, perceived difficulty, a lack of context and imagination to pull from because of limited experiences, or they just don’t know how.

Unfamiliarity with portraying darker skin tones may result in eventual attempts turning out dull, flat, and lifeless. Brown skin can have vibrant colors present, like orange, red, purple, blue, and green, and a variety of different undertones. A lack of understanding in how light interacts with dark skin can lead to improper lighting of a subject and ineffective storytelling. A narrow understanding of bone structure and subtle racial differences in features can cause an artist to either stereotype or paint brown skin with caucasian or Eurocentric features. This webinar will tackle two main concepts. One, it will unpack some of the subtle, often unconscious barriers that prevent artists from portraying diverse people and ways to overcome those barriers. Two, it will provide technical instruction on painting compelling darker skin tones, including color choice, lighting, and undertones in skin, as well as some of the exciting and beautiful differences in bone structure that people can have.

About Hillary Wilson

Hillary Wilson spent her childhood in North Carolina surrounded by a loving and supportive family. She received a Bachelors degree in Biology from High Point University, and later went on to receive a Masters degree in Medical Illustration from the Johns Hopkins Graduate Program for Medical and Biological Illustration. While at Hopkins, Hillary discovered her passion for patient education and developing resources on transgender health. She also grew more committed to creating diverse, affirming artwork that includes people of all different shades, sizes, and backgrounds. Hillary currently lives in Boston and works full time at Visible Body as a 3D medical artist.

5 Oct

3:00 – 4:00 pm ET

Science Session: Visualizing Neurosurgical Anatomy

Arnau Benet, MD / The Illustrator’s Scalpel: Visualizing Neurosurgical Anatomy

A thorough knowledge of normal and variant anatomy is at the core of a realistic and accurate medical illustration. Dr Benet will take the audience on a tour through the complex beauty of the cerebellopontine angle anatomy. You will enjoy stunning anatomical photography using surgical simulation in cadaver, surgical imagery and computer modeling to understand the transition from traditional plain anatomy to immersive 360-degree understanding of the cerebellopontine angle. This session is designed to take the medical illustrator to the surgeons seat, so that the audience understands the necessary process to create realistic, accurate and stunning medical art.

About Arnau Benet, MD

Dr. Arnau Benet is a graduate of the University of Barcelona School of Medicine in 2010. He founded the neurosurgical anatomy laboratory in his Alma Mater when he was a second year medical student, together with his mentor and Professor of anatomy. He completed a research fellowship at the minimally invasive neurosurgical laboratory at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in 2009. He served as Assistant Professor of both the department of neurosurgery and the department of otorhinolaryngology at the University of California San Francisco from 2012-2017, where he founded and directed the skull base and cerebrovascular laboratory. Dr Benet transitioned to Barrow Neurological Institute in 2017 to join the neurosurgery residency program and to continue advancing medical art and teaching with the medical illustrators and animators at the BNI.

8 Oct

12:00 – 2:15 pm ET

Technique Showcase

Valerie Altounian / Visualizing Metal-Organic Frameworks

Jeff Day / Getting started with Tableau Desktop for data visualization

Michael Hickman / 3D  Rendering, Render Farms, and Render Management

Brandon Holt / Zbrush 2021!

8 Oct

Closing Remarks