2022 AMI Online Salon

The Pathogenesis of Emerging Respiratory Viruses

Project Details

  • Entrant Name:  Ryan Kissinger
  • Client: Dr Emmie De Wit
  • Copyright: NIAID, 2022
  • Medium/software used: Graphite on Paper/Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator
  • Final presentation format: PowerPoint
  • Primary Audience: Biomedical researchers and the public

Project Description

The work of the Molecular Pathogenesis Unit at the NIH is complex and multifaceted. To facilitate understanding and collaboration amongst the various stakeholders, from researchers to the public, it was important to create an image for PowerPoint presentations that described the overarching themes of the research, the basic science and the models and tools used. To highlight the centrality of interstitial pneumonia in severe respiratory disease, normal vs diseased alveoli are featured prominently in the image. The conventional representation of alveoli is as a simple 2D schematic. While this may be useful for illustrating the basic mechanism of gas exchange, it is insufficient for showing how fluid buildup happens or where inflammatory cells are coming from. Thus the decision to represent each alveolus as a highly rendered 3D structure allows for a much more intuitive view of viral pneumonia and its contributing factors. Nipah virus has been limited to Southeast Asia, but 1918 Influenza and SARS-CoV-2 are globally distributed. Thus, it became important to include a human host that was suitably representative of the Southeast Asian population but also universal enough in appearance to not limit the scope of the problem to a specific geographic area. As a teaching tool, particularly as it pertains to SARS-CoV-2, it is hoped that this image can facilitate public discussion and foster further research into one of the most prescient issues affecting the global community.