Australia: Weizmann grad brings science to life

Thursday, November 12, 2020
Dr. Ofir Shein Lumbroso

Dr. Ofir Shein Lumbroso

Science can be complex and often hard to “see”.  But a scientific animator’s skill can change that by bringing it all to life, not just for the scientist but for the lay person too.

Weizmann PhD graduate Dr. Ofir Shein Lumbroso is doing just that. She is in Australia honing her skills to become a scientific illustrator as part of a year-long biomedical animator internship at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney.

Dr. Shein Lumbroso completed her doctoral studies in the lab of Prof. Oren Tal in the Department of Chemical and Biological Physics. She says that she always had a passion for scientific animation, and put research aside to pursue it as a career. During the last year of her graduate studies she saw an ad for the Garvan position and “jumped at the chance,” she recalls.

Garvan and Weizmann have an extensive research cooperation program, including the Garvan-Weizmann Centre for Cellular Genomics in Darlinghurst.

As a medical animator, a position funded by Bob and Ruth Magid, Sydney-based friends and Garvan-Weizmann partnership supporters, the young scientist receives guidance from Garvan’s talented molecular animator, Dr. Kate Patterson.

“I am learning from one of the best and it’s an exciting time. Once the year is over, I hope to continue in a role as a scientific animator at the Weizmann Institute,” says Dr. Shein Lumbroso.

Her main project at Garvin is creating a 3D scientific video about the evolution of the genetic mutation that causes autoimmune disease. She works closely with Dr. Joanne Reed and Garvan’s Executive Director, Prof. Chris Goodnow—the scientists whose work this project is based on—in order to create the most accurate rendering.

“The greatest challenge for a scientific animator is to make science accessible while staying true to the most up-to-date research developments,” she says. “When successful, it is a great educational tool that can be used by scientists in presentations, while students can benefit from them in their studies. It’s so much easier to remember and understand a concept when it is visually presented. I love combining my two passions, science and art, and the possibility of being able to communicate the magic of science through my animations.”