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Janet Iwasa

The Secret Life of Scientists and EngineersThe Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers

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“Oh my gosh, look at that cheese!”


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Janet is a full-fledged molecular biologist who got her doctorate for her work on the actin cytoskeleton. She also can’t stand the site of blood.


Sensing there had to be something better than stick figures (the way biologists usually drew their ideas), Janet began studying computer animation and has since created illustrations and animations that have appeared in “Nature,” “The New York Times” and the Boston Museum of Science.

Biologists with Movies in Their Heads

Janet Iwasa animates other biologists' ideas and research and creates a beautiful and useful way to communicate about the molecular world.

Science Goes Hollywood

Janet Iwasa studies animation in Hollywood and starts to think that the characters in "Lord of the Rings" behave a lot like proteins.

Animating HIV

Janet Iwasa uses her mad animation skills to depict HIV cells and hopefully help researchers get closer to a cure.


About Janet Iwasa

Janet Iwasa got her PhD in Molecular Biology at the University of California, San Francisco and is now a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Utah. She’s also an award-winning animator and illustrator who brings biological research to life in her amazing animations. Not satisfied to do all the animating herself, Janet has also developed a streamlined animation application that can be used by other biologists to share their research with the world.

Original funding for "The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers" was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.