Chinami Michaels

  • Medical Illustrator
  • Chicago, IL

Scientist and Artist

View Resume

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I'm a scientist and artist who communicates medicine and biology with illustrations, 3D models, interactive applications and virtual reality. Currently, I'm a Biomedical Visualization (medical illustration) graduate student at the University of Illinois at Chicago's Medical campus.

I'm interested in addressing the biomedical field's unique communication gaps and how technology is influencing access to medical and scientific information. Having grown up in both Japan and the USA, I am interested in communication across language barriers. In 2013, I interned for the Embryo Encyclopedia Project ,as a scientific illustrator, and left interested in communication across knowledge domains

Before becoming a biomedical visualization graduate student, I studied Biology at Tufts University and Studio Art at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston through a 5-year Dual Degree Program. There, I researched caterpillar neurons and 3D modeled caterpillar abdominal muscles in a Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Neuromechanics and Robotics as part of a research effort to create a soft-bodied silicone robot drug delivery mechanism. I also exhibited sculptures exploring how scientists analyze the world , and science outreach through birdwatching and Audubon illustrations at the Boston Museum of Fine Art's Library and attended the 2011 conference of the International Color Association in Zurich, Switzerland to learn about color vision psychophysics.

In college, I was the co-editor-in-chief and creative director for Tufts University's Science Outreach Magazine Breakthrough, the only undergraduate publication which highlights science research happening in laboratories at Tufts University. I redesigned the former undergraduate journal to match its new identity as a magazine, expanded its online presence to Facebook, and increased the number of issues by adding a "Micro-issue", a shorter, half-size, playful issue that included science poems and scientific art for the first time. Currently, the group remains the most active science publication on campus, hosting talks by research scientists through a Speaker Series, in addition to printing its annual issues and blogging.

Professionally, I enjoy working with academics on interactive Virtual Reality applications, 3D molecular animations, and science outreach projects from microbial fermented foods to marine biology.

If you are interested in working with me or talking about nerdy intersections of science, art and medicine please email me at

More of my resume can be seen by clicking the link above or on my LinkedIn at


M.S. Biomedical Visualization at University of Illinois at Chicago

2015 – Present Chicago, IL

B.S. Biology at Tufts University

2010 – 2016 Medford, MA

5-year Combined Degree/ Dual-Degree program
magna cum lauden
Dean’s List (all years)

B.F.A. Studio Arts at School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (SMFA)

2010 – 2015 Boston, MA

Focused on 2-D animation, Sculpture, Illustration, Technical Drawing, East-Asian Contemporary Art History