My interest in stem cells lie in their innovation as a new frontier of science. During my time as a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at the University of Southern California, I was awarded a grant to combine my love of art with my interest in stem cell biology. My six-part series took textbook and scientific microscopy photos and reimagined them as comic book and pop-art style paintings. I imagined stem cells to be heroes battling villains of chronic illnesses plaguing our society today. My main medium is acrylic paint and Krink, a popular graffiti marker, on canvas. I credit Roy Lichtenstein’s pop-art style and original Wonder Woman comics as inspirations for this series. 

My work was enthusiastically received at USC, featured in the University newsletter and two gallery shows. One painting, “The Astrocyte” was featured in a neuroscience-themed show in the Hoyt Gallery in 2018. The full series was featured in my first solo-show at the USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience. The series was donated to the Eli and Edythe Broad CIRM Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC to inspire future students.

Following my initial successes, I began selling prints of my work to fellow peers and stem cell laboratories. Due to the high demand of these prints I have now expanded sales into an online business to reach a wider audience. I enjoy highlighting the process behind my work by bringing in the biological science inspiration of my choice of cells.

Moving forward I will expand my range of work to include more cells and diseases. My goal is to further educate and inspire those interested in stem cell biology and art alike.


 Interested in learning more about my original Stem Cell Project? Check out these articles:

Heroes of Disease USC's Kella Vangsness Scientific Themes