RALEIGH, NC.- A new exhibition at the North Carolina Museum of Art, “The Art of Science and Innovation,” showcases the hidden beauty of biomedical research that could help unlock new, life-saving treatments.

The free exhibition runs through Jan. 14, 2019, and features stunning images from the labs of UNC School of Medicine scientists. The exhibition contains just a few examples of how these researchers use images to better understand the structures that make up an organism, visualize the tissues of the brain that make memory possible, or capture the moment when a cell learns to differentiate itself.

These images may one day rewrite the future of medicine by providing insight into the most basic functions of the body and deepening our understanding of such diverse diseases as cystic fibrosis, heart disease and autism spectrum disorder.

“The images in the exhibition showcase the unexpected beauty found in the life-changing medical and scientific research that happens every day at UNC,” said Dr. Bill Roper, CEO of UNC Health Care and Dean of the UNC School of Medicine. “As North Carolina’s health care system, UNC Health Care approaches medicine through collaboration and creative thinking, striving to deliver high quality care for all North Carolinians. We are incredibly proud of these researchers who exemplify that combination of creativity and scientific thinking.”

“The Art of Science and Innovation is an important example of arts integration,” said Emily Kotecki, manager of Interpretation at the North Carolina Museum of Art. “Integrating the arts helps collapse the walls of traditional subject matter and makes all learners more aware of the interdisciplinary world they inhabit. The NCMA uses this approach in working with teachers and students to make connections, foster creative and critical thinking, and develop awareness of multiple perspectives.”

Researcher Bios
The Art of Science and Innovation

Eva Anton, PhD
Eva Anton, PhD, is a Professor in the UNC Neuroscience Center and the Department of Cell Biology and Physiology at the UNC School of Medicine. Dr. Anton’s work focuses on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying radial progenitor development, neuronal migration, and neuronal connectivity in the mammalian cerebral cortex. He is also a member of the UNC Autism Research Center.

Kathleen Caron, PhD
Kathleen M. Caron, PhD, is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Cell Biology & Physiology in the UNC School of Medicine, a department currently ranked 1st in the nation in NIH funding. Prior to her role as Department Chair, Dr. Caron served as Assistant Dean for Research. With a special emphasis on vascular biology, the Caron laboratory has gained valuable insights into the genetic basis and pathophysiology of lymphatic vascular disease, preeclampsia, and sex-dependent cardiovascular disease.

Dirk Dittmer, PhD
Dirk P. Dittmer, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Director of the UNC Vironomics Core, Co-Director of UNC Lineberger Global Oncology, and a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Dittmer’s research goal is to understand viral tumorigenesis, specifically cancers that are caused by Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV/HHV-8).

Bob Duronio, PhD
Bob Duronio, PhD, is Interim Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Associate Dean for Research, Professor of Biology in the UNC College of Arts and Sciences and a Professor of Genetics in the UNC School of Medicine. He is a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and directs the Integrative Program for Biological and Genome Sciences. Dr. Duronio’s research focuses on the genetic and epigenetic control of animal development, with a specific emphasis on DNA replication and mechanisms of gene expression that regulate progression through the cell cycle.

Jack Griffith, PhD
Jack D. Griffith, PhD, is the Kenan Distinguished Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the UNC School of Medicine and a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. A pioneer in high-resolution electron microscopy, he has conducted extensive research utilizing high-resolution electron microscopy to visualize protein-DNA interactions. His laboratory’s work seeks to answer basic questions of how DNA and proteins interact in cancer and other diseases. He was elected into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005 and into the National Academy of Sciences in 2018.

Mehmet Kesimer, PhD
Mehmet Kesimer, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and an investigator in the Cystic Fibrosis and Pulmonary Research Center at the UNC School of Medicine. Additionally, he leads Project II for the UNC Center for Tobacco Regulatory Science and Lung Health and is a member of the UNC Marsico Lung Institute. Dr. Kesimer’s main research interest is to understand how the mucosal barrier and its macromolecules function in airway defense in normal lungs and how they contribute to the pathogenesis of chronic lung diseases such as cystic fibrosis, COPD, and asthma.

Wesley Legant, PhD
Wesley Legant, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of in the UNC-NCSU Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Department of Pharmacology at the UNC School of Medicine and a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. His lab develops tools to better understand living specimens at the level of a single molecule or cell, as well as at the level of tissue. His lab uses novel fluorescent imaging modalities to investigate how mechanical forces drive cell migration through complex three-dimensional environments.

Ed Miao, MD, PhD
Edward Maio, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at the UNC School of Medicine, and a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and the UNC Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease. Dr. Miao’s lab works to understand how the body’s immune response distinguishes between pathogenic and nonpathogenic bacteria. Among his research accomplishments, Dr. Miao has helped to define the role that an inflammatory protease known as caspase-11 plays in the innate immune response and sepsis.

Li Qian, PhD
Li Qian, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology at the UNC School of Medicine, and member of the McAllister Heart Institute and the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Qian’s laboratory is renowned for developing innovative approaches to regenerate or repair an injured heart – essentially turning scarred heart tissue back into health heart muscle.

Mark Zylka, PhD
Mark Zylka, PhD, is the W.R. Kenan Distinguished Professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Physiology and Director of the UNC Neuroscience Center, and an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow. Dr. Zylka’s lab studies genetic and environmental risks for autism, as well as molecular and brain mechanisms that underlie pain sensation. Dr. Zylka’s long-term goal is to uncover new treatments for chronic pain and neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism, Rett syndrome, and Angelman syndrome.