Beata Edyta Mierzwa is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, San Diego, and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. In her scientific research, she seeks to answer many unresolved questions about cell division. During her PhD, she focused on how cells separate in cytokinetic abscisson—the final step of cell division—by studying the dynamics of the ESCRT-III machinery. For her postdoc, Mierzwa is approaching mitosis by exploring the variation in the cell division machinery in different cell types, with the aim to find cell type-specific targets for cancer therapy.
Along with her scientific research, Mierzwa is also a successful science artist—creating illustrations for her own and others’ scientific research. She says that “[Her] science art has been developing into a mission to communicate science both inside and outside the scientific community.”
To create her art, Mierzwa first breaks down the essence of complex scientific findings to translate it into a visual, thinking of a metaphor or play on words that describes an abstract biological process in an intuitive way. After finalizing the concept, she creates a detailed hand drawing using pencil on paper and then adds colors digitally. She also designs science-inspired clothes with her own drawings and microscopy images. Mierzwa will be designing this year’s ASCB T-shirt! More of her work can be found online at www.beatascienceart.com.