Current position: Margot Riggi at the University of Utah Prof. The group led by Janet Iwasa has a postdoc.
Work Area: 3D Molecular Animation
Can you describe your career path after leaving NCCR Chemical Biology?
After leaving NCCR, I did a Masters in Biomedical Communications at the University of Toronto, and I am currently doing a postdoc At the University of Utah Prof. In the group led by Janet IvasaSpecialization in 3D Molecular Animation.
What inspired you to take this direction?
I have always loved to draw as a hobby. I never really saw myself becoming a PI. then i came to know about it importance of science communication (at all levels) during my PhD, when I got the opportunity to present my work to different audiences,
I also noticed that in science, like in any other field, Clear and compelling visuals are very powerful, first to grab your audience’s attention, and then to help them understand your message.,
I also know from experience that the typical working day of a bench scientist is already quite busy with experiments and data analysis, and there is little time left to do anything else. When I realized that spending time on my figure was becoming one of the things I personally enjoy most in my work, I thought maybe it was my opportunity to jump in!
How did you manage to develop your scientific illustration and animation skills while doing your PhD?
I must say whether this idea came up quite late during my PhD, so I acquired most of my skills later. However, I feel very lucky that I had two Very helpful PhD supervisors gave me time and space to start exploring the field of scientific illustration While I was still working in their laboratories. In fact, at the time it was mainly to teach myself the basics of Adobe Illustrator (a vector graphics software) and to spend time polishing figures and slidedecks for myself and then some colleagues as well. The fact that some colleagues trusted me with their figures was a huge incentive to continue moving in this direction!
Another important moment was when I first started . had heard about Janet IwasaCompletely by chance, while discussing with a colleague at a conference. Knowing that someone else was actually making a successful career out of it was proof that it wasn’t just a crazy idea of mine!
Video: Outreach animation by Margot Riggi about the development of the famous Flipper-TR probe.
What was the most exciting moment of your career so far? Why?
being accepted Toronto’s Masters in Biomedical Communications and awarded a long term EMBO Postdoc Fellowship For Janet Iwas to work with, both news coming at more or less the same time was quite exciting (and a little scary) because it represented my potential entrance into the field and a conscious change of my ship’s course.
How do you see the future of scientific visualization?
area is Still relatively small but definitely growing and diversifying fast, mostly because of discoveries and advances in both science and technology. Far beyond the traditional medical parable (which actually dates back many centuries!) it now also includes Development of 3D animations, user experience design, interactive tools and even virtual reality experiences, it is Applications in a wide range of domains, from the pharmaceutical and biotech industries to the medico-legal sector, to patient care, to education and outreach … In a world where information spreads rapidly, the need for efficient scientific communication is more important than ever, and more and more People acknowledge the usefulness of visuals in that regard. But I’m really sure Scientific visualization has a role in research as a hypothesis-producing toolvery.
What is your source of inspiration or your driving force?
I’ve always been Inspired by people seeking excellence regardless of field (sports, arts, sciences…) more and more by those who want to combine it with some kind of balance in life and manage,
Ever since I entered this field, I have also been more strongly inspired by the work of My Colleagues in Toronto, Utah, and beyond; We all develop our own style and specialties but this always motivates me to keep improving. It’s also great to have a community with which to openly exchange ideas and constructive feedback.
What are your professional plans for the next months?
I plan to come back to Switzerland in spring 2022, where my long term goal is To establish himself as a scientific illustrator and animator, I am currently exploring possible options for doing this and am open to any opportunities and/or collaborations!
What advice would you give to a junior scientist interested in furthering his career path?
The biggest mistake would be to think there’s only one way to do it – Which is true for many careers nowadays. Most professionals in this field have a master’s degree from one of the specialized accredited program in scientific visual communication, but I also know successful examples of self-taught ones (it’s possible to find tutorials online for almost everything!). Importantly, you need build a strong portfolio Someway And find ways to make it visible. it takes time, so be prepared to be patientAnd enjoy what you do on the road!
As for many other paths, networkingEven ‘informal’ networking And just getting to know the people around you is important, As you never know where collaboration or opportunity may come from. NCCR Chemical Biology provides a unique environment for that!
Always listen to the people around you and be open to learning from them, but, especially if you are heading towards a «non-standard» career, don’t necessarily always be willing to follow their opinion!
Where can we find you online? How can we contact you?
you can visit my website www.margotrigi.comAnd I’m slowly trying to get better with social media!… (Twitter: – Instagram: margot_riggy,
If you have more questions about my career path or are potentially interested in collaborating, you can also email me: [email protected]