mGlu2 receptor activation

Animation created, as part of the Animation Lab, for Prof. Georgios Skiniotis from the Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology of the Stanford University School of Medicine (2021)

Upon ligand binding to both extracellular domains of mGlu2R, the transmembrane domains undergo extensive rearrangement to establish an asymmetric interface that promotes conformational changes in the cytoplasmic domain of one protomer, which represents a new mode of G-protein activation.
Seven AB, Barros-Álvarez X, de Lapeyrière M, Papasergi-Scott MM, Robertson MJ, Zhang C, Nwokonko RM, Gao Y, Meyerowitz JG, Rocher JP, Schelshorn D, Kobilka BK, Mathiesen JM, Skiniotis G. G-protein activation by a metabotropic glutamate receptor. Nature. 2021 Jul;595(7867):450-454. doi: 10.1038/s41586-021-03680-3. 

Audience: Expert scientists


Media: UCSF Chimera, Autodesk Maya, Adobe After Effects

Science behind the scenes: The story of the Flipper probes development

Animation created for the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research in Chemical Biology (2021)

The goal of this project was to create a 3D animation to engage the lay public about Chemical Biology through the story of one specific research project, which aimed at developing probes to measure cellular membrane tension inside cells.
This animation was designed to meet four specific objectives:
      1. Spark the interest of lay audiences & help build their trust in Science
      2. Maintain scientific accuracy & clarity
      3. Create a consistent aesthetics throughout the animation
      4. Increase the transparency of the creation process with a visual document referencing the data on which the animation is based and clearly identifying the knowledge gaps


Audience: Lay public


Media: UCSF Chimera, Autodesk Maya, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe After Effects

SB Grid Youtube Channel introduction

Animation created, as part of the Animation Lab, for the SB Grid consortium (2021)

SB Grid provides structural biologists with a tested and refined software infrastructure that includes a large library of scientific applications. This animation is meant to be a short introduction to the tutorial and lecture videos posted on their Youtube Channel
Narration - Janet Iwasa
Music - Filaments by Podington Bear

Audience: Structural biologists


Media: Autodesk Maya, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe After Effects

Allosteric pathways in the adenosine A2A receptor during G protein coupling

Animation created for Prof. Scott Prosser from the Department of Chemical and Physical Sciences of the University of Toronto (2021)

Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy of the adenosine A2A receptor complexed with heterotrimeric G protein revealed a pathway of ligand-dependant allosteric signal transmission, highlighted in this animation.
The conformational fluctuations shown in the animation come directly from experimental data acquired by Dr. Adnan Sljoka.
Huang SK, Pandey A, Tran DP, Villanueva NL, Kitao A, Sunahara RK, Sljoka A, Prosser RS. Delineating the conformational landscape of the adenosine A2A receptor during G protein coupling. Cell. 2021 Apr 184(7):18841894.e14. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2021.02.041.

Audience: Expert scientists


Media: UCSF Chimera, Autodesk Maya, mMaya, Adobe After Effects

SARS-CoV2 early translation & Double-Membrane Vesicle formation

Animation created, as part of the Animation Lab, as part of a project to build a visual consensus model of the SARS-CoV-2 life cycle (2021)

In collaboration with the Visualization Design Lab at the University of Utah, this larger project takes a novel approach for enabling rapid and transparent communication of the knowledge about the SARS-CoV-2 life cycle. The detailed animation, created in collaboration with experts in the field, is combined to an interactive user interface that allows the research community to annotate and discuss all aspects of the model.
Narration - Janet Iwasa

Audience: Expert scientists


Media: UCSF Chimera, Autodesk Maya, Adobe After Effects

View the full animation embedded in the annotation software: 
Learn more about the project: