The power of the image to explain and inspire

The power of the image to explain and inspire

Illuminate newsletter header, Winter 22
June 2022
When Sabrina Lewis started her PhD at WEHI she realised that her high school inspiration had come from WEHI itself.

Sabrina Lewis employs the power of images to explore
experimental findings.

In biology class she had watched an animation by Dr Drew Berry, WEHI’s biomedical animations manager.

“I remember watching the animations and I immediately found learning the process of DNA replication so much easier to visualise and understand,” she said.

Though Lewis doesn’t work directly with Berry now, her work in the imaging lab complements WEHI’s broader focus on visualising biological processes at a microscopic level to aid medical breakthroughs.

Visual force

In her PhD, Lewis uses powerful microscopes to take high-resolution images of breast cancer cells.

“Our hope is that understanding how the cancer cells behave and what genes they are expressing might reveal novel therapeutics,” she said.

Lewis keenly understands the power of images to both explain and inspire.

“Looking at microscopic images complements numerical data and helps me further explore experimental findings,” she said.

“Images and videos have a more immediate impact for general audiences.”

When she takes a breather from staring down a microscope, Lewis is enthused by the collaborative energy at WEHI.

“I love that I’ve had the opportunity to not only become an independent scientist, but also get involved with student activities and the wider WEHI community – there are so many opportunities here.”


Super Content: 
Animation still

This animation from WEHI.TV visualises research published in Nature Medicine in 2009 by Professor Jane Visvader and Professor Geoff Lindeman.

Video 1:06 

Image of many coloured cells showing immune cells attacking breast cancer cells

Australian researchers have found a new way to use immunotherapy, a breakthrough mode of cancer treatment which harnesses the patient’s immune system, to treat aggressive breast cancers.

Lattice light sheet microscope

Optical microscopy has become one of the most powerful tools in medical research.

WEHI's Centre for Dynamic Imaging is advancing our understanding of how diseases develop, spread and respond to treatment.

Animation still showing cells changing

Our biomedical animation team explains the discoveries made by scientists through 3D animation.