July 10, 2017

USC Stem Cell artist Amanda Kwieraga plants a Neuronal Forest

Neuronal Forest (Painting by Amanda Kwieraga)

“Anyone who views something under a microscope or through a telescope will tell you that science is art, and that art is the perfect way to convey science,” said Amanda Kwieraga, an alumna of USC’s master of science in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine program. Using acrylic and ink on a wood panel, Kwieraga created “Neuronal Forest” as part of a series of paintings to convey concepts related to stem cell biology and regenerative medicine. “Neuronal Forest” depicts the motor neurons that transmit electrical impulses from the spinal cord to the muscles, facilitating movement. Researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of USC are using stem cells to generate patient-specific motor neurons, which can be used to test therapeutic drugs to treat neurodegenerative diseases, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).