The VizbiPlus project is jointly led by Dr Kate Patterson at the Garvan Institute, Dr Sean O’Donoghue at CSIRO and Garvan, and molecular animator Mr Drew Berry at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. In the VizbiPlus Creative Challenge, we were tasked to create art that is inspired by science. The artwork created was inspired by the science of these two new biomedical animations:  'Alzheimer's Enigma' and 'The Insulin Receptor and Type2 Diabetes'.

Intrigued by the information about new blood tests mentioned in Alzheimer’s Enigma, we have created this short film with both the scientific and subjective components of the disease in mind. Our work - which involved various processes of animation, sound design, scripting and recording - is informed by the well researched PI3K-Akt signalling pathway. It explains the formation of beta-amyloid and its contributory role in neurodegeneration. During our research, we were greatly intrigued by the possibility of detecting Alzheimer’s before seeing the signs of symptoms through the recognition of a malfunctioning insulin signalling adapter protein known as Insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS-1).

Whilst illustrating these scientific processes, we also want to convey the everyday ways in which this disease manifests in peoples’ lives. Using the example of a person struggling to match a pair of socks, we hope to bridge the gap between the scientific discourse and our day-to-day understanding of the disease. Overall, we found that the recent developments in scientific research foresaw that early detection of Alzheimer’s would make for a hopeful future.

Winner of the 2015 VizbiPlus Challenge


Animation: Su-An Ng
Sound design: Claudine Michael
Script and narration: Vanessa Low
Production: Beatrice Chew, doe and doe