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ArtLab is a small team with various skills, experiences, and interests. As a creative community, we are inspired by challenging the explicit and implicit barriers to success and inclusivity in STEM disciplines. Our goal is to break down the obstacles to education and engagement using informal education and visual communication approaches. 

Right now, we are not taking on new members. If you are interested in a specific project, please contact


Kendra H. Oliver, Ph.D

Director and Founder of ArtLab

Kendra H. Oliver is an innovative science communicator with a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and a Master's in User Experience Design. Her work bridges art and science, focusing on creating engaging, inclusive narratives that enhance scientific understanding. As the past associate professor of pharmacology and director of design for the School of Medicine Basic Sciences at Vanderbilt University, Kendra has been leading projects like the ArtLab program, that leverage her ability to merge scientific rigor with creative expression. Her dedication to visual science communication and interdisciplinary collaboration makes her a leading figure in making science accessible and captivating for diverse audiences.

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LinkedIn | Twitter | Website



Helen Qian

ArtLab Studio Assistant | College of Arts & Science | Neuroscience and Psychology


Helen Qian is a first-year student studying neuroscience and psychology. Having loved art and storytelling all her life, she is excited to explore the intersection of her research interests and creative passions through ArtLab. On campus, she also works as a Next Steps Ambassadore, writes for her column “Art, Science and Symbiosis” in The Vanderbilt Hustler, and assists in neurophysiology research at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. In her spare time, she enjoys tending to the universes of her imagination and reading submissions for her literary magazine, Farside Review. She has experience in digital art, as well as most traditional painting and drawing mediums. Her artwork has been published in various journals and can also be found on Instagram at @helenqianart. 

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Stephanie Castillo

Graduate Research Assistant | Science Communication in Chemistry at Vanderbilt University

As a trained chemist for nine years and a filmmaker for three, I share storytelling videos about science through the lens of scientists of color. With videos that highlight representation in STEM, I'm researching if the videos could be a tool for intervention in changing students of color attitudes towards belonging in STEM.

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Website| Twitter | LinkedIn


Skylar Cuevas

Undergraduate Immersion Student | College of Arts & Science

Skylar Cuevas is a third-year undergraduate student studying Communications of Science and Technology and Chemistry at Vanderbilt University. With ArtLab as a foundation to explore her interests in medicine and the arts, Skylar plans to pursue a medical career in the future, to utilize her artistic passion as a voice for those in underserved communities, and to proliferate scientific discoveries to the greater public. Skylar is currently working with Dr. Oliver to complete her Immersion project by creating a growing art-science portfolio of scientific cover art commissions and series, academic papers, graphic novels, and other small projects.

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Navya Thakkar

Undergraduate Immersion Student | College of Arts & Science | Biology & Art


Navya Thakkar is an undergraduate student from Mumbai, India, studying Biology and Art at Vanderbilt University. From a young age, Navya had an attraction to the visual arts and loved abstracting reality with her creativity. ArtLab has allowed Navya to combine her two passions – biology and art. As she continues her college journey, she wants to discover the role that the interdisciplinary study of art and science plays in today's society and its impacts on representation and communication of science. Navya is a part of the Music Cognition research lab at Vanderbilt and is currently working with organizations across Vanderbilt’s campus to create art and graphics based on their studies. At ArtLab, she is an artist, heading the Commissions team, and continues to work on her Immersion Project with the guidance of Dr. Oliver. 

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Dayana Espinoza

ArtLab Studio Assistant | College of Arts & Science | Film and Communication of Science and Technology


Dayana Espinoza is an undergraduate student currently studying film and the communication of science and technology. She enjoys designing and creating innovative ways that media and art can increase the credibility and accessibility of science. She is particularly interested in how increasingly popular mediums such as virtual reality and short-form videos can be optimized to bridge the gap between the public and scientists. Beyond co-directing the ArtLab social media team, Dayana works as an illustrator and motion designer for The Kidney Project and is a lab technician at the Vanderbilt Institute of Nanoscale Science and Engineering. Outside of exploring the art of science, Dayana enjoys scouring the internet for her next D.I.Y project and playing volleyball.

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Emily Layton

ArtLab Studio Assistant | B.A. Molecular and Cellular Biology


Emily is a 2020 Vanderbilt graduate with a B. A. in Molecular and Cellular Biology. As director of ArtLab’s external relations team, Emily works to make ArtLab not only a resource for its participants, but a conduit for the art-science world at large. Emily spent all four undergraduate years researching the Wolbachia bacterium in Dr. Seth Bordenstein’s laboratory where her work was funded by the SyBBURE Research Program and NSF’s Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation fellowship. Her research is published in Nature, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, and a first-author paper in mBio. Emily combined her research experience with her love of art as a 2019 ArtLab fellow and a 2020 Artist-in-Residence. She displayed her artwork at ArtLab’s 2019 gallery show and created graphical educational materials for the Wolbachia-based outreach initiative The Wolbachia Project. Emily is highly experienced in digital vector art, drawing, and painting, and she is learning 2D and 3D animation.

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Website | Twitter | Instagram


Lauren Wong

ArtLab Studio Assistant | Communication of Science and Technology and Human Organizational Development


Lauren Wong is an undergraduate junior student at Vanderbilt. She is currently double majoring in Communications in Science and Technology, and Human Organizational Development at Vanderbilt University. As a young girl who has always held a deep love for art and a curious mind for science, Lauren was excited to join ArtLab during the summer after her sophomore year. During that time, Lauren worked closely with Vanderbilt Medical Center’s infectious disease scientists to create art graphics that represented their research on the COVID-19 virus and vaccine efforts. Her artwork specializes in taking complex scientific information and representing them in easy-to-understand and creative ways. Lauren is currently working with ArtLab to create a comic book on the current COVID-19 vaccine efforts.

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Maggie Xu

ArtLab Studio Assistant | Psychology and Computer Science


Maggie is an undergraduate student studying psychology and scientific computing. Between the art classes and doodles that constantly covered her school notes growing up, art has always been a part of Maggie’s life. She was excited to find a way to combine her interests in art and science through joining ArtLab freshman year. Since then, she has completed an ArtLab Fellowship project and participated in the Summer Artist-in-Residence program where she worked with the Calipari Lab to visually represent their research on how neural circuitry for processes such as reward learning and motivation contributes to psychiatric disorders. Maggie primarily works with digital art and has recently started exploring animation. Outside of art and classes, she enjoys curling up with a good book and playing piano. 


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Anjali Kumari

ArtLab Studio Assistant | Website Designer | North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University


Anjali Kumari is a Junior biology pre-medical student at North Carolina agricultural and Technical State University. She is a researcher and an artist interested in microbiology, virology, oncology, bioinformatics, synthetic biology/biochemistry, neurobehavioral science, and fermentation biology. Given her interdisciplinary approach and a particular interest in the field of oncology, Anjali aspires to become a physician scientist and pursue her MD-PhD in oncology. She was introduced to ArtLab through the VI4 Artist-in-Residence Program and decided to continue her efforts in the program and to learn more about the intersection of art and science and to implement such findings in her career to better disseminate scientific findings and improve research education/communication.


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Jacqueline Oh

ArtLab Studio Assistant | College of Arts & Science | Medicine, Health, & Society and Art History 


Jacqueline Oh is a senior from Oklahoma majoring in Medicine, Health, and Society and minoring in Art History at Vanderbilt. She is also currently working as a clinical research assistant in the Department of Plastic Surgery at the Vanderbilt Medical Center. As she loves admiring and learning about art across history and cultures, she also enjoys spending her down-time creating her own art pieces. With this love for art and a passion to serve in medicine, she hopes to further develop and explore the intersection of art and science through ArtLab. With a particular interest in global health and health disparities, she believes these skills will help better communicate and represent science. After this year, she plans on taking a gap year before applying to medical school. 

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Matthew Gothard

ArtLab Studio Assistant | School of Engineering | Mechanical Engineering


Matt is an undergraduate senior from East Canton, Ohio who enjoys creating interactive experiences which can be described as the fusion of creative coding and kinetic art. Through ArtLab, he hopes to better understand the intersection of art, making, and design. He studies mechanical engineering at Vanderbilt University but enjoys exploring and developing interdisciplinary projects. In his free time, he enjoys going hiking, playing chess, and learning the bass guitar.

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LinkedIn | Website


Janet Mariadoss

ArtLab Studio Assistant | College of Arts & Science | Neuroscience and Medicine, Health, and Society


Janet Mariadoss is a second-year undergraduate student studying Neuroscience and Medicine, Health, and Society while on the pre-medicine track. She is particularly interested in healthcare disparities within minority communities and is a member of Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health’s Student Advisory Council. As a member of Vanderbilt’s ArtLab, she aims to use her visual media and artistic skills to improve the communication of scientific discoveries and bridge the gap between the public and scientific experts. She also works on designing and maintaining the ArtLab website as a hub for all of the working arms of ArtLab.


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Qi (Kathy) Liu

ArtLab Studio Assistant | School of Engineering | Molecular & Cell Biology, Computer Science, Math


Qi (Kathy) Liu is an undergraduate student from China, who studies Molecular & Cell Biology, Computer Science, and Math at Vanderbilt. Kathy was so excited to find an organization designed for art and science lovers that she immediately decided to join ArtLab. In the summer of 2020, she worked with Georgiev lab to visualize the process of LIBRA-seq (linking B cell receptor to antigen specificity through sequencing). As an artist, Kathy loves doing watercolor and sketch; as for science, she is most interested in genetics and immunology. Kathy is now working as an artist and the social media director at ArtLab and also doing researches at VUMC, continuing her journey with the companion of art and science.

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