Shiz Aoki is an internationally renowned science illustrator at National Geographic Magazine, an alumnus of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and founder of award-winning medical illustration and design studio, Anatomize. She is co-founder and CEO of BioRender.io and actively promotes science communication and advocates for women and minorities in STE(A)M – interdisciplinary collaboration in the arts and sciences.
When she was 14, she was so enamoured by the Da Vinci’s medical drawings that she built herself a 10-year goal to graduate from the Johns Hopkins Medical Illustration program and one day become a science artist at National Geographic (much to the confusion of her parents). 10 years later, she was granted 1 of 5 seats in the medical illustration program at Hopkins Medicine and subsequently became the youngest science illustrator at National Geographic.
After realizing that there is a huge gap in the accessibility of effective science visuals (both financially and geographically) Shiz and her team are now dedicated to finding a way to democratize the availability of science visuals on a global scale. The first initiative is called BioRender, the ‘Adobe for scientists’ that allows anyone (without any drawing skills) to make beautiful publication-ready illustrations for publishing and presentations- a $10B market. What started from an idea has flourished into a ground-breaking platform resulting from collaboration between medical illustrators, software developers, scientists and biotech firms across North America.