Research Questions

  • How can visualizing complexity at the molecular level enhance undergraduate students’ understanding of how random motion and interactions contribute to perceptually efficient cellular systems?
  • How much complexity is appropriate? What elements should be stripped away in order to communicate the target concepts?
  • How does the animation’s point of view (immersive or cross-sectional) impact learning outcomes?


Research in progress.


  • An information graphic was created to depict the relationships between molecular structure, composition, and spatial orientation and would be used to derive our animated stimuli
  • Two animations depict the Jak-STAT signalling pathway
  • The first animation (immersive) has been developed and can be viewed below
  • The second animation (cross-sectional) is currently under development
  • More to come soon…

Intellectual Property

This project is the property of Naveen Devasagayam.

A glimpse into the molecular world within our cells.


Naveen Devasagayam (MScBMC Student)

Jodie Jenkinson (Supervisor)

Gaël McGill (Committee Member)

Nicholas Woolridge (Committee Member)

Animation 1: Immersive

Animation 2: Cross-sectional

Coming soon! Animation in development.

Project summary

Within our cells lies a molecular world that is highly complex and crowded. However, existing visual resources tend to simplify this environment, leaving students with an incomplete picture of the cell.

Animated Stimuli

We are developing two 3D animations to depict a common signaling pathway in a crowded cellular environment. We will be focusing on the Jak-STAT pathway for growth and development within the cell since it is implicated in human diseases such as cancer.

One animation utilizes an immersive visual style and the other uses a cross-sectional visual style. These animations will then be used in a future assessment with undergraduate biology students to evaluate the effectiveness of each treatment. The resulting animations will serve as an exemplar for 3D animations in molecular biology and stimulate discussion on visual techniques within the field of biomedical communications.

Visualizing a Crowded Human Cell

Naveen Devasagayam’s infographic aims to provide an accurate depiction of the molecules within our cells. This will allow students to examine the relationships between molecular structure, composition, and spatial orientation. 3D models were created with structural data from the RCSB Protein Data Bank, and molecular composition was determined through scientific literature review.  By making this data visualization, we hope to increase interest in science and improve scientific literacy among students. Additionally, the composition would be used in the development of our two animated stimuli.

3D visualization of molecular components of a human cell


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