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Kate Patterson profile picture portrait

I'm Kate, a visual communication scientist 

I specialise in transforming complex information into accessible visual solutions that deeply engage diverse audiences. My qualitative and quantitative research experience informs my approach to re-define abstract problems and to channel appropriate levers for change. 


I leverage strategic design and my trans-disciplinary experience as a creative practitioner, researcher and leader to increase the creative innovation and competitive qualities of organisations through storytelling, the use of emerging technologies and bespoke human-centred digital design solutions.


I mentor and lead emerging biomedical animators and other creative practitioners and support the capabilities of scientists to effectively communicate their research visually with design thinking. I establish strategic collaborations and drive these with a coordinated focus, maximising the value and impact of investment. My trans-disciplinary experience helps me recognise unique opportunities and shapes my approach to problem solving. I use emerging technologies and digital platforms creatively and prioritise storytelling and human-centred design to leverage technology in the most impactful way.

My research interests include animation and visualisation in education, and I use practice-led and reflective practice approaches to explore research questions related to the field of scientific visualisation and biomedical animation.

Career History

Career History
Founder and Director - 2010-present

MediPics and Prose,

Freelance 3D/2D animation and illustration, strategy and solutions in visual communication and science writing

Senior Visual Science Communication Officer - 2011-2022

Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney Australia

Senior Lecturer - Fundamentals of Research in Art and Design - 2015-2017

University of New South Wales, Sydney, School of Architecture, Art and Design


Senior Science Writer - 2011-2012

National Breast Cancer Foundation


Postdoctoral Research Officer - 2009-2011

Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Cancer Research Program, signal transduction


Small Animal Veterinarian - 2004-2008

University of Sydney Teaching Hospital Camden, Allambie Veterinary Hospital and Castle Hill Veterinary Hospital 






MPhil - Media Arts

UNSW Art and Design



Registered Biomedical Illustrator (R.B.I.)

Australian Institute of Medical and Biological Illustration (AIMBI)



PhD - Molecular Biology of Ovarian Cancer

University of New South Wales, Sydney and

Garvan Institute of Medical Research



Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc Hons I)

The University of Sydney  



Leadership Program for Veterinary Students

Cornell University



Australian National University Summer Scholar

John Curtin School of Medical Research


  • Patterson, Kate & Terrill, Bronwyn & Dorfman, Bat-Shahar & Blonder, Ron & Yarden, Anat. (2022). Molecular animations in genomics education: designing for whom?. Trends in Genetics. 38. 10.1016/j.tig.2022.03.003.

  • Patterson, Kate & Lilja, Andrew & Arrebola, Mark & McGhee, John. (2019). Molecular Genomics Education Through Gamified Cell Exploration in Virtual Reality. VRCAI '19: The 17th International Conference on Virtual-Reality Continuum and its Applications in Industry. 1-2. 10.1145/3359997.3365724.

  • Dorfman, Bat-Shahar & Terrill, Bronwyn & Patterson, Kate & Yarden, Anat & Blonder, Ron. (2019). Teachers personalize videos and animations of biochemical processes: Results from a professional development workshop. Chemistry Education Research and Practice. 20. 10.1039/C9RP00057G.

  • Burnett, Deborah & Langley, David & Schofield, Peter & Hermes, Jana R & Chan, Tyani & Jafar, Meyan & Bourne, Katherine & Reed, Joanne & Patterson, Kate & Porebski, Benjamin & Brink, Robert & Christ, Daniel & Goodnow, Christopher. (2018). Germinal center antibody mutation trajectories are determined by rapid self/foreign discrimination. Science. 360. 223-226. 10.1126/science.aao3859.

  • Patterson K, Molecules do not have colour. The Conversation, Science and Technology; February 14 2017.

  • Patterson K, When process becomes product: re-packing visual science communication. The Conversation, Science and Technology; September 15 2016.

  • Patterson K, Science by stealth: secret missions of a visual science communicator. The Conversation, Science and Technology; July 21  2016.

  • Patterson K, Is photoshopping science universally wrong? The Conversation, Science and Technology; June 1 2016.

  • Patterson K, Shifting the field of view - science stories in virtual reality, The Conversation, Science and Technology; April 12 2016.

  • Patterson K, Talking serious science using scissors and glue, The Conversation, Science and Technology; February 25 2016.

  • Patterson K, Clark S. Art and Science Combine to Reveal the Inner Workings of Our DNA. The Conversation, Science and Technology; July 21 2015.

  • Patterson K, Tagging DNA: Mislabelling the Cancer Genome - Biomedical Animation published to the Garvan YouTube Channel. Duration: 03:15. 12 July 2015. 

  • Patterson K, VIZBIplus Visualising the Future of Biomedicine. Longnecker, C. Harris & K. Madden. (Eds.). 2015. Proceedings of the Australian Science Communicators National Conference. 2–5 Feb, 2014, Brisbane.

  • Patterson K, Cancer is Not One Disease - Biomedical Animation published to the Garvan Institute YouTube Channel. Duration 04:40. 9 April 2014.

  • Hulf T, Sibbritt T, Wiklund ED, Patterson K, Song JZ, Stirzaker C, Qu W, Nair S, Horvath LG, Armstrong NJ, Kench JG, Sutherland RL, Clark SJ. Epigenetic-induced repression of microRNA-205 is associated with MED1 activation and a poorer prognosis in localized prostate cancer. Oncogene. 2013; 32(23):2891-9.

  • Gloss BS, Patterson KI, Barton CA, Gonzalez M, Scurry JP, Hacker NF, Sutherland RL, O'Brien PM, Clark SJ. Integrative genome-wide expression and promoter DNA methylation profiling identifies a potential novel panel of ovarian cancer epigenetic biomarkers. Cancer Lett. 2012; 318(1):76-85.

  • Valdés-Mora F, Song JZ, Statham AL, Strbenac D, Robinson MD, Nair SS, Patterson KI, Tremethick DJ, Stirzaker C, Clark SJ. Acetylation of H2A.Z is a key epigenetic modification associated with gene deregulation and epigenetic remodeling in cancer. Genome Res. 2012; 22(2):307-21.

  • Devaney J, Stirzaker C, Qu W, Song JZ, Statham AL, Patterson KI, Horvath LG, Tabor B, Coolen MW, Hulf T, Kench JG, Henshall SM, Pe Benito R, Haynes AM, Mayor R, Peinado MA, Sutherland RL, Clark SJ. Epigenetic deregulation across chromosome 2q14.2 differentiates normal from prostate cancer and provides a regional panel of novel DNA methylation cancer biomarkers. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2011; 20(1):148-59.

  • Wang L, Chen H, Liu F, Madigan MC, Power CA, Hao J, Patterson KI, Pourgholami MH, O'Brien PM, Perkins AC, Li Y. Monoclonal antibody targeting MUC1 and increasing sensitivity to docetaxel as a novel strategy in treating human epithelial ovarian cancer. Cancer Lett. 2011; 300(2):122-33.

  • Patterson KI, Molloy L, Qu W, Clark SJ. DNA methylation: bisulphite modification and analysis. J Vis Exp. 2011; 56: e3170.

  • Patterson KI, Brummer T, Daly RJ, O'Brien PM. DUSP26 negatively affects the proliferation of epithelial cells, an effect not mediated by dephosphorylation of MAPKs. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2010; 1803(9):1003-12.

  • Wang L, Madigan MC, Chen H, Liu F, Patterson KI, Beretov J, O'Brien PM, Li Y. Expression of urokinase plasminogen activator and its receptor in advanced epithelial ovarian cancer patients. Gynecol Oncol. 2009; 114(2):265-72.

  • Patterson KI, Brummer T, O'Brien PM, Daly RJ. Dual-specificity phosphatases: critical regulators with diverse cellular targets. Biochem J. 2009; 418(3):475-89.

  • O'Brien PM, Davies MJ, Scurry JP, Smith AN, Barton CA, Henderson MJ, Saunders DN, Gloss BS, Patterson KI, Clancy JL, Heinzelmann-Schwarz VA, Murali R, Scolyer RA, Zeng Y, Williams ED, Scurr L, Defazio A, Quinn DI, Watts CK, Hacker NF, Henshall SM, Sutherland RL. The E3 ubiquitin ligase EDD is an adverse prognostic factor for serous epithelial ovarian cancer and modulates cisplatin resistance in vitro. Br J Cancer. 2009; 98(6):1085-93.

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