The Guardian of the Genome
Medium: Chimera, Cinema 4D, Photoshop, Illustrator
Date of Completion: April 2018
Client: Prof. Derek Ng
About: The intent of this piece is to convey a molecular story. I chose to tell the story of p53, known as the “Guardian of the Genome,” due to its interesting implication in cancer research. To create this image, I first needed to obtain the 3D structural data of the p53 tetramer. Unfortunately, due to the long flexible regions of the protein, it is difficult to obtain 3D data of the entire molecule and there were no complete models on the Protein Data Bank. I reached out to the primary investigator who published some research involving the complete 3D structure of p53. They were generous enough to pass along their 3D model, which I then imported into Chimera. After isolating the different components that I wanted to portray (DNA-binding domain, specific amino acids etc.), I exported the models into Cinema 4D where I arranged the scene. The background image was rendered using Arnold, and post-processed in Photoshop to get the lighting just right. Lastly, text was added and all the components were arranged in Illustrator.