Friday, November 6, 2009

Nicolle Rager

As much as Nicolle loves DC, she still thinks of herself as a "west-coaster," having grown up in Washington state in the picturesque town of Bellingham, WA, 1.5 hours north of Seattle. Nicolle got her BA in biochemistry from Lewis and Clark college in Portland Oregon, with a side trip to Kenya for a semester abroad. All this time, she studied science with an eye toward medical school, or perhaps graduate study--dabbling in the art world on the side..

Out of college Nicolle had the good fortune to work in Dr. Ullman's laboratory at Oregon Health Sciences where she studied tropical parasites like leshminiasis, african sleeping sickness and malaria. Not only did it

help prepare her thinking about how to display scientific information, it led her to the realization that she liked learning about scientific outcomes and results, had a profound respect for the people who had the dedication to get those results, but wasn't fulfilled herself doing the daily lab work.

After learning the humility of the lab – troubleshooting PCR reactions and perfecting microscopy images – Nicolle stumbled on the UC Santa Cruz Science Illustration program where her dual interests in art and science finally came together. Since leaving UC Santa Cruz, Nicolle has worked at the Stanford Linear Accelerator, then the National Science Foundation. During this time she started Sayo-Art LLC to meet the demands of outside clients. In 2007 she committed to Sayo-Art LLC full time. She just finished Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species, a graphic adaptation, with writer Mike Keller, to be published in October 2009 with Rodale. She continues to enjoy working with a diverse group of other clients.

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