Meet the Instructors

Between us we’ve created hundreds of pictures that successfully communicate complex ideas for clients such as Scientific American magazine, Genentech, and NASA. Our work has garnered over a hundred industry awards. What we’ve learned is how to make pictures that are far more powerful than words for communicating complex ideas. And we want to share those skills with you!


Betsy Palay

Betsy has over 30 years of experience creating visual communications for science researchers, educators, major biotech companies, and entrepreneurs. She is the founder and former president of a design firm that specialized in investor communications, assisting clients in raising a total of over half a billion dollars in Initial Public Offerings (IPO’s). Betsy has an MS in medical and biological illustration from the University of Michigan, is a Board-Certified Medical Illustrator, and is a Fellow and a past president of the Association of Medical Illustrators. Over 100 of her original scientific illustrations have been accepted into the permanent archives of the Vesalius Trust Collection of the Lloyd Library and Museum, Cincinnati, Ohio. See her work at


Tami Tolpa

Tami has over 20 years of experience in scientific illustration and animation for clients including: Scientific American Magazine, The Scientist Magazine, Science News, MIT's Technology Review, Harvard University, and the University of Washington, as well as numerous physicians and biotechnology companies. Tami has an MFA in medical illustration from the Rochester Institute of Technology. She’s a past board member and current Fellow of the Association of Medical Illustrators. Tami has spoken about science communication using visuals on twitter, at the University of Washington, at Science Talk '18, at ComSciCon-PNW, and as part of the Biotweeps BTCon'18 twitter conference, and on the Mostly Science livecast following the conference. Her professional website is, @tolpastudios.