- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 20, 2016

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - The University of Michigan has forged collaborations between doctors and artists in an effort to fund medical research — and to stimulate each other’s creativity.

The university’s A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute paired 19 clinician-scientists with some of the Detroit area’s most notable artists, including Beverly Fishman, Scott Hocking, Olayami Dabls, Catie Newell, Bryant Tillman, Sharon Que and Senghor Reid, The Detroit News (https://detne.ws/1SvfWYZ ) reported.

Ann Arbor artist Christina Burch was paired with Dr. David Pinsky of the University of Michigan Hospital’s Frankel Cardiovascular Center. Burch’s painting, “Forest of Love: the Heart’s Great Repose,” illustrates her vision of Pinsky’s work at his lab.

“I’d just started a new series on hearts in my own work,” she says. “So it was cool to get hooked up with the university’s chief of cardiology.”

For his part in the collaboration, Pinsky visited Burch’s studio at the Tsogyelgar Dharma center and farm in the countryside west of Ann Arbor, where he was struck by the serenity that he feels is reflected in her artwork.

Although art and medicine seem like two completely different worlds, Pinsky admits that they overlap far more than one would commonly assume.

“As scientists,” he said, “we look through microscopes at shapes and how they turn and twist. The natural world has patterns, and as scientists, we try to reveal those patterns.”

Artwork yielded by the collaborations will be auctioned off Thursday at the institute’s third-annual gala fundraiser, “An Evening of Art + Science,” at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. Proceeds will benefit the institute’s Emerging Scholars Program, which helps junior medical faculty set up their own research laboratories to engage in work that might be too speculative or daring for conventional funding sources.

The institute hopes to initially raise $200,000 to fund one new scholar over five years. But it eventually hopes to two or three scholars “as the event grows and gains more traction,” said director Dr. Eva Feldman.

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Information from: The Detroit News, https://detnews.com/

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