Seok-Hyun Andy Yun’s Eye-Catching BiophysJ Cover

Seok-Hyun Andy Yun, Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School, talks about the image he and Giuliano Scarcelli, also of Harvard Medical School, created for the most recent Biophysical Journal cover.

The image was developed as Giuliano and I were brainstorming about the cover art. We downloaded a non-copyrighted image of the eye from the Internet and started playing with it in Photoshop. At some point, it turned into a beautiful image both of us liked.

In this paper we demonstrated a novel optical technique capable of measuring the elastic properties of the eye lens. Using light, you don’t need to touch the lens physically; poking the eye for any measurement wouldn’t be much fun. Hopefully, the cover image reflects the non-contact, non-invasive nature of our invention.

[We see the artistry] overall. We give the credit to the original creator of the rainbow cornea. It’s very eye catching. It is considered an honor to have your paper appear on the journal cover. We, as humble scientists, tend to make big deal out of it, although it is supposed to have nothing to do with the quality of your science. It makes you smile for the whole day when you hear the news. We will post it in our website and show it in the presentation with pride.

In my childhood, I participated in drawing competitions on numerous occasions and never won a prize (except for one time when I was ten!). By contrast, Giuliano, a great saxophonist, was born with many artistic talents. As the field of our research involves imaging and microscopy, we always keep our eyes on the next science-as-art opportunity.

View more of Seok-Hyun Andy Yun’s recent research at


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