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Faculty Scholar Database > Heather Corcoran, MFA

 Heather Corcoran, MFA

As an information designer and faculty member in Communication Design, Professor Corcoran is interested in how visual design can make health data more meaningful. She has developed a variety of collaborative projects in science/health visualization. Most recently, she served as a primary investigator and lead designer on a project entitled “Maximizing the Social Impact of Cancer Registry Data” with partners in Social Work and the Northern California Cancer Center, and funded by the National Cancer Institute. This project produced interactive visualizations with colorectal cancer data, animations about Missouri’s smoking rate, an audience study, and a website/information graphic study. Other health and science-related projects include a series of low-tech animations in biotechnology, the development and visual design of a K-2 science education program, participation in a heart health exhibition, a brand audit for the Saint Louis Zoo, and a visualization project for University City High School chemistry students.

Professor Corcoran teaches junior and senior undergraduates in Communication Design, one of the largest majors in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts. Her courses include studies in word and image, information design studio, and a senior seminar course in informational bookmaking.

What opportunities do you see for interdisciplinary collaboration on public health initiatives in the future?

“I envision participating in projects which need to visualize information related to health, particularly for a public audience. I imagine working with other scholars who are experts in various aspects of content, but lacking the communications expertise to make their content meaningful to a large audience. This could span from the development of communications vehicles to explain how diseases work, how epidemics are caused, explanations of environmental solutions for health conditions, etc.”