University of Georgia student and founder of ExonScientific Daniel Rouhani
University of Georgia student and founder of ExonScientific Daniel Rouhani (Photo courtesy of Daniel Rouhani)

Daniel Sina Rouhani is just finishing up his second year as a UGA undergrad, but this genetics and biochemistry double major has already put together a portfolio that would be the envy of many college graduates.

Rouhani is the founder of the 3D design studio ExonScientific, which develops new techniques in digital graphic design to “push the boundaries of scientific communication.” He’s put his talents to use in projects with both UGA faculty—such as Lohitash Karumbaiah in the Regenerative Biosciences Center as part of Karumbaiah’s “brain glue” research—and investigators from other universities like Yale, Northwestern and the universities of Illinois and Minnesota. ExonScientific’s work already has graced the front covers of ACS Analytical Chemistry, ACS Chemical Biology and Glycobiology.

“Our goal is to expand and reimagine the way in which science and research is taught and presented by utilizing the power of 3D scientific design and art,” said Rouhani, a UGA Honors student and CURO Honors Scholar. “Our company is made up of a team of UGA undergraduate students, all interested in pursuing careers in science and healthcare.”

cover of ACS Chemical Biology journal
One of Rouhani’s images graced the cover of the October 2020 issue of ACS Chemical Biology. (Image courtesy of ACS Publications/Daniel Rouhani)

Rouhani also has collaborated with scientists at the National Institutes of Health and UGA’s Complex Carbohydrate Research Center to produce an educational video about the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and how its glycosylation allows the virus to bind to and enter a host cell.

“There was a large disconnect between everyday populations and the breakthroughs happening in COVID-19 research,” Rouhani said. “I wanted to bridge this gap so that people from all walks of life could better understand these discoveries. Artistic design offers the perfect medium to translate the niche concepts of science into a digestible and captivating form.”

“The beauty of science, whether it’s the COVID-19 spike protein, a regenerating rat brain, or even a simple molecule, can come to life through 3D design.”