Polina Ilina is one of two artists participating in Art Meets Science who is also a research scientist.
Polina was born in Saint-Petersburg, Russia, where she grew up and obtained a master’s degree in Biology. In 2007, she moved to Finland where she undertook a PhD and has since been conducting research in the field of drug discovery.
Polina mentions that there have been many occasions in her working life where she has found herself sitting in front of the microscope or going through images and being taken aback by the beauty of biological objects, such as cells, intracellular structures, or tissue sections. While attempting to discover new antibacterial compounds, she learned many exciting things about bacteria which she describes as “the tiny creatures, which can be our best friends, as well as our worst enemies. Despite their apparent simplicity, bacteria can move, build communities, and even talk to one another!”. Polina believes Art Meets Science is an excellent opportunity to share her excitement about the microworld with people outside of the research community. She adds, “It is also a rare chance to combine my professional life (scientific research) with my beloved hobby (drawing).”