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A 2-page spread communicating the mechanisms of prion protein misfolding, aggregation, and disease progression in the context of free energy landscapes.

Client: Derek Ng

Medium: Infographic

Primary Audience: Educated lay

Software: VMD, Maya, Procreate, Photoshop, Illustrator


This piece was largely inspired by a lecture I attended during my undergraduate studies in Biochemistry where the professor explained the irreversible nature of prion misfolding using a funnel. I wanted to apply a similar analogy in my piece by comparing the journey of the prion protein to that of a person crossing a hilly terrain.

A media audit of similar existing visualizations explaining prion disease development was conducted to identify effective visualization strategies as well as knowledge/communication gaps that could be expanded on.


A deep dive into the literature was conducted and the key findings of various publications discussing energy landscapes, prion structure, folding, aggregation, and toxicity were summarized in the following document. A legend was used to organize the publications based on content and critical information from each paper was highlighted. The highlighted text was further condensed and reorganized into the final text for the infographic.

Rough Sketches

Thumbnails of possible layouts for the content were created and presented alongside descriptor text to peers for feedback. Feedback on reading order, clarity, and visual appeal was collected and the most effective elements from each layout were incorporated into the design of the refined color thumbnail. The final text was then added to the color thumbnail to create the comprehensive draft of the infographic.

Prion drafts.png


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