BMC alumni brain appears in Apple ad


Apple’s new ‘Together’ ad features interactive graphics developed by MScBMC alumni.

AXS Studio Inc., founded by MScBMC 2003 alumni Sonya Amin, Jason Sharpe and Eddy Xuan, co-developed the 3D Brain app with programmer Vivid Apps for their client DNA Learning Center.

“With half a million downloads already by September 2010, I expect the 3D Brain is probably one of the more prominent 3D neuroanatomy apps,” said Sharpe.

Users downloaded the free app from Apple’s iTunes Store 30,000 times within the first 5 weeks of its Fall 2009 release. To date, the 3D Brain has been downloaded approximately 1,200,000 times.

DNA Learning Center first contacted AXS Studio in June 2010 with a request from Apple to use the 3D Brain in marketing materials but it wasn’t until February of this year that AXS Studio heard that it had been used.

“It’s nice to see Apple nod to a medical application,” said Sharpe. “There are a lot of medical apps available for the iPad and iPhone and it’s nice to see one featured in a mainstream commercial.”

DNA Learning Center intended the 3D Brain as a reference atlas for students and researchers to support their ‘Genes to Cognition’ website. The original browser-based 3D atlas, co-developed with MScBMC 2006 alumnus Michael Corrin, provided the inspiration for the app.

“All kinds of people have used it,” said Sharpe, “from undergrads to medical students to clinicians who use it to explain brain anatomy to patients.”

With client interest, AXS Studio could upgrade the nearly 4-year-old app to high-definition and potentially develop it further by adding more regions of the brain.

For now, AXS Studio continues to develop interactive projects for their pharma and health care clients, 3D animation, and a mobile application for Sunnybrook Hospital with BMC Director and 1992 alumnus, Nick Woolridge.

by Maeve Doyle