Event, auction to showcase what art and science can create


DETROIT – Dr. Alon Kahana, a surgeon and researcher at the University of Michigan's Kresge Eye Center, is doing intricate research on how the Zebra Fish can save human lives. The little fish is able to regenerate injured organs, tissue and even eyes. In his research, Dr. Kahana is trying to figure out how the Zebra Fish manages this magical feat of survival in hopes he can translate the triggers to human bodies and cure diseases.



Forty miles away, a painter, Simone DeSousa works hard in her Russell Street studio. 

She sees the world entirely differently than Dr. Kahana, yet the two are fascinated with each other and the work each is doing to contribute to the world. The two have been paired together in a fundraising project "Art+Science = Lives Saved."

Eleven Taubman Institute scholars have been teamed up with 11 up-and-coming artists to meet each other, visit each other in their place of creation, and learn from one another. 

The artists, in turn, return to their studios and create the science they see through their own artistic interpretations.


Both worlds come together at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) on May 22 for a fundraiser and meet-and-greet to raise money for research. Science will be reinterpreted though clay, paint, wood, words and dance. 

Among the artists whose work will be auctioned are choreographer and theater director Aku Kadogo, painter Simone DeSousa, interactive artist Osman Khan, Lynne Avadenka and the team of Cezanne Charles and John Marshall. This show has been curated by Lynn Crawford, a board member of MOCAD and a distinguished novelist and art critic.

Some of the scientists featured in the project include Dr. Valerie Castle, a cancer researcher and chair of the U-M Health System's department of pediatrics and communicable diseases; Dr. Parag Patil, a U-M neurosurgeon who is conducting the first intraspinal injections of stem cells into patients with ALS; Dr. Ronald Buckanovich, an associate professor of gynecology who is testing a new drug for ovarian cancer patients, and Dr. Eva Feldman, the Russell N. DeJong Professor of Neurology at U-M and the director of the Taubman Institute.

Event details:

The evening also will feature music, dancing, dinner and cocktails. Dinner tickets are available for a donation of $500.

Tickets to the after-dinner party and auction are $50. To reserve tickets, please visit www.taubmaninstitute.org/artscience/partytix

Tickets that include the special VIP reception before the event are $1,000.

All proceeds benefit the Taubman Institute's Emerging Scholars Program for early career physician-scientists at the University of Michigan Health System.

For VIP or Dinner tickets, please contact Maria Muller at (734) 763-6249 or mariamm@umich.edu