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Ivacaftor for Cystic Fibrosis

Molecular visualization in a 2-page spread

Cystic Fibrosis is a serious genetic disease that causes deficits in fluid transport of epithelial cells. It's characterized by the sticky mucus in lung and multiple organ dysfunction. In 2012, Ivacaftor was approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is the very first drug to treat the cause of cystic fibrosis and it was granted the first Breakthrough Therapy designation to cystic fibrosis by FDA. This 2-page spread takes a deep dive into the disease pathogenesis and visualize how the therapy works in a bimolecular scale. 

Mol vis new mockup.png
CFTR and Ivacaftor_final9-01.png
CFTR and Ivacaftor_final9-01.png

Faculty advisor

Derek Ng


VMD, 3D Protein Imager, Autodesk Maya, and Adobe Illustrator

Final presentation format

A two page spread in a scientific magazine

Primary audience

The general public with a science background

Work Process

Ideation and Reference

Draft layout with preliminary research to block in places for text and illustrations.



  1. PBD ID: 6MSM, 5UAK, and 6O2P

  2. Zhang, Z., Liu, F., & Chen, J. (2018). Molecular structure of the ATP-bound, phosphorylated human CFTR. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115(50), 12757–12762.

  3. Liu, F., Zhang, Z., Csanády, L., Gadsby, D. C., & Chen, J. (2017). Molecular Structure of the Human CFTR Ion Channel. Cell, 169(1), 85–95.e8.

  4. Liu, F., Zhang, Z., Levit, A., Levring, J., Touhara, K. K., Shoichet, B. K., & Chen, J. (2019). Structural identification of a hotspot on CFTR for potentiation. Science, 364(6446), 1184–1188.

  5. Bompadre, S. G., Sohma, Y., Li, M., & Hwang, T. C. (2007). G551D and G1349D, Two CF-associated Mutations in the Signature Sequences of CFTR, Exhibit Distinct Gating Defects. Journal of General Physiology, 129(4), 285–298.

  6. National Center for Biotechnology Information (2021). PubChem Compound Summary for CID 16220172, Ivacaftor. Retrieved July 16, 2021 from

  7. Cystic Fibrosis | NHLBI, NIH. (2021, May 12). National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

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