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Anatomical Travelogue: ALEXANDER TSIARAS/New York City

2 minute read
Jyoti Thottam/New York

The artists and programmers of Anatomical Travelogue huddle over their desks like monks in a scriptorium. Their quills are superfast HP workstations in the center of an industrial-chic penthouse in Manhattan’s trendy Tribeca neighborhood. Their manuscripts are digital scans of the body, illuminated into images so startlingly vivid that even scientists stop and stare. And the abbot here is an artist–self-taught in math, physics and business–named Alexander Tsiaras. Blurring the lines between science and art, the company’s work resists easy categorization. “It’s Fantastic Voyage meets the TIME-LIFE Books series,” says Tsiaras, 49. He and his 25 employees take data from MRI scans, spiral C.T. scans and other medical-imaging techniques, and use them to create scientifically faithful 3-D pictures and animations. Neither dotcom nor biotech, AT scared off some early potential investors. But Tsiaras, who founded the company in 1998 after a career in digital art and photography, clung to his belief that people would pay for images that are both beautiful and accurate.

His faith is being rewarded. A book of Tsiaras’ images of fetal development, From Conception to Birth, published last year (and excerpted in TIME), has sold 150,000 copies. Nike hired AT to produce animated spots revealing the anatomy of a golfer’s swing, and drug companies like Amgen and Pfizer are using AT simulations to show how new drugs work at the molecular level.

Profitable for more than a year, Anatomical Travelogue has tripled sales for the past three years, to about $10 million. And Tsiaras has an ambitious plan for the future: “We’re slowly beginning to take over the market for medical information on every disease,” he says. Spoken like a confident monk. –By Jyoti Thottam/New York

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