Photos by Karen Jung

Hi, I'm Mona!

I am a visual designer, storyteller, and biomedical communication specialist based on Toronto, Canada.

In 2019, I graduated from the Master of Science in Biomedical Communications program at the University of Toronto. I do illustration and design on a freelance basis.

I believe that great visuals tell great stories - stories that help people learn faster and better. Visual stories can democratize complex science and health information.

Visual storytelling

Clear, compelling visuals can spread new ideas, teach complex topics, and influence behaviour change.

 I tell stories about health and science:


for people like you and me:

  • patients and caregivers,

  • medical students,

  • jurors,

  • educators,

  • healthcare professionals,

  • researchers.


Past adventures. Connect with me on Linkedin.


MSc Biomedical Communications

2017 - 2019

Institute of Medical Science, Faculty of Medicine | University of Toronto

BSc Psychology, First Class Honours

2013 - 2017

Faculty of Science | McGill University

Visual Arts, with Distinction

2009 - 2013

Arts Canterbury Program (Competitive entry) | Canterbury High School, Ottawa

Select Experience

Graphic Designer (Editorial), IMS Magazine

2018 - 2019

I was one of five designers making spreads, infographics, and cover designs for a student-led publication for the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto. Online editions are available here.

Biocommunication Visualization Teaching Assistant (HSC302), University of Toronto Mississauga

Jan 2019 - Apr 2019

I taught practical tutorials about digital media skills used in bioscientific illustration (e.g., Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator), and provide one-on-one mentorship on traditional drawing, software, and visual communication skills required for course projects.

Research/Lab Assistant

Aug 2015 - Feb 2017

I have wet and dry lab experience conducting research at these institutions:

Cardiac Psychophysiology Lab (2016 - 2017)

under Dr. Blaine Ditto, McGill Dept. of Psychology

Cardiac Function Lab (2016)

under Dr. Peter Liu, University of Ottawa Heart Institute

Attention & Social Cognition Lab (2015- 2016)

under Dr. Jelena Ristic, McGill Dept. of Psychology

Glyco-Antigens Group (2015)

under Dr. Andrew Cox, National Research Council of Canada

Visual Artist

1996 - present

I grew up in a household that provides traditional art training. Since drawing as a child, I have been leveraging my visual media skills for various causes.

Textbook Illustrator, Toronto Notes

Apr - May 2018

My illustrations appear in the 2019 and 2020 editions of Toronto Notes, a textbook for the Canada-wide medical licensing exam.

Videographer (Production, Creative Direction, Event-Planning), McGill Chinese Students' Society

Aug 2014 - Apr 2017

I was in charge of creating video content to promote and recap our events, and trained other execs to help me out. As of 2017, videos I have played a role in producing have garnered 12,000+ views across platforms. I worked solo or led creative teams.

As an executive, I also helped plan and facilitate our activities and projects: everything that made MCSS a great community. Our events ranged from intimate to grand (1,000+ attendees), from game shows, to concerts, to trips. 

VP Design (Graphic Design for Web & Print), McGill Students' Chapter of Jack.org

Nov 2013 - Apr 2017

I made graphics for web and print to promote our mental health awareness projects, such as speaker series, workshops, and art shows. I would work directly with social media and sponsorship portfolios to meet their needs.


InvisiYouth Charity

2019 - present

Global Brand Leader, All-Star

Association of Medical Illustrators

2018 - present

Student Member

2KSQUAD (Performing Arts Collective, Montreal)

2016 - 2018

Music & Film Divisions


Traditional Media

Graphite, pen & ink, watercolour, acrylic, charcoal, ceramic sculpture

2D Software

Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Procreate, Adobe Lightroom, Microsoft Power Point

Prototyping Tools

OmniGraffle, Sketch, Invision, Figma

3D Software

Maxon Cinema 4D, Pixologic ZBrush, UCSF Chimera

Video Software

Sony Vegas Pro

Data Software

Tableau Software, IBM SPSS, Microsoft Excel

Wet Lab Techniques

Chemical purification and analysis, tissue processing, protein work, histology

Contributions & Recognition

Select Awards


Vesalian Scholar Award (2019). Vesalius Trust for Health Science Communication.


Research grant (2019). Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.


Arts & Culture Runner Up - Spirit of the Capital Youth Awards. (2013). Youth Ottawa.



Presentations & Speaking Engagements


Li, M. Y., Wall, S., & Zimmermann, C. (Jul 28, 2019). From panel to patient: Making comics to teach about palliative care. Vesalian Scholar talk presented at the Association of Medical Illustrators Annual Meeting, Milwaukee, WI.

Li, M. Y., Wall, S., & Zimmermann, C. (Jul 11, 2019). From panel to patient: Making comics to teach about palliative care. Lightning talk presented at the Graphic Medicine Conference, Brighton, UK.


Li, M. Y. (Mar 20, 2019). Do what you love, love what you do: Careers and interests. Panel presented at New College,Toronto, Canada.


Li, M. Y. (Aug, 2015). Cross-linking reagents: The superstars of bioconjugate chemistry. Presented at the National Research Council Summer Student Presentation Competition, Montreal, Canada.



Li, M. Y. (2017). Psychophysiological correlates of vasovagal reactions in response to blood-injury stimuli with standing posture. Unpublished undergraduate thesis.


Li, M. Y. (2016). Show me the money: Investigating the role of monetary reward in spatial orienting of attention. Unpublished undergraduate thesis.




Li, M. Y., Wall, S., & Zimmermann, C. (Jul, 2019). From panel to patient: Making comics to teach about palliative care. Poster presented at the Association of Medical Illustrators Annual Meeting Vesalius Trust Poster Session, Milwaukee, WI.


Li, M. Y., Wall, S., & Zimmermann, C. (May, 2019). Palliative care comics: Designing a person-centred patient education tool. Poster presented at the Barrie Rose Research Day for Palliative Medicine, Toronto, Canada.


Gilchrist, P. T., Coopersmith, A., Li, M., Woroniak, V., & Ditto, B. (Jun, 2018). Standing enhances vasovagal symptoms elicited by stimuli associated with blood but not other emotional stressors. Poster presented at the International Society of Blood Transfusion, Toronto, Canada.


Gilchrist, P. T., Coopersmith, A., Li, M., Woroniak, V., & Ditto, B. (Apr, 2018). Standing enhances vasovagal symptoms elicited by stimuli associated with blood but not other emotional stressors. Poster presented at the Society of Behavioral Bedicine, New Orleans, Lousiana.


Li, M. Y., Hayward, D. A., Pereira, E. J., & Ristic, J. (Apr, 2016). Show me the money: Investigating the role of monetary reward in spatial orienting of attention. Poster presented at the McGill Psychology Undergraduate Poster Session, Montreal, Canada.

Published Design & Artwork


Li, M. Y. (2020). Surgical flaps. Toronto Notes 2020.


Li, M. Y. (2019). Journal cover, Cannabis edition. UTMJ, 96(3).


Li, M. Y. (2019). Virchow's Triad; Lesion localization. Toronto Notes 2019.


Li, M. Y. (2018). Journal cover, Brain Health edition. UTMJ, 95(2).


Li, M. Y. (2018). Sea sparkle cell. IMS Magazine, Winter 2018, p. 25.


Zine and Small Press Contributions


InSaNe Comics (2019). Vesalius Trust: Milwaukee.

MCSS Welcome Booklet (2016; 2015; 2014). MCSS: Montreal.

Fire with Water (2016). McGill: Montreal.


Select Events


Delegate. (Mar, 2019; Mar, 2017). Jack.org National Summit for youth mental health, Toronto.


Attendee. (Sep, 2018; Oct 2017). UTSC Mindfulness Summit, Scarborough.


Attendee. (Aug, 2018). Comics and Medicine Conference, White River Junction.


Delegate of Republic of Korea. (Mar, 2015). Montreal World Health Organization Simulation, theme: mental health, Montreal.



Group Exhibitions


AMI Salon (2019; 2018). Hyatt Regency Milwaukee, Milwaukee; Boston Marriott Newton, Newton.

Fire with Water by SACOMSS (2016). Mainline Gallery, Montreal.

VAS Year-End Art Show (2016). McGill University, Montreal.

Piece of Mind by Jack.org (2016, 2015). McGill University, Montreal.

Great Big Smalls IX (2013). Cube Gallery, Ottawa.


Visual Arts Grad Show (2013). Canterbury HS, Ottawa.


Other Academic & Media Appearances


Gray, N., & Lakis, K. (Mar 15, 2019). Picturing my voice: Harnessing the power of comics for palliative care. Presented at the Annual Assembly of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Comic drafts by Li, M. Y.

Elmaraghy, A. (Jan 8, 2019). Pectoralis major tears. Presented at the City Wide Sports Medicine Rounds. Surgical illustration by Li, M. Y.


Wong, D. (Dec, 2018). Mental health and art, is it a good combination? Review of McGill's Piece of Mind Exhibition. Artinest.