by Micco Caporale (MA 2018)
Lecturer Megan Euker (BFA 2005, MFA 2007) never expected to be a science-based designer.
She received both her bachelor of fine arts and master of fine arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and has taught in nearly every department at the School over the course of her 16-year teaching career. By the time the classically trained painter led her first class for the Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects department, her creative practice had evolved to incorporate design tools, such as 3D printers and CNC routers. So when she met San Rocco Therapeutics founder Patrick Girondi in 2016, she began using her creative skillset to improve medical devices, patients’ access, and the public’s understanding of both.
Girondi's son has a blood disorder, and the family was involved in a major lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company. To support Girondi, Euker began designing graphics to organize information for lawyers and other healthcare advocates. Soon she was exploring different ways visualizing data could reveal medical corruption. Six years down this path, Euker is now on her second Fulbright Award in Italy, assisting San Rocco Therapeutics as project manager while teaching at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Sicily. When she returns to the US, she will be curating a third exhibition of her students’ work from SAIC, the University of South Florida, and the academy in Sicily at Chicago’s International Museum of Surgical Science in May. While her work consumes much of her attention, here are some of her other obsessions:
I was giving a presentation to Girondi's attorneys in Boston and reflecting on why I got involved with San Rocco Therapeutics. I’ve been interested in medicine since I was a kid. My grandmother was a nurse during World War II, and I used to read and fall asleep next to her medical book. It was more of a medical encyclopedia, with very few line illustrations. I was interested in diagnostics and how one deduces the cause of something. I was also intrigued by approaches to prevention and healing and how medicines, therapies, and nutrition can be used to improve one's health. The complexities of the human body are like a puzzle. They fascinate me.
Fitness as Self Care
I usually walk at least eight miles a day. I started walking a lot in 2019. I was flying to New York once a week when we were prepping for the court case, and I’d go on walks from Manhattan to Brooklyn and then back again constantly. I've always been involved in sports in some way or another. I’ve done swimming, capoeira, basketball, running… I even trained in boxing for six years. Walking has become an important part of keeping my body and mind healthy.
I make everything from scratch. I've been a vegetarian, but mostly vegan, for 29 years. Whenever I tell people I'm in Sicily, they're always like, “Oh, they must have great food!” and I answer, “They do!” Their food is local and fresh. I love greens, tomatoes, olive oil, and their incredible fruits and fresh spices. I love preparing and experimenting with these ingredients as though each dinner was a work of art … which it is. I rarely eat out at restaurants.
Flight of the Rondone: High School Dropout vs Big Pharma: The Fight to Save My Son’s Life by Patrick Girondi
I was sent a copy of this book in its earliest draft form, over six years ago. I had conviction and faith in its potential. I assisted in the editing, marketing, and art/design of the book. Finally, I became Girondi’s agent. I love the story, the grit, the dialogue—and the potential for impact on humanity. It became a Wall Street Journal bestseller. A different voice among the masses, Patrick is a high school drop-out and a proclaimed Fransiscan. We have just signed with an LA screenwriter and I am now looking forward to collaborating on the film. ■