Christina Mark — PhD and Artist

Mark selling her artwork at a Madison market

Christina (aka Tina) Mark, a cancer biology graduate student, recently defended her thesis and is currently looking for scientist positions in the Boston area to continue her love of asking questions and designing experiments.  Outside of her scientific endeavors, Tina has also showcased her accomplishments as an artist.

Tina grew up on the east coast, attended college at Northeastern University in Boston, and worked at Harvard and Merck Research Laboratories before coming to Madison for graduate school.  She developed her interest in art early in life but has become more introspective through her art as an adult.  “Both science and art are ways to understand and describe the world around us”, said Mark.  “Just as we share our science through posters and presentations, art provides a mechanism to explore and present our feelings and insights.”

A self-taught artist, Tina’s work spans many different mediums – black and white sketches, acrylic and oil paintings, polymer clay jewelry, metal sculpture, and technical drawing and illustration.

Tina likes to express different ideas and feelings through abstract mechanisms and platforms.  “My illustrations explore psychological and emotional undertones within people’s anxieties.  Art made from discomfort does not have to look uncomfortable”, said Mark.  “I want to show that anxieties are complex by providing a level of humor and relatability to the viewers.”

Mark’s art featured at UW-Hospital’s gallery wall

Mark’s work has been featured at the UW Hospital and Clinics gallery walkway, as well as several restaurant galleries in Madison.  She has also participated in several markets around the city including ones hosted by Madison Makers Market and Dane Arts Buy Local.  In 2020, her commissioned work “Intrinsic and Extrinsic Factors Governing the Transcriptional Regulation of ESR1” appeared on the cover of the journal Hormones and Cancer.

Just as she has pursued new areas in her research, most recently Tina has been dissecting herself through her art.  “I am investigating the dynamics between my Asian identity and the concept of “imposter syndrome” that permeates my culture and academia.”

Comic created by Mark

Tina’s experiences in life and science are reflected in her art and vice versa.  Regardless of where her PhD takes her, both art and science will continue to be a part of Tina’s life.

For additional information, see