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For four-year-old Natalie Wright, appearing in front of the state legislature might be just another exciting trip with her family. But, for Governor Mike Leavitt, Natalie represents the fundamental reason for leveraging research and technology within the state of Utah.

Natalie was diagnosed with a brain tumor when she was two years old. Natalie's neurosurgeon knew they had to operate. Natalie's father, John Wright, and neurosurgeon, Dr. Jack Walker called upon the SCI Institute to provide an alternative to conventional technology. Combining years of experience with special techniques in data processing and scientific visualization, Dave Weinstein, Gordon Kindlmann, and Dr. Christopher Johnson created a useful visualization of Natalie's tumor.

"It's a very rewarding opportunity when a student's work is applied to a "real-life" situation. From the grad student's perspective, this is the ideal situation," says Gordon Kindlmann.

The governor featured SCI Institute footage of Natalie's tumor during the State of the State. Governor Leavitt said, "Entirely new industries will be created when two or more such economic ecosystems connect. ...Utah computer graphics technology met up with biomedical technology, and the result was magic."

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Visualizations of Natalie Wright's Tumor