To develop a complete mind: Study the science of art; Study the art of science. Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else. 

-Leonardo Da Vinci

Erica B. Flores, MS

Erica is a research scientist & freelance illustrator working in Albuquerque, NM. 

 Erica's non-traditional art background plays a major role in her artwork, which focuses on natural and scientific subjects. With 9 years of hands-on research experience, she decided to pursue freelance illustration in 2020 and founded Celestial Whale Studio. 

 As a freelance artist, her portfolio represents many diverse projects, ranging from hand-drawn artwork for album covers to graphic design for scientific publications. Her main passion, however, is illustrating biology. 

 With whimsical and playful illustrations, she hopes to convey the beauty and wonder of the natural world to the general public. Erica's preferred media includes ink & watercolor, gouache, and digital illustration.

 Erica currently works as a research scientist in oncolytic cancer therapy and is attending graduate school part-time for Data Analytics.


2021 Certificate of Illustration / Trident Technical College / N. Charleston, SC

2014 MS in Biology / University of Miami / Miami, FL

2011 BS in Biology / College of Charleston / Charleston, SC


Gowan CC, Bartee MY, Flores E, Aksoy BA, Templeton C, Baillie K, Happe M, Bartee E. The Combination of TIM3-Based Checkpoint Blockade and Oncolytic Virotherapy Regresses Established Solid Tumors. J Immunother. 2023 Jan 1;46(1):1-4. doi: 10.1097/CJI.0000000000000444. Epub 2022 Nov 1. PMID: 36472581; PMCID: PMC9783015. 

Taylor EN, Wilson CM, Franco S, De May H, Medina LY, Yang Y, Flores EB, Bartee E, Selwyn RG, Serda RE. Monitoring Therapeutic Responses to Silicified Cancer Cell Immunotherapy Using PET/MRI in a Mouse Model of Disseminated Ovarian Cancer. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Sep 10;23(18):10525. doi: 10.3390/ijms231810525. PMID: 36142437; PMCID: PMC9504323. 

Flores EB, Bartee MY, Bartee E. Reduced cellular binding affinity has profoundly different impacts on the spread of distinct poxviruses. PLoS One. 2020 Apr 30;15(4):e0231977. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0231977. PMID: 32352982; PMCID: PMC7192435. 

Flores EB, Aksoy BA, Bartee E. Initial dose of oncolytic myxoma virus programs durable antitumor immunity independent of in vivo viral replication. J Immunother Cancer. 2020 Jun;8(1):e000804. doi: 10.1136/jitc-2020-000804. PMID: 32581062; PMCID: PMC7319776. 

Flores EB, Bartee E. Decreasing the Susceptibility of Malignant Cells to Infection Does Not Impact the Overall Efficacy of Myxoma Virus-Based Oncolytic Virotherapy. Mol Ther Oncolytics. 2020 Oct 27;19:323-331. doi: 10.1016/j.omto.2020.10.011. PMID: 33335977; PMCID: PMC7720075.