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Winning Cell Images Light up Times Square, New York


Winners of the GE Healthcare 2012 Cell Imaging Competition see their images displayed on NBC's Universal HD screen in Times Square, New York

Winning images from the GE Healthcare 2012 Cell Imaging Competition brought the beauty of cell science to millions of people when they were shown on NBC Universal’s HD screen in Times Square, New York at a special event on April 19-21, 2013.

The competition, which attracted more than 15,000 members of the public to vote for their favorite image, celebrates art, science, and discovery. Winners Jane Stout from the United States, Anushree Balachandran from Australia, and Markus Posch from the UK were flown to New York to witness the display.

Jane Stout, winner of the Microscopy category, from the School of Medicine at Indiana University, said: "This contest and others like it create the chance to show the public what we do and publicize the need for our work. We in the scientific community are passionate about the world we live in and driven to understand it better.”

Jane’s winning image of a skin cell was captured using GE’s DeltaVision OMX™ super-resolution microscope as part of research to better understand how cells divide. "Some of us affectionately renamed it 'OMG' after we saw the images it could produce," Stout recalled.

Winner of the High-Content Analysis category, Anushree Balachandran, from Genea, Sydney, said: “I am absolutely thrilled to see my cell image displayed in Times Square. I never imagined seeing the work I do in the lab up on a big screen amongst movie adverts and the latest headlines!”

Anushree used GE’s IN Cell Analyzer 6000 to view an early form of nerve cell generated from a patient with Huntingdon’s disease. “Ultimately, our work allows us to produce disease-affected cell types at high quality for use as extremely valuable tools to advance research and drug discovery,” said Balachandran.

Regional winner of the Microscopy category, Markus Posch from the University of Dundee, revealed the impact GE’s OMX system has had on his work to understand genes are expressed in cells: “These advanced imaging techniques reveal detail previously hidden by the limitations of classical microscopy. It is always an exciting, magic – almost mystical – moment when you are about to see something new; when something which has always appeared to be nothing more than a dot suddenly becomes a sphere.“
Eric Roman, General Manager of Research and Applied Markets, GE Healthcare Life Sciences, said: “This year’s winning images are as beautiful and compelling as ever. We were delighted to receive so many outstanding entries, which highlights how high-content and super-resolution cell imaging are helping scientists explore the universe of the cell, and so advance our understanding of so many life threatening and life-limiting diseases.”

GE Healthcare’s annual competition is now in its sixth year and, for the first time, there were two categories for submission; High-Content Analysis and Microscopy. Over 100 entries were received and an expert scientific panel of five judges* shortlisted the finalists for each category, which then went forward to the public vote.

The video of the winning images which was displayed in Times Square can be viewed here.

The winning images and gallery of the 2012 Cell Imaging Competition are available here.

*This year’s shortlist was selected by Dr Kristie Nybo, Assistant Editor at BioTechniques, Dr Julian Heath, Editor, Microscopy & Analysis, Dr Nick Thomas, Principal Scientist, GE Healthcare, Dr Paul Goodwin, Science Director at GE Healthcare, and former GE Healthcare Cell Imaging Competition winner Dr Leslie Caron, Research Scientist at Genea.