This year’s competition saw over 23,000 votes cast by the public to award Vanessa Auld from Canada, Martin Barr from Ireland and Graham Wright from Singapore the top prize of flying to New York to see their stunning images displayed on a huge HD screen overlooking one of New York’s busiest areas. With more than 360,000 pedestrians passing through Times Square every day, GE Healthcare Life Science’s competition shares with the public the beauty of cells and the importance of cell science research.
Dr Barr from Trinity College Dublin and winner of the High-Content Analysis category for his image of a lung cancer cell expressed his pleasure at receiving the accolade, saying, “To see my winning image displayed on the large high-definition screens in Times Square in New York is a unique, once-in-a-life time opportunity and something I would never have imagined in my career as a cancer research scientist. The projection of my image in this major international hot-spot will hopefully bring further awareness of lung cancer to the general public.”
On winning first place in the Microscopy category, zoologist Professor Auld from the University of British Colombia said of her close-up image of a fruit fly’s neuromuscular junction, “Science can be very beautiful. I’m fortunate to get to explore how the nervous system develops, and to see images like this generated by the lab almost every day.”
Dr Wright from A*STAR Singapore, who won the Regional award for his image of fertility research added, “This image was particularly striking when we captured it – the orientation of the proteins we were studying and the two sperm cells stained in blue on both sides made it beautiful. We spent a good session consistently producing high quality images, but this one stood out due to the way the chromosomes were organised. It’s a great honor to have our image screened at Times Square, New York.”
Eric Roman, General Manager of Research and Applied Markets, GE Healthcare Life Sciences, said:
“This year’s three winning images are once again incredibly beautiful and compelling, reminding us of the cellular complexity behind disease and why the study of cells is so important. We were delighted to receive so many outstanding entries to the competition, which highlights how cell imaging is helping scientists explore the universe of the cell and is advancing our understanding of so many life-threatening and life-limiting diseases.”
For seven years, GE Healthcare’s annual competition has showcased the beauty of cells and the inspiring research of cellular biologists from around the world. This year’s competition attracted over 100 entries from scientists who are using either high-content analysis or high- and super resolution microscopy to investigate at the cellular level a wide variety of diseases such as cancer, muscle disease and the effects of parasitic infections. An expert scientific panel comprising six judges* shortlisted the finalists for each category ahead of the public vote.
The video of the winner images which was displayed in Times Square can be viewed here.
The winning images and gallery of the 2013 Cell Imaging competition are available here.
*Paul Goodwin, Science Director, Cellular Imaging and Analysis at GE Healthcare; Geoffrey Grandjean, Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute, California and 2011 competition winner for the Americas; Julian P. Heath, Editor of Microscopy & Analysis; Carmen Laethem, Scientist and Project Manager, Aerie Pharmaceuticals; Kristie Nybo, Assistant Editor, BioTechniques and Nick Thomas, Principal Scientist at GE Healthcare.