Rodent Kidney Extracellular Scaffold

The essence of research

What does research look like to you? In the university’s first Image of Research Photography Competition, 21 students provided an intimate look into the depths of their research, from microscopic images of a rodent kidney to a 3D radiograph of a person’s nasal cavity. It was part of a competition that challenges students from colleges and universities from around the world to provide a creative, photographic view into the sometimes-nebulous world of research.

“When I first heard about the Image of Research, I knew it would be the perfect way to allow students from all five of our schools to be able to showcase their research in a creative, visual way that they aren’t necessarily always able to do,” said Kirsten Lorenzen, outreach and community engagement librarian in the Briscoe Library, which sponsored the competition. 

Jaclyn Merlo, from the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, earned first place and $400 for her photo titled “Rodent Kidney Extracellular Scaffold” (see photo and description, page 3). Second place was awarded to Fabio Vigil from the Long School of Medicine, who received $300 for his image “The Universe Within.” Camila Pereira, from the Graduate School, won third place and $200 for “Airway Space Tour–A 3D Ride.” The Interprofessional Education Award of $600 was given to Sarah Khoury and Daryl Gaspar, from the Graduate School, for “Treatment in the Stars.”


Rodent Kidney Extracellular Scaffold

First place: Jaclyn Merlo, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

“Rodent Kidney Extracellular Scaffold”

Artist’s description: High-quality extracellular scaffolds are indispensable for research in regenerative medicine, gene transfer, cancer and tissue transplantation. The extracellular scaffolds of specific animal tissues can provide templates for the differentiation of human stem cells for the study of diseases in more relevant models, thus facilitating translation to human medicine. The technology is scalable and can prepare large animal and human tissue extracellular scaffolds. See story, page 34.



The Universe Within

Second place: Fabio Vigil, Long School of Medicine

“The Universe Within”

Artist’s description: The image is the merging of two photos. The first is a fluorescent microscope photo of a brain slice with the nucleus of all brain cells shining in blue (DAPI) and occasional immune cells shining in green (Iba1). Similar photos are taken everyday in neuroscience laboratories. The second image is a photo of the Cat’s Eye nebula taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. Looking simultaneously through the microscope and the telescope, this image invites you to think of your brain as a universe within you. The resemblance of the fluorescent cells to stars in the sky is astounding. The image also alludes to a fractal repetition of the same shapes and structures in different scales.




Airway Space Tour-A 3D RideThird place: Camila Pereira, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

“Airway Space Tour-A 3D Ride”

Artist’s description: The airway should be free of obstacles so that air can flow from the nasal cavity into the lungs. Our research investigates the airway space imbalance that affects children who breathe through their mouths while sleeping. Dental 3D radiograph should be used as an opportunistic screening tool for sleep-related breathing disorders such as snoring and sleep apnea. Ultimately, three dimensions of life are affected: craniofacial growth, intellectual development and quality of life. When the dysfunction is detected early enough, the consequences can be reduced or even eliminated. Sleep disordered breathing is a public health issue and surveillance is essential. Let’s take this ride!

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