The 2019 OHSU Art of Science competition invited submissions of visual explorations of science, particularly visually compelling images produced during the course of research. OHSU Research & Innovation has named recipients of first, second and third place awards, along with a People’s Choice Award. Visit OHSU Research & Innovation to see all the winning images.
Alexandra Pincus, M.D./Ph.D. candidate in the School of Medicine’s Neuroscience Graduate Program produced the winning entry in the competition.
The confocal image titled “Parasympathetic nerve ganglion in the mouse airway,” shows a cluster of airway parasympathetic nerves, called a ganglion. Nerves have been labeled with fluorescent probes that target a ubiquitous nerve protein (red) and a light-activated protein called channelrhodopsin (green). Cells appear yellow due to the overlapping expression of these proteins. Sensory nerves are also labeled in this image (blue) and are seen running alongside the parasympathetic ganglion. The mice have been genetically modified to express channelrhodopsin in parasympathetic nerves, which allows researchers to study how neuronal control of bronchoconstriction changes in diseases such as asthma.
Pincus conducts research in the OHSU Asthma Lab, where she focuses on airway nerve changes in eosinophilic pulmonary disease. The image was acquired on a Zeiss LSM 880 laser-scanning confocal microscope in the OHSU Advanced Light Microscopy Core.
Connecting creative disciplines
OHSU staff, faculty, trainees and students submitted images that represented a wide range of research, from lung disease to immune defense to the oral microbiome.
Second place went to “Untitled” by Audrey Tran, a second-year student in the School of Medicine. Third place went to June Treerat, Ph.D., and Ulrike Redanz, Ph.D., from the Department of Restorative Dentistry. Treerat submitted the scanning electron microscopy (SEM) image produced in the OHSU Multiscale Microscopy Core by Redanz, which shows an ability to form clumping cells of an oral commensal Corynebacterium durum. The People’s Choice Award went to Sally Finch for “Three sites in a study of tree decomposition.”
Selection and awards
Placed winners were chosen by representatives from OHSU Research & Innovation and Nikon, who are sponsoring the competition. Voting for the People’s Choice Award was open to all members of OHSU.
The top three contestants and the People’s Choice winner will receive small cash prizes and have their images framed for their personal use, as well as featured on the OHSU Research website. In addition, the first prize will be framed and hung in the OHSU Research and Innovation office.