Image of Research Winners and Awards Reception

We are pleased to announce the winners of Briscoe Library’s Image of Research Photography Competition!

1st Place
Jaclyn Merlo, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Rodent Kidney Extracellular Scaffold
The image presented is of a de-cellularized rodent kidney displaying the collagen matrix of the renal vasculature, tubules, and glomeruli. Rapid de-cellularization is accomplished by perfusing a surfactant solution through the renal artery, under exposure to an electric field within a bioreactor. The novel bioreactor, developed at UT Health San Antonio, removes resident cells ten times faster than by traditional de-cellularization technology while preserving elements of the matrix that are critical to directing stem cell differentiation.

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. Further, the technology is scalable and can prepare large animal and human tissue extracellular scaffolds.

2nd Place
Fabio Vigil, Long School of Medicine

The Universe Within
This image is the merge (overlay) 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). These kind of photos are taken everyday in neuroscience laboratories. The second image is a photo of the Cat’s eye nebula taken by the 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.

3rd Place
Camila Pereira, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Airway Space Tour – A 3D Ride
The airway should be free of obstacles such that air can follow its course from the nasal cavity into the lungs. Our research investigates the airway space imbalance that affects children who breath through their mouth while sleeping. Dental 3D radiograph should be used as opportunistic screening tool for sleep-related breathing disorders such as snoring and sleep apnea. These disorders could be caused by hypertrophied tonsils and nasal obstruction between others. Due to the lack of good sleep, children could have low grades at school, difficulty to concentrate, and disturbed cognitive abilities. Other signs such as delayed growth, tiredness, irritability, or lack of energy even to play are related. Ultimately, 3 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. We hope the translation of our research project will increase awareness and raise the attention of the dental professionals’ and the general public to this matter. The sleep disordered breathing is a public health issue and surveillance is essential. Let’s take this ride!

IPE Award
Sarah Khoury & Daryl Gaspar, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Treatment in the Stars
Astrocytes carry great potential for stroke treatment and research conducted in the past has generally ignored their ability to heal neurons. Research suggests that use of fatty acid oxidation by astrocytes may be useful for healing, and protecting tissues that have been affected by stroke. Triiodothyronine (T3), a thyroid hormone, stimulates fatty acid oxidation, stimulating the production of ATP in astrocytes. In mice treated with T3 stroke lesion volumes are smaller than those without treatment. In this image the brighter activated astrocytes indicate a stressed brain, one that has experienced an injury. T3, the constellation found in the middle of the image may one day be used for stroke treatment.

 

Briscoe Library’s Image of Research Photography Competition came to a close with an awards reception during Student Appreciation Week on Thursday, November 1st. All entrants, Image of Research Judges, contest sponsors, students, faculty, and staff were invited to come view the entries, meet the winners, and enjoy refreshments.