2nd Annual Image of Research Winners and Awards Reception

We are pleased to announce the winners of Briscoe Library’s 2nd Annual Image of Research Photography Competition!

1st Place
Kristina Andrijauskaite, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Winter’s Tale
This picture depicts zebrafish embryo which travels across the crystallized well of the tissue culture plate. There are different animal models used in scientific research. However, zebrafish have many advantages, such as its rapid development, transparency and suitability for in vivo imaging. I use zebrafish to study microgravity induced alterations on vascularization and stress responses. First, I expose them to simulated gravity and then I spend numerous hours looking at them under the microscope and uncovering the world of imagination. I believe you do not have to travel thousands of miles to capture magnificent winter images; as they can be discovered by looking through the microscope lenses in the UTHSCSA lab.

2nd Place
Elliott Moss & Alexander Hutchinson, Long School of Medicine

Hear a Murmur, Save a Life
Cardiac murmurs are found in 1-3% of newborns. Of those with a murmur, as many as half are associated with some degree of congenital anomaly of the heart. With modern day management, babies born with congenital heart defects live to adulthood about 95% of the time. Untreated, congenital heart defects are one of the leading causes of mortality in newborns. These facts help underlie the truth that detecting a murmur and deciding on a correct management plan is a vital part of caring for a neonate as a pediatrician. Unfortunately, there currently is no standardized protocol for the assessment and management of a neonatal murmur. All management decisions are made simply based on the pediatrician’s experience and intuition. Our team is working with the Pediatric Cardiology department of UT Health to implement and refine a standardized protocol for how to proceed when a murmur is auscultated in a neonatal patient by one of our pediatricians. We hope to improve neonatal health outcomes, prevent both insufficient and excessive testing, and help ease the decision-making burden on the pediatricians.

3rd Place
Breeanne Soteros, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

La Reazione Nera
The precise organization of synapses in the brain anatomically define and link the neural circuits that give rise to all our thoughts, emotions and behaviors. At every moment, synapses are formed and restructured with incredible specificity in response to each of our experiences. Our research seeks to understand the molecular mechanisms which enable the specificity of these synaptic events. We utilize various molecular, cellular and behavioral approaches to delineate the genes that govern synapse formation, maintenance and elimination in the central nervous system.

Pictured here, we see the beautifully complex structure of a Purkinje cell – made possible by “la reazione nera” (the black reaction) – a stain invented in the 1870s by the late scientist Camillo Golgi. Golgi’s stain enables the visualization of dendritic spines – fine protrusions along the dendrite where excitatory synapses occur. By use of genetic manipulation and Golgi staining, we can begin to tease apart the genes that shape the synaptic landscape throughout the lifespan.

IPE Award
Kunal Baxi (Cancer Biology), Nicole Hensch (IBMS – Cell Biology, Genetics & Molecular Medicine), and Amanda Lipsitt (Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinical Fellow)

Glow Fish Glow
This image shows a 5 day old zebrafish embryo that has been genetically modified to express red, blue, and yellow fluorescent proteins from a transgenic cassette (Brainbow). The gene encoding each fluorescent protein is flanked by two pairs of lox sites that are recognized by the Cre recombinase. Without Cre-induced recombination, the first protein (red) in the array will be expressed. Cre expression results in one of three outcomes: red (no recombination), blue (recombination event 1), or yellow (recombination event 2). When additional copies of the Brainbow cassette are inserted into a cell, these three primary colors can be mixed, thereby increasing possible color combinations. This diversity of color using a single promoter provides a powerful platform for studying a variety of biological processes such as neuronal morphology and cell lineage tracking. We use this system as a tool to study heterogeneity of cells within a soft tissue tumor (rhabdomyosarcoma) using zebrafish as a model system.

 

Briscoe Library’s 2nd Annual Image of Research Photography Competition came to a close with an awards reception during the library’s Fiesta Celebration on Thursday, April 11th. 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.