2020 Image of Research Winners

We are pleased to announce the winners of Briscoe Library’s 3rd Annual Image of Research Photography Competition!

1st Place
Breeanne Soteros, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Cortical Maps
Flattened cortical brain sections stained for glutamate transporter VGlut2 reveals the somatotopic organization of the mouse barrel cortex. Each “barrel” (in blue) corresponds to the major facial whiskers of the mouse, with the topographical organization of the cortex closely resembling the whisker pad itself. Co-staining for the immune protein C1q (in orange) reveals an unexpected pattern – this complement cascade molecule appears to decorate the borders of each barrel. In the human brain, the complement protein C1q is important for shaping the synaptic landscape, as it tags synapses for elimination. Could this immune help define these barrels by eliminating excess synapses at the border? What might this pattern of staining reveal about the ongoing synaptic maintenance of sensory circuits in the brain? Through a combination of genetic and molecular techniques, we hope to tease out the mechanisms of synapse maintenance & elimination that govern the organization of both the mouse and human brain.

2nd Place
Pragya Singh, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

When Your Cells Can Reborn Again!
It was early 2018 I had a breathtaking moment when I first saw iPSC clones during my Master’s research here in UTHSA. I was reprogramming fibroblast into stem cell-like cells known as induced Pluripotent Stem Cells or iPSCs. These iPSC clones are so malleable that you can influence any cellular fate you wish to generate. This pristine clone was further induced to generate Retinal Ganglion Cells to understand the molecular mechanism of Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy, a rare genetic disease that leads to vision loss.

3rd Place
Sonam Khurana, School of Dentistry

3D Dummy Corpse
This three-dimensional (3-D) animation you are seeing is depicting nerve and blood supply to the teeth. The model is a complicated piece of art, requiring lots of practice and skills to be produced. 3-D animation has been used in entertainment industry (like in movie theaters!) to create a range of exciting videos, short cartoons and full-length videos. The health care industry also uses 3-D animations create models that everyone can examine. The use of anatomical models is ubiquitous in health education. Realistic looking models allow the user to move away from complex cadaveric dissection, which is not a readily available resource any way. Models are very useful to explain anatomical relationships and function in structures that may be too small to discern adequately in a cadaver. Learning anatomy is challenging, and an adaptation of new methods that are user-friendly is essential. We hope that our research based on creating anatomical models will help the transition from dissection to the use of 3-D animations. It will not only help health professionals to learn anatomy nimbly, but also offer them a tool that is easy to show and explain to their patients. Let the journey begin!

IPE Award
Rafael Veraza (Anesthesiology), Jaclyn Merlo (Immunology and Infection), and Kristina Andrijauskaite (Molecular Medicine)

The BLUE Heart
This combined image consists of ischemic cardiac pig muscles overlaid with a blood vessel. The tissue was removed and stained from an ischemic heart placed in cold storage; the traditional method of heart preservation for transplantation. Our aim is to extend organ tissue preservation beyond the time constraint of 4 hours via novel biomedical devices. This will increase the viability of organs for transplantation beyond the current standard of care. The BLUE heart represents the lack of time in the field of tissue preservation. BLUE encompasses our limitations on delivering a warm RED heart to a transplant recipient. Our multidisciplinary group preserves tissues of the heart, colon, and limbs for periods of 24 to 48 hours outside of the body and studies hypoxia makers to further improve transplant outcomes.

Faculty/Staff Award
Sang Hyun (Ryan) Chun, Research Associate, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

The Stars in Our Brain After Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) has been garnering attention as one of the most prevalent neuropathogenesis. Injuries occurring from sports related activities, wars, and domestic violence are the few examples of many TBI related incidents. The underlying mechanism of TBI and its therapeutic intervention have been poorly defined and must be addressed. Astrocytes have been regarded as a key agent in maintaining brain homeostasis. Astrocytes are the most abundant glial cells in our central nervous system. As the name implies, astrocytes are known for having a star shaped characteristic in the brain. In addition to sustaining brain homeostasis, astrocytes have shown key neuroprotective role after TBI. After injury, the astrocytes undergo what is known as astrogliosis in which morphological and molecular changes occur. In our study, we use cytoskeletal protein called glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) as a biomarker to look at how the astrocytes function after the injury. The image is displaying a cortical region of the mouse brain after TBI. GFAP labeled astrocytes and nuclei are shown in green and blue, respectively. This image captures how the brain tries to react to the injury by undergoing astrogliosis and the enlarged astrocytic “stars” are being activated as a neuroprotective measure.

All of the submissions that Briscoe Library received were very impressive. The photos were all scored based on visual impact, connection between image and research, and originality by our multidisciplinary panel of judges. While we had initially planned on having an Image of Research Awards Reception this Spring, the reception has been postponed. Please stay tuned for updates.

Click here for more information regarding the competition rules, guidelines, and details.

Briscoe Library Announces 2nd Annual Image of Research Photography Competition


Briscoe Library is pleased to announce its 2nd Annual Image of Research Photography Competition! This competition is an opportunity for UT Health San Antonio students, residents, and fellows from all five schools to capture, share, and present the essence of their research in a single visual image. The competition and its accompanying exhibition showcase students’ creative visual conceptualization of their research.

After the success of last year’s competition, the library plans to continue the Image of Research each year in the spring. For 2019, submissions will be accepted from February 18th through March 18th. The awards are listed as follows:
1st Place: $400
2nd Place: $300
3rd Place: $200
IPE Award: $600

Visit for more info.

Briscoe Library Announces 3rd Annual Image of Research Photography Competition

Briscoe Library is pleased to announce its 3rd Annual Image of Research Photography Competition! This competition is an opportunity for UT Health San Antonio students, faculty, and staff from all five schools to capture, share, and present the essence of their research in a single visual image. The competition and its accompanying exhibition showcase the UT Health San Antonio community’s creative visual conceptualization of their research.

This is the first year that faculty and staff are invited to participate, and we are excited to see your contributions. Submissions will be accepted from December 1st, 2019 through March 13th, 2020. The awards are listed as follows:
1st Place: $400
2nd Place: $300
3rd Place: $200
IPE Award: $600
Faculty/Staff Award: $400

Visit for more info.

Briscoe Library Welcomes Jeff Lacy

Jeff Lacy joined Briscoe Library on July 1 as the Library Liaison to the School of Dentistry & the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.  He will work to support faculty and students by integrating library resources in the curriculum, research, and clinical practice.  Jeff has over eighteen years of experience as an academic librarian.  He comes to the UT Health Briscoe Library from Trinity University where he was an instruction and liaison librarian for the last five years. Previous to that, he was a scholarly resources librarian at UTSA.  Jeff has a master’s degree in library science from the University of Alabama and a master’s in arts degree in English from Lamar University.  He holds a B.A. in English from Mercer University.

Jeff has experience working in health sciences and related subject areas and he looks forward to sharing his knowledge with our faculty, students, and staff.  Please help us welcome him to UT Health San Antonio!

Briscoe Library Welcomes Rebecca Ajtai

Rebecca Ajtai joined Briscoe Library on March 1st as a member of the Librarian Liaison Services team.  She will work with faculty and students to integrate library resources in the curriculum, research, and clinical practice.  Rebecca comes to the UT Health Briscoe Library from the Texas Heart Institute in Houston where she was a librarian for the last seven years.  While there, she provided personalized services, such as customized news reports in support of patient care, education, and research.  Rebecca received her master’s in library science from the University of North Texas and holds a B.A. in English Literature from St. Edward’s University.

Rebecca enjoys working in the healthcare environment and is excited to be able to bring her expertise to UT Health San Antonio.  She is a native San Antonian and is happy to be back home with her two children.

Some of her favorite hobbies are gardening and practicing yoga.

Coming Soon – Library Reflection Room Renovations

While a room for reflection, meditation, or prayer has previously been under consideration for library space, a recent request from students has finally brought the idea into reality. The room, on the 4th floor (4N) of the Library, is now open for use.  There are no reservations required and the room can be used by up to five people at one time.

Soon the room will be updated with new paint, carpeting, and other features appropriate for a reflection space. As with the rest of the library space since June 1st of last year, the room will be available 24/7/365.

Reflection Room:

The Briscoe Library Reflection Room is designed for wellness breaks, quiet meditation, and brief retreats from studying. The UT Health Community is encouraged to use this space to relax and reflect in a calm environment.

De-stress: Use this space for quiet reflection. Keep the volume to a minimum.

Share: The space can accommodate approximately five people comfortably.

Relax: Make yourself comfortable. Please do not remove any items from the space.

Coming Soon: Chat With A Librarian

Briscoe Library will soon be introducing a chat service which will allow you to chat directly with a librarian. The chat will be managed during our regular on call hours (10 AM – 4 PM). Keep an eye out for the orange chat button on the bottom right of each page of the library’s website. When a librarian is available for chat, the button will display “Chat Now”. When offline, you will have the option to submit your question through an online form (all questions will be answered during on call hours) or search for your answer in our LibGuides with the “Ask Us” button.

Chat Now Ask Us

We will provide more information when the chat service is available!

Construction Begins on 4th Floor of Briscoe Library

The former Drug Information Services office on the south side of the Briscoe Library’s 4th floor is undergoing remodeling. The space is being prepared as a suite of offices for several staff from the Office of Academic, Faculty, and Student Affairs who are responsible for institutional accreditation and effectiveness. The work will last about six weeks, through mid-August, and the workers will do their best to keep the noise to a minimum. The 4th floor is a designated Quiet Zone, where even a whisper is often met with a frown. It is understandable that construction noise may be bothersome to those who are expecting to hear a pin drop but not a hammer. Other floors of the building will continue to be available for study, and free earplugs are always available from the Circulation Desk.

Questions or comments may be directed to Jonquil Feldman, Director of Briscoe Library and Outreach Services, at


Danny Jones History of the Health Sciences Essay Award

The Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library welcome submissions for the 2020 essay competition in memory of Danny Jones, M.L.S., who served as Head of Special Collections at the UT Health San Antonio Library and who was also a Past President of the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library. The essay can be on any topic related to the history of the health sciences, including medicine, dentistry, nursing, public health, or any other health science subject or profession.

The contest is open to current students in any of the schools at UT Health San Antonio, as well as affiliated interns, residents, and fellows. Unpublished essays in broad areas related to the history of the health sciences are eligible for submission. Previous essays not selected are also eligible for re-submission.

Three winners will be chosen by a panel of judges, awarding $250, $150, and $100 for the first 3 places. The awards will be presented during Student Fiesta in April of 2020.

Word Limit
No more than 2500 words

January 31, 2020

Please send entries in PDF format to

For more information, contact Peg Seger at or 210-567-6398.

Deadline January 31st to Win $500!

Submit your entry for the Danny Jones Student Essay Competition by midnight on Jan. 31st for a chance to win.

Email in PDF format to Peg Seger (

All UT Health students as well as interns, residents and fellows are eligible to enter.

Previously unpublished essays (up to 2500 words) in broad areas related to the history of the health sciences or the history of any health science profession are eligible for submission.

The contest is sponsored by the Friends of the P.I.Nixon Medical Historical Library in memory of Danny Jones, MLS, former Head of Special Collections at the UT Health Briscoe Library and Past President of the Friends.

For more information, click here.