Embryo picture claims top spot in scientific images competition


white alligator embryo with snout and tail against black background

An image of an alligator embryo has won the Art of Research scientific images competition at Imperial.

The competition aimed to find images which celebrate the diversity of scientific research across the College. It was coordinated by Imperial Innovations – responsible for commercialising research from Imperial – and was open to staff and students.

The overall winner is Dr Arkhat Abzhanov, Reader in Evolution and Development Genetics in the Department of Life Sciences, for an image taken of an alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) embryo dissected from an egg (pictured above). 

The runner up is Dr Dafni Hadjieconomou from the Institute of Clinical Sciences, whose image shows the brain-gut signalling system in a fruitfly.

dark blue sphere with pink dots and red shapes

The competition was judged by an independent panel drawn from the science and art worlds. Sabrina Taner is responsible for sourcing new biomedical imagery for the Wellcome Trust’s image library, while Jen Wong is Head of Programming at Science Gallery London and Co-founder and Director of Guerilla Science. Susan Aldworth is currently Artist in Residence at the University of York’s Sleep Lab.

Sabrina Taner said: "There was a strong selection of images which was particularly impressive as the competition is only in its first year. We would be very interested in acquiring some of these images into our collections at Wellcome Images."

The competition also included a People’s Choice category, chosen through votes placed online and in person at the exhibition in the College Main Entrance. 

The People’s Choice Award was presented to Catherine Teo for her image “Heart of Life”, which shows the production of proteins in different parts of a cell.

Heart of Life 

Andrew Tingey, Director of Healthcare Licensing at Imperial Innovations, said: “We have been very impressed with the quality of images submitted and would like to thank all those who participated. The Art of Research competition is a clear demonstration of the varied scientific endeavours undertaken at Imperial and a reminder that science is a window to the wonders of our world.

“We will be inviting some creators to make their images available for purchase on our materials commerce website, Quicktech. It speaks to the quality of these works that we have also received interest in promoting these images from the Wellcome Trust Image Collection.”

View the shortlisted images.  


Elizabeth Nixon

Elizabeth Nixon
Communications Division

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Contact details

Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 6699
Email: e.nixon@imperial.ac.uk

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Arts, Imperial-Innovations, Strategy-share-the-wonder, Animal-research
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