Contest winner captures the beauty of biology

Feeder cells stained to reveal abnormalities

Grand Prize Winner: Xinglong Wang, PhD. Feeder cells stained to reveal abnormalities.

More than 500 years ago, Leonardo da Vinci observed and recorded the science of his world in minute detail—capturing the swirls of moving water, the complexities of a butterfly's wing, and the intricacies of human musculature and anatomy. Rendered faithfully by the keen mind of a scientist and the skilled hand of an artist, these drawings created a definitive link between art and science.

Xinglong Wang, PhD, a postdoctoral scholar working with Xiongwei Zhu, PhD, in the Department of Pathology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, recently contributed his own artistic vision to this legacy. Dr. Wang has been awarded the grand prize in the school's second annual Art of Science contest, a photo competition organized by the Office of Graduate Education to recognize the artistic nature of student and postdoctoral biomedical advances.

Dr. Wang's photo is a sharp contrast of primary colors against a velvety black background. The striking, multi-layered image depicts his work on the protein hnRN P A1, which is involved in cell stress response.

"I entered the contest because it is really exciting to share with others the beauty of biology," Dr. Wang says. His winning photo depicts feeder cells that were stained brightly to reveal abnormalities. The cells were provided by collaborators Maria Hatzoglou, PhD, and Elena Bevilacqua from the Department of Nutrition.

Dr. Wang says he was drawn to biology because of its "complexity and accuracy."

Feeder cells stained to reveal abnormalities

Other Prize Winners: (left to right) Melissa Latigo, PhD Children peer into a church window in Western Uganda; Alicia L. Hawthorne, PhD Serotonergic neurons (green, yellow) withstand inhibitory molecules and may help form this sphere of cells; Elizabeth A. Rodkey, PhD Crystals of the wild-type class A beta-lactamase, SHV-1, an enzyme first isolated in Klebsiella pneumonia that confers penicillin resistance.

"Art and science together can show a deeper understanding of reality," he says. "I hope these beautiful photos will help us to understand ourselves and the world around us."

The Art of Science contest was developed to encourage graduate and postdoctoral students to appreciate the artistic aspects of their work. This year, nearly 30 students and scholars submitted entries, which were judged based on their artistic merit by the directors of the school's graduate program. The winning images are currently on display around the school and in the office of Dean Pamela B. Davis.