An image submitted by a British Heart Foundation-funded researcher at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) has made the shortlist in the charity’s annual ‘Reflections of Research’ image competition.
The image, by Dr Tamara Girbl from QMUL’s William Harvey Research Institute, captures the immune system at work in a muscle. An injury, caused by infection or tissue damage, has caused white blood cells called neutrophils (pink) - that are normally found in the blood - to breach blood vessel walls (blue and green) and invade the surrounding tissue.
This accumulation of neutrophils in the heart or brain can exacerbate damage after a heart attack or stroke. Dr Girbl and her colleagues at QMUL are investigating exactly what causes this accumulation of neutrophils in the hope of finding new, effective therapies to fight cardiovascular diseases.
Dr Tamara Girbl said: “I was very excited to hear that my image was shortlisted and that so many people would get to see it! These competitions are an excellent opportunity for us scientists to share the natural beauty we encounter during our research with the public, but also to draw attention to the current challenges and progress in cardiovascular research.”
‘Reflections of Research’ provides a glimpse into the cutting edge research that the BHF funds. Modern technology allows scientists to image the body in unprecedented detail and provide new insights into ways to prevent and treat heart and circulatory disease.
Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive at the BHF, said: “Science relies increasingly on ever more sophisticated imaging techniques to help us to see the cellular and molecular processes that conspire to create disease…So whilst this competition is all about stunning imagery, it’s actually the story that the image tells that matters.”
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