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QMUL's Life Sciences Initiative hosts new image award competition for staff and students

The cross-faculty Life Sciences Initiative (LSI) at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) hosted its first Image Awards to celebrate well-being, health, technology and beauty in science.

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Alligator in the Rain by Samantha Arokiasamy
Alligator in the Rain by Samantha Arokiasamy

Shortlisted images were exhibited to the public at the Idea Store, Whitechapel, on Wednesday 31 May. Entries were open to QMUL staff and students.

Alligator in the Rain

PHD Student, Samantha Arokiasamy, from the William Harvey Research Institute, won the Image of the Year Award 2017 with her vibrant ‘Alligator in the Rain’ image. She also received an Apple iPad Pro with Apple pencil as the overall prize-winner.

Samantha said: “Seeing the outline of an alligator in my tissue sample under the microscope certainly brightened up my day. I submitted it as I thought it would bring an element of fun to science at the exhibition.”

She added: “It’s great the judges thought the same and I’m grateful to have won as the other submissions were amazing! It was lovely meeting everyone at the exhibition and viewing all the high quality images – I’d definitely participate again!”

View the full gallery

The art in Science

Other awards presented included the Best Image in Beauty in Medicine which was won by Kseniya Shuturminska from the Dental Physical Sciences Unit for her ‘Microsystem’ image; the Best Image in Health and Technology which was won by Ella Strickland de Souza from the Student Services Department for her ‘Explore the universe from your hospital’ image; and the Best Image in Health and Wellbeing awarded to Natalia Dominik from the William Harvey Research Institute for ‘Sports for a healthy heart beat’.

There was also the People’s Choice Award, decided by public vote at the Festival of Communities, presented to Richard Chantler from the Centre for Academic and Professional Development, for his image, ‘Mental Health - The Forgotten Cousin’.

Given the strength of the submitted images, the judges also decided to select the following images, all by QMUL staff, for special recognition: ‘Pancreatic cancer cell - Furry sphere’ by Estelle Collin, ‘Space Exploration - Immune Cells in Action’ by Tamara Girbl, and ‘Shining Brightest in the Darkest of Nights’ by Nurul Hazwani Binti Osman.

Life Sciences Initiative (LSI)

Peter Mcowan, Professor of Computer Science and VP for Public Engagement and Student Enterprise and lead judge, said: “It was a delight to be lead judge for the inaugural Life Sciences image competition, which showcased innovative, inspiring and creative images by QMUL Staff and students.”

He added: “Next year the LSI team aims to build upon their success by expanding the awards to include entries from Tower Hamlets residents, while also continuing to present the important work our clinical academics do via this enjoyable, artistic outlet.”

The LSI aims to develop a unique life sciences cluster through the application of interdisciplinary research and expertise garnered from all three faculties of QMUL. The LSI will also address fundamental healthcare-related challenges to deliver demonstrable patient benefits.

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