A photo by Queen Mary University of London postgraduate student Christina Gkantsinikoudi and lead researcher Dr Neil Dufton has been named as joint runner up in the British Heart Foundation’s Reflection of Research image competition.
The annual competition brings to life the cutting-edge work of heart and circulatory researchers across the UK. The image submitted by Christina and Dr Dufton, ‘A heart within a heart’, shows damage to the heart in blue colouring after a heart attack.
The death of heart muscle cells dramatically changed the structure of the heart’s main pumping chamber which has caused it to become deformed into a heart shape.
They captured this image by taking a slice through the heart and bathing it with different coloured dyes that each reveal different elements of the heart’s structure.
Christina Gkantsinikoudi said: “I’m so delighted that our image was selected as a runner-up and for our work to be showcased to the public.
“Our research focuses on the role blood vessels play to ‘shape’ our organs and how cells that line these vessels can lose their identity which leads to heart damage. By understanding this we hope to alleviate debilitating scarring in the heart.”
The winning entry was ‘A flare of stellar vessels’, submitted by Dr Régis Joulia, BHF Research Fellow at BHF Centre of Research Excellence, Imperial College London.
The winners and shortlisted entries for this year’s competition were chosen by a panel of experts: Dr Charmaine Griffiths, Chief Executive at the British Heart Foundation; Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation; Simon Hill, President and Chair of Trustees at The Royal Photographic Society.
Dr Charmaine Griffiths, Chief Executive at the British Heart Foundation and one of the judges, said: “It is amazing to think that each of these beautiful images tell a story of the dedication of our brilliant BHF scientists as they make progress to save and improve lives.
“I love how they all shine a spotlight on the stunning complexity of the cardiovascular system. The research behind these striking images could be what powers the next breakthroughs in tackling heart and circulatory diseases, saving lives in years to come.”
Simon Hill, President and Chair of Trustees at The Royal Photographic Society, was this year’s guest judge. He said: “When art and science merge, the results can be astounding. The shortlisted images in this competition represent some of the most artful science photographs I have seen and that made it almost impossible to select a winner.”
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