• 2015 Winners & Finalists
  • About the Contest
  • Judges Panel
  • Contest Rules

2015 Winners & Finalists

Judges' Grand Prize: Science Image

Endothelial Cells
Torsten Wittmann
Widefield epifluorescence microscope
View image

Judges' Runners Up: Science Image

Anna Reade
Digitally scanned light sheet microscope
View image

Cross Section Through Injured Mouse Skeletal Muscle
Daniel Kopink
Leica SPE
View image

People’s Choice: Science Image & Video

Platelet release in the lung observed by mouse intravital imaging
Submitted by: Emma Lefrancais, PhD
Principal Investigator: Mark Looney, MD
Watch video

Judges' Favorites: Science Video

The Judging Panel opted not to award Grand Prize and Runner Up for video submissions this year, and instead selected three Judge’s Favorites with a $150 Prize each:

Human lung epithelial carcinoma cell
Submitted by: Jeffrey Van Haren
Principal Investigator: Torsten Wittmann
Watch video

Embryonic zebrafish skin cells that are undergoing cell extrusion
Submitted by: Antonino Schepis, PhD
Principal Investigator: Shaun Coughlin, MD, PhD
Watch video

The Heart of an Aging Fruit Fly in Health and Disease
Submitted by: Matthew P. Klassen, PhD
Principal Investigator: Yuh Nung Jan, PhD
Watch video

Judges' Finalists: Science Image

AIDS in Process: HIV Infection of Human Lymphoid CD4 T Cells
Gilad Doitsch
Electron microscope
View image

Architecture of the Peyers Patch Germinal Center, Small Intestine
Lauren Rodda
Leica SP5 Confocal Microscope
View image

Cilia on Mouse Tracheal Cells
Xiaoyu Shi
3D STORM microscope
View image

Drosophila Brain
Harrison Liu
Zeiss Axlovert
View image

Fibrotic Lung
Donald McCarthy
Zeiss scanning electron microscope
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Fruit Fly Blood and Muscle
Katrina Gold
Leica SF5
View image

Growing Root Tip
Anna Reade
Light sheet fluorescent microscope
View image

Immunity in Action: Visualized Hemocytes in a Living Intact Fruit Fly
Sarah Headland
Leica SP5
View image

Mouse Hippocampus
Connor Ludwig
Leica epifluoresence microscope
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Mouse Tibialis Anterior Muscle Transplanted with Human Muscle Stem Cells
Xiaoti Xu
Leica DM 5000 upright fluorescence microscope
View image

Neural Stem Cell in the Embryonic Mouse Brain
Omer Bayraktar
Leica SP5
View image

Optically Encoded Bead Dispenser
Huy Nguyen
View image

Two Nematode Worms (Caenorhabditis elegans)
Victoria Butler
Zeiss Axiolmager M2 microscope
View image

About the Contest

Experience the beauty and complexity of life through the eyes of science. As the nation’s leading public recipient of NIH biomedical research funds, there is no shortage of visually stunning research happening in UCSF labs every day.

Submissions were judged on artfulness, scientific enlightenment and technical mastery. Up to $2,000 in cash prizes were awarded as follows:

  • Judges Grand Prize for Still Image - $500
  • Judges Runner Up for Still Image - $250
  • Judges Grand Prize for Video - $500
  • Judges Runner Up for Video - $250
  • People’s Choice - $500 (image or video)

The submission deadline was September 30, 2015. Voting for People's Choice ended on October 15, 2015, and all winners were announced on October 28.

Our Collaborators

This contest was made possible by Pulse of UCSF, your source for all campus news, resources, events and more. Other collaborators were:

Judges Panel

Felice Frankel, Research Scientist and Science Photographer, MIT
Finalist Judge

Science photographer Felice Frankel is a research scientist in the Center for Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Working in collaboration with scientists and engineers, Felice’s images have been published in over 200 journal articles and/or covers. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship among other awards from NSF and NEA. She most recently developed and instructed the first online MOOC addressing science and engineering photography: “Making Science and Engineering Pictures, A Practical Guide to Presenting Your Work.” (course 0.111x)

Felice has been profiled in the New York Times, Wired, LIFE Magazine, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, the Chronicle of Higher Education, National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, Science Friday, the Christian Science Monitor and various European publications. She exhibits throughout the United States and in Europe. Her limited edition photographs are included in a number of corporate and private collections and were part of MOMA’s exhibition, “Design and the Elastic Mind”.


Yael Fitzpatrick, Art Director and Scientific Communicator
Finalist Judge

Yael Fitzpatrick has spent pretty much her entire life immersed in the sciences, and for the last 20 years or so has focused primarily on the visual communication of scientific information. She is an art director for the scholarly publishing world, handling a wide range of content, from the most publicly accessible news to highly technical academic research. She has expertise in matters as diverse as publications design, brand management, and the investigation of suspected research fraud.

Yael is currently the Manager of Design & Branding for the American Geophysical Union, and was previously Art Director for the Science family of journals. She has recently started to dip her toes into the Twitter pool: @GazelleInDminor.


Dan Lowenstein, MD, UCSF Executive Vice Chancellor
Finalist Judge

Daniel Lowenstein, MD, is oversee the research and education enterprise at UCSF. A clinician-scientist who studies both basic science and clinical aspects of epilepsy, he also has served as director of the UCSF Epilepsy Center and director of Physician-Scientist and Education Training Programs for the UCSF School of Medicine.


Dyche Mullins, PhD, Professor, UCSF/Investigator, HHMI
Finalist Judge

Dyche Mullins

Dyche Mullins studied engineering and mathematics before becoming interested in cell biology. Currently his laboratory at UCSF studies the assembly and regulation of cytoskeletal networks—collections of molecules used by living cells to move molecular cargo, establish polarity, and propel themselves forward. Understanding how cells construct their internal molecular "skeletons" is key to understanding a wide variety of biological processes and human diseases. High-resolution light and electron microscopy have always played a key role in Prof. Mullins’ research.

Outside the lab, Mullins is a serious amateur photographer and dabbles in the study of Russian poetry.

You can visit the Mullins Lab website and follow the Lab on Twitter (@Mullinslab).

Kurt Thorn, PhD, Director, Nikon Imaging Lab
Finalist and Screening Judge

Dr. Kurt Thorn received his PhD in biophysics from UCSF in 2001, where he worked in the laboratory of Dr. Ronald Vale studying the motility of kinesin molecules with single molecule microscopy. He was then a fellow at the Bauer Center for Genomics Research at Harvard University, where he studied yeast cell biology.

In 2006 he returned to UCSF, where he is an Associate Adjunct Professor and directs the Nikon Imaging Center at UCSF/QB3 (http://nic.ucsf.edu). As director of the Nikon Imaging Center, Dr. Thorn has helped over a thousand UCSF researchers acquire microscopy data, leading to hundreds of papers. He also closely follows developments in microscopy and blogs about them at http://nic.ucsf.edu/blog. Dr. Thorn also runs a research group focused on developing multiplex biochemical assay technologies with the goal of producing better clinical diagnostics for conditions such as food allergies.


Frank L. Bos, PhD, www.pArtofScience.com
Screening Judge

Frank L. Bos, PhD, is a post-doctoral fellow at the Cardiovascular Research Institute at the University of California, San Francisco. Trained as a developmental biologist, he is fascinated by the development of blood vessels and blood production.

Bos is also founder of pArt of Science. Frustrated by the fact that beautiful scientific images only ended up as thumbnails in scientific publications, Bos wanted to bring such prints to life in a big way! With a fellow researcher, Bos launched pArt of Science, a San Francisco startup that prints and frames high resolution, gallery-quality scientific art pieces through exclusive license agreements with research institutes around the world. The art is available for purchase by anyone and a portion of all proceeds is donated back to the lab that created them, fueling future research.


Kaitlin Corbin, Director, Biological Imaging Development Center
Screening Judge

Kaitlin did her undergraduate degree in imaging and photographic technology at Rochester Institute of Technology, with focus on high magnification imaging systems. She is currently the managing director at biological imaging development center (BIDC) at UCSF, which focuses on implementing and elaborating emerging light microscopy technologies. Her current work focuses on improving invtravital imaging techniques to minimize invasiveness in order to image the tumor/immune interface over long time scales, and implementing light sheet technology at the BIDC to allow the imaging community to capture large data sets from whole cleared organs.

Contest Rules

Thank you for your interest in entering Sci-Resolution: UCSF Science Image and Video Competition.

Will there be prizes?
Yes, there will be prizes given to the winners based on judge’s selections and online voting.

Judges Grand Prize for Still Image: $500
Judges Runner Up for Still Image: $250

Judges Grand Prize for Video: $500
Judges Runner Up for Video: $250

People’s Choice: $500

One entrant could win both the Judges Grand Prize and People’s Choice.


Who can enter?
Faculty, staff or trainees at UCSF. You must submit using a UCSF email address.

How do I enter?
To enter, go to sci-resolution.strutta.com. Read these rules, information on what images and video are eligible, and agree to the terms and conditions.

Are group entries accepted?
No, all entries must be submitted by an individual with a UCSF email address. That individual should have permission from their principal investigator, lab team, and/or anyone else having interest in the copyright before submitting.

What images or video are eligible?
Any science-related still images or videos that were captured at UCSF. Imagery that was captured or edited by an outside vendor is not eligible. Videos should be shorter than 30 seconds (time-lapse editing is acceptable). Photo or video manipulation (editing after shooting) should be noted in your submission notes. Entrants may submit up to five images or videos for judging.

What about copyright?
The original copyright owner retains all copyright for submissions. Entrants must obtain permission from the copyright owner (typically the principal investigator) prior to submitting and be prepared to demonstrate documentation evidencing copyright holders’ permission.

What happens to images or videos that I submit?
By submitting, you grant permission to UCSF University Relations to use any winning and non-winning entries for educational and marketing/promotional purposes. But the original copyright owner retains copyright.

Can I submit an image or video that was previously published by another journal, textbook, etc?
Entrants can submit images or videos that were published elsewhere, but first must confirm that the publication does not own copyright.

What if I may want to use this image or video when publishing future research?
We encourage entrants to submit similar images or video, but not exactly identical files or shots they would want to publish alongside new research findings.

What are image specifications?
JPG, GIF, TIF, PNG (For best results, 720px wide x 405px high, landscape/horizontal orientation). Maximum file size: 50 MB. Maximum size in pixels: 8000 x 8000 (This the maximum size for the original image, the image will be scaled to fit).

What are video specifications?
MOV, MPEG, MPG, MP4, M4V, VOB, FLV, AVI, ASF, DIVX, WMV (For best results, 16 x 9 aspect ratio). Maximum file size: 500 MB. Not to exceed 30 seconds (time lapse editing allowed).

What is the entry period?
September 3, 2015 through September 30, 2015

What is the judging period?
October 1, 2015 through October 15, 2015

How is the “Judges Choice” winner determined?
A panel of screening judges will narrow all submissions down to a set of finalists based on eligibility requirements and overall visual impact, scientific content and technical proficiency. A final judges panel will then select Grand Prize and Runner Up winners. Judges decisions will be final. Judges may not be eligible to win. If judges consulted on an image or video, they must recuse themselves from judging those entries.

How is the People’s Choice determined?
Voting will take place at sci-resolution.strutta.com. Voters may vote ONCE every 24 hours. The one entry with the most votes at 11:59 p.m. on October 15, 2015 will be awarded “People’s Choice.”

If I win, how do we collect our prize?
Contestants will be contacted using their UCSF email address or the phone number they provided during submission.

Please direct any questions to [email protected]. Any point not outlined in the entry rules will be determined and clarified by UCSF in UCSF’s sole discretion.

Additional Terms:

By participating in the Contest you permit public voting in connection with your Entry.

Rights Granted by you: By entering this Contest, you agree that: UCSF and their respective licensees, successors and assigns will have the right to use all or a part of your Entry, your name and address (city and state/province/territory), and the names, likenesses, photographs, voices and images of all persons appearing in the Entry anywhere in the world and in perpetuity, for future advertising, trade, promotion and publicity in any manner and in any medium now known or hereafter devised throughout the world in perpetuity, without compensation and without notice to you and without consideration, review or approval from you; and you agree that you will not now nor in the future be paid for your Entry or for granting the Administrator any of the rights set out in these Rules.

Your Representations and Warranties: By entering the Contest, you represent and warrant that:
 your Entry, in its entirety, is an original work by you and you have not included third party content (such as writing, poetry, text, graphics, artwork, logos, photographs, likeness of any third party, musical recordings, clips of videos, television programs or motion pictures) in or in connection with your Entry without permission;
your Entry, the use thereof by UCSF, or the exercise by UCSF of any of the rights granted by you under these Contest Rules, does not and will not infringe or violate any rights of any third party or entity, including, without limitation, patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret, defamation, privacy, publicity, false light, misappropriation, confidentiality, or any contractual or other rights;
you have all the rights, licenses, permissions and consents necessary to submit the Entry and to grant all of the rights that you have granted to UCSF under these Contest Rules;
 all persons who were engaged by you to work on the Entry, who appear in the Entry in any manner, or have contributed to the Entry have:
 given you their written consent to submit the Entry without claims for payment of any kind; and
 provided written permission to include their name, likenesses, image or pictures in or with your Entry (or if a minor who is not your child, you must have the permission of their parent or legal guardian) and you may be asked by UCSF to provide such permission in writing to UCSF.