University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center graduate student Geoffrey Grandjean's image of ovarian cancer cells is visually striking, scientifically important and coming soon to Times Square in New York.
Grandjean, a graduate research assistant in Experimental Therapeutics and an artist, won a national contest sponsored by GE Healthcare with the image, which features cell nuclei stained red entangled in microtubules - the scaffolding of cells - stained green.
His image, and those of the winners from Europe and Asia, will be shown repeatedly on the NBC Universal HD screen April 20-22. View image
"Geoff is a talented, unique individual," says Garth Powis, D.Phil., professor and chair for Experimental Therapeutics and Grandjean's mentor. "He is a graduate student working to discover new cancer drugs and as a hobby he paints oil paintings. His creative eye combined with his scientific knowledge allowed him to capture this great image using cutting-edge optical equipment from GE, which, incidentally, is helping us in our quest to develop new cancer treatments for our patients."
A doctoral student in The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Grandjean submitted an image of ovarian cancer cells after a gene involved in cell division has been blocked by small interfering RNA (siRNA).
Grandjean's description: "The image was taken using the InCell 1000 from GE while screening the human kinome for regulators of microtubule stability when ovarian cancer cells (SKOV3) were treated with paclitaxel. In the field, many normally sized cells are seen around the periphery showing clearly the significant change in cell size that takes place when the gene of interest is silenced using siRNA. When running the experiment it was first thought that this phenotypic change was an artifact but, through several repeated runs of the experiment it was found to be a reproducible phenomenon which is very exciting given the marked shift in cellular size and morphology."
Contest judges for the IN Cell Analyzer Image Competition selected 30 entries for final consideration. More than 8,000 votes were then cast online Nov. 7-Dec. 15, 2011 and at two major scientific conferences.
More information on the contest and additional images can be seen here.