Mrs Chunjing Wang, who works at Birmingham University, has won JDRF’s first ever scientific photography competition. Her image (left) was judged to be both interesting and strikingly beautiful.
The photograph was taken through a microscope, using special fluorescent ‘tags’ to show up different features of an islet of Langerhans being attacked by immune cells.
Blue shows the insulin-producing cells in the islet, while green shows the immune cells which are attacking it. The red dots show cells which are multiplying – as these are mainly seen in green cells this image shows the scale of the immune attack.
The photograph had to fight off strong competition from a wide variety of images from other scientists working on type 1 diabetes related projects up and down the country.
Chunjing has a medical degree and masters degree from China. She is currently studying for a PhD in Dr Lucy Walker’s laboratory. This group is working to understand what makes the immune system attack the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas leading to type 1 diabetes, with funding from JDRF and other organizations.
The prize for the winning photograph is a £500 travel bursary. Describing what this will mean to her, Chunjing said “I am delighted that my image has won this travel bursary. I will now have the opportunity to travel to a scientific meeting where I can present my research findings and also keep up to date with what other researchers are doing.”
Scientific meetings are vital for scientists to exchange ideas and learn from each other. However, it can be difficult for scientists at the start of their careers, like Mrs Wang, to attend these meetings. This means that they may miss out on early opportunities to interact with other more established scientists, and hear from people working in fields slightly outside their own.
JDRF will be using all of the images entered into the competition over the coming months, through our website and publications to illustrate and explain stories about our research.