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2020 Art of Science Finalists Voting

Congratulations to this year’s Art of Science finalists. Out of the many submissions we received, four were voted on to the final round by the SLAS Professional Team.

Each of the final images are shown below along with a short description of what the image represents. Voting ends Tuesday, January 28 at 4:00 p.m. PST and the winner will be announced at, in the SLAS2020 Daily News, on all SLAS social media platforms and at the SLAS2020 Closing Keynote session.



Finalist 1: Alberto Bresciani, Ph.D.

IRBM S.p.A. High Throughput Biology and Screening Department (Rome, Italy)

Beauty saves the world even in a research lab. A research lab is a place where a lot of plastic waste is generated, in most cases there is little to do to avoid this. At the same time a decent part of the plastic waste that is not contaminated and can be recycled.

At our lab we make a considerable use of acoustic COP plates that come with a black lid that is immediately discarded in favor of a thin film to seal plates. We started collecting thousands of lids and considered getting rid of them. However, in the absence of a clean way to recycle the lids we converted the waste into an installation to remind us and everybody that with creativity and inspiration, there’s always a new bright future for apparently useless things and ideas.

We noticed that once piled up the lids have some degree of rotation so that they are able to twist of a few degrees with respect to the lower lid. If all the lids are twisted the same angle w.r.t. the lower lid they generate a coiled like structure that resembles the DNA double helix. We built five lid skyscrapers that can be seen in the picture and each skyscraper is made of c. 200 lids. The skyscrapers are mounted in a lower bench in the lab. The background was removed in the picture to let better appreciate the installation.

The installation is dynamic and increases in height and number of skyscrapers with the use of acoustic COP plates. Its presence, though apparently useless, is key to our team feelings. It grows with us, it can collapse, but it can always be re-built to be more stable. It is there to demonstrate that with patience, creativity and passion beauty can be generated from anything.

Finalist 2

Finalist 2: Aram Chung, Ph.D.

Korea University School of Biomedical Engineering (Seoul, Korea)

This image shows the internalization of 200 nm Gold Nanoparticles (GNPs) in MDA-MB-231 cells. The scattering spots represent clusters of GNPs imaged using dark-field microscopy (BX 43, Olympus, Tokyo, Japan). The GNPs were delivered via a microfluidic intracellular delivery platform termed “µ-Hydroporator,” which introduces macromolecules into any cell type, at high-throughput, in a single-step, without a vector or external apparatus.

Finalist 3

Finalist 3: Isabel Peset Martin, Ph.D.

Medicines Discovery Catapult (United Kingdom)

Our entry represents a confocal image of a human kidney organoid generated via the directed differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). This beautiful three-dimensional model recapitulates the structure of the kidney, containing in excess of 12 distinct kidney cell types. The model functions as normal human kidney tissue when generated from healthy donors, and also has the capability to model patient disease in a dish, as such bringing the potential for personalized kidney disease modeling and drug screening in vitro. Such applications will rely on the accuracy of the model at the cellular level. iPSC-derived kidney organoid structures were analyzed using markers for Glomeruli (grey), Proximal tubule (blue), Distal Tubule (Green) and Collecting Duct (red).

Finalist 4

Finalist 4: Victor Padilla-Sanchez, Ph.D.

Catholic University of America (Washington, D.C., USA)

This figure represents HIV-1 viruses approaching and entering the T cell membrane to produce AIDS. Located on the membrane are the integrin receptors (magenta-cyan-yellow), cd4 receptors (red) and ccr5 coreceptors (blue) that interact with the envelope glycoproteins (orange-green-yellow) of the viruses to mediate infection. This image has been produced with a high-performance computer using pdb structures with the use of UCSF Chimera software showing the details at atomic resolution. It comprises approximately 300 million atoms which is a new achievement in atomic resolution of macromolecular complexes. The image will aid to the discovery of novel vaccines to combat HIV-1 infection because it will let to analyze the structural details of the infection process.

The winning artwork will be displayed in the SLAS Global Headquarters and used in all Art of Science promotions throughout 2020. The winner will also receive a $100 Amazon gift card.