Art in neuroscience winner illuminates potential of brain research

A beautifully stained blue and gold neuron has taken out the 2023 QBI Art in Neuroscience Image Competition.

Saber Abd Elkader won first prize in the annual scientific art competition for his work titled ‘C57 primary hippocampal neurons morphology’ – a visually compelling portrayal of the subcellular makeup of neurons in the hippocampus.

The judging panel – which included experts from Jan Murphy Gallery and Philip Bacon Galleries – were extremely impressed with the winning entry which they believed symbolised the unlimited potential of brain research.

“This work epitomises the work of the QBI, it is thought provoking and beautifully balanced,” the judges said.

“It makes the viewer think of the brain, the enormity of scientific study and its seemingly limitless possibilities.”

'C57 primary hippocampal neurons morphology' submitted by Saber Abd Elkader

Second place went to Dr Lee Fletcher for his ‘Brained Glass’ image which had previously featured on the front cover of the internationally regarded neuroscience journal, Neuron.

The image describes stained glass windows as an allegory for neural circuits. The properties of glass/neurons transform light/synaptic input into explosions of colour, creating a story.

'Brained Glass' submitted by Dr Lee Fletcher

Dr Emma Cooke took out third place with her sensitive illustration of a young Down syndrome girl entitled ‘Molly’.

The drawing was a way of representing the research that Emma is doing in child development, education, and care, and to direct attention to the often-overlooked stories of families of children with Down syndrome.

'Molly' submitted by Dr Emma Cooke

The People’s Choice Award was a highly contested affair this year with only one vote separating Alison Carlisle’s image ‘A Complex Translation’ in first place.

The illustration conveyed the complexity of the eukaryotic cell, highlighting the transport of mRNA through the nuclear pore, and its translation into protein by ribosomes.

'A Complex Translation' submitted by Alison Carlisle

The QBI Art in Neuroscience Competition is an annual competition to inspire the creativity of our researchers and capture the mystery and beauty of their scientific discoveries.

Last updated:
19 January 2024