Olympus Image of the Year Award 2021

We're thrilled to announce the winners of the Olympus Image of the Year Award 2021. We thank everyone who entered, and we look forward to your participation again next year.

See winners below

IMAGE OF THE YEAR 2021

The Global Winner

The winning image was taken by Jan Martinek (Czech Republic).

The global winning image was taken by Jan Martinek (Czech Republic).

Arabidopsis thaliana flower with pollen tubes growing through the pistil. The flower tissues were chemically cleared to become transparent, while the pollen tubes were stained with aniline blue (yellow fluorescence) in order to be seen.

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Regional Winners

Americas

The winning image for the Americas was taken by Ivan Radin (USA).

The winning image for the Americas was captured by Ivan Radin (USA).

A maximum projection of the deconvolved Z-stack of moss Physcomitrium patens protonemal cells. Cell walls (in cyan) were stained live with calcofluor white. Chloroplasts autofluorescence is in Fall LUT.

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Europe, the Middle East, and Africa

The winning image for EMEA was taken by Vasilis Kokkoris (Netherlands).

The winning image for EMEA was taken by Vasilis Kokkoris (Netherlands).

Multinucleate spores of a soil fungus. One cell typically carries one nucleus. In contrast, as seen here, an arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal cell carries hundreds of nuclei.

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Asia-Pacific

The winning image for Asia was captured by Daniel Han (Australia).

The winning image for Asia was captured by Daniel Han (Australia).

Fern sori capsules with spores bursting out. Captured using Z-stacking.

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Honorable Mentions

Honorable Mention #1
Di Lu (China)

Semi-separated nuclei of two cells form a heart-to-heart shape. The nuclei were labeled by lamin.

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Honorable Mention #2
Yujun Chen (USA)

Ovaries of the fruit fly.

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Honorable Mention #8
Yayun Wang (China)

Mouse brain GABA neurons.

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Honorable Mention #4
Mingyue Jia (China)

Autofluorescence image of Siberian polygala. Captured using confocal microscopy. Rendered using maximum projection.

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Honorable Mention #5
David Maitland (UK)

Blue autofluorescent, star-shaped defensive hairs cover the surface of a Deutzia leaf. The hairs are silhouetted against the leaf’s red-fluorescent, chlorophyll-packed cells.

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Honorable Mention #6
LayraCintron-Rivera (USA)

The developing nervous system of an embryonic zebrafish. Specifically, the image is a color-coded projection of the axonal projections of a zebrafish fixed six days after fertilization.

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Honorable Mention #7
Igor Siwanowicz (USA)

Rasping tongue, or radula, of an Astraea conehead snail, Astraea tecta. Stained with Congo red. Imaged using a 10X (0.45 NA) objective. Depth color-coded projection.

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Jurors

Wendy Salmon, Director, Hooker Imaging Facility in the Cell Biology at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill School of Medicine

Wendy Salmon, Director, Hooker Imaging Facility in the Cell Biology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine

Wendy Salmon (she/her/hers) is Director of the Hooker Imaging Facility in the Cell Biology at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill School of Medicine as of September 2021 and co-directs the annual Analytical and Quantitative Light Microscopy short course at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, MA, USA. She studied biology at the University of Richmond in Richmond, VA, USA and discovered the wonders of light microscopy during summer research at the UNC in her hometown of Chapel Hill NC, USA. She received early training in live cell imaging with Dr. Clare Waterman and Dr. David McClay before transitioning to core facility work in 2002. She has advised and trained hundreds of researchers in basic and advanced light microscopy at four institutions and the MBL, most recently at the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, MA, USA. She previously served as a judge for the Olympus BioScapes and Koch Center Image Awards contests.

Geoff Williams, Manager of the Leduc BioImaging Facility at Brown University

Geoff Williams, Manager of the Leduc BioImaging Facility at Brown University

Geoff Williams is in his fourteenth year as manager of the Leduc BioImaging Facility at Brown University. The opportunity to combine visual arts, science, technology and mastery of a skill clicked with his discovery of Microscopy (electron and light) as an undergraduate at Connecticut College. Geoff transitioned from a graduate program at Michigan State University to running the Imaging facility at Central Michigan University before arriving at Brown. Over the past 20 plus years he has been honing his craft as both an electron and light microscopist, paying much more attention to the aesthetic of each image collected than is typically required of a purely scientific investigation. Geoff’s work, under the name Nanoscape, provides a tactile and striking view of samples we may or may not encounter in our day-to-day lives.

Harini Sreenivasappa, Manager of Cell Imaging Center at Drexel University

Harini Sreenivasappa, Manager of Cell Imaging Center at Drexel University

Harini Sreenivasappa is the Manager of Drexel University’s light microscopy core facility, the Cell Imaging Center. She was introduced to microscopy during graduate school at Texas A&M University where she studied the role of microenvironment stimuli on cellular sensing and adapting as it takes place in blood vessel wall remodeling in cardiovascular disease. This eventually led to a PhD in Biomedical Engineering. She has over 10 years of experience working with various microscopy techniques such as Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), spinning disk confocal, and Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy. With ASCB’s COMPASS Outreach grant, she created and curated a Traveling Micrographs exhibit showcasing micrographs by Texas A&M University’s (TAMU) researchers that was free and open to the public. The goal of the series of exhibits was to share research at TAMU with the local community and stimulate interest in imaging science.

Siân Culley, Postdoctoral Research Associate, MRC-LMCB, UCL

Siân Culley, Postdoctoral Research Associate, MRC-LMCB, UCL

Siân Culley first started using microscopes in a summer research project in 2009 studying calcium signaling in the mouse cochlea and has been imaging ever since. She did her PhD at University College London, where she developed a novel STED microscopy technique and investigated the underlying photophysics of CW-STED. Since 2014 she has worked as a postdoc at the MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology, UCL, with Professor Ricardo Henriques. Siân is currently developing novel methods for super-resolution microscopy, particularly through open-source image analysis. She also enjoys disseminating these techniques through teaching on courses and conferences, and in conjunction with the Royal Microscopical Society established the "Women in Microscopy" online resource.

Stefan Terjung, Operational Manager of the ALMF at EMBL Heidelberg

Stefan Terjung, Operational Manager of the ALMF at EMBL Heidelberg

Stefan Terjung studied biology and chemistry at the University of Heidelberg (DE). At the beginning of his studies he discovered his passion for microscopy techniques. For his thesis at the Institute of Cell Biology he investigated biological applications of two-photon microscopy. He obtained his PhD in botany at the Heidelberg Institute for Plant Sciences (HIP) in 2004. Stefan joined the Advanced Light Microscopy Facility (ALMF) at EMBL Heidelberg in 2003. Since 2016 he is Operational Manager of the ALMF. In this position he is regularly involved in organizing and teaching courses on light microscopy techniques.

Rachid Rezgui, Research Instrumentation Scientist Microscopy, New Year University Abu Dhabi

Rachid Rezgui, Research Instrumentation Scientist Microscopy, New York University Abu Dhabi

Rachid studied Physics at the Leibniz University of Hanover in Germany and did his PhD in Biophysics at the Ecole Polytechnique in France studying DNA-Protein interactions at the single molecule level. He joined the microscopy core facility at New York University Abu Dhabi in 2014 and has since been involved with all types of microscopes (Two-Photon, Super-Resolution, Confocal, Fluorescence Lifetime, Widefield, etc.). Rachid is a microscopist and an active research scientist. He is involved in all aspects of optical imaging like sample preparation, training, acquisition and post-processing as well as core facility management.

Wen-Biao Gan, Adjunct Professor, Department of Neuroscience and Physiology at NYU Grossman School of Medicine

Wen-Biao Gan, Director of Institute of Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders at Shenzhen Bay Laboratory

Wen-Biao Gan obtained his Bachelor’s degree in laser physics at Tsinghua University in 1986, and Ph.D. degree in neurobiology at Columbia University in 1995. He was a tenured professor in neuroscience at New York University School of Medicine in 2012. He has done a series of studies in the fields of learning and memory, sleep functions and microglia biology in the past 20 years.

Anne Beghin, Assistant Professor, Research, Mechanobiology Institute, National University of Singapore

Anne Beghin, Assistant Professor, Research, Mechanobiology Institute, National University of Singapore

Dr. Anne Beghin is a multidisciplinary scientist with fifteen years of extensive research experience across academia and industry. She obtained her PhD in oncology in 2007 at the University Claude Bernard in Lyon (France). She then moved to optical microscopy at the Université de Lyon, where she established the microscopy platform and developed live cell imaging solutions and image analysis services for 4 years. Subsequently, she moved to the Mechanobiology Institute (MBI) in Singapore to study organoids using advanced imaging and HCS. This work has resulted in a patent and publications are on-going.

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Image of the Year 2020 – The Global Winner

IOTY 2020 global winner

IOTY2020 logo

The winning image was taken by Werner Zuschratter (Germany).

Whole rat embryo three channel large scale confocal image of a fixed and cleared rat embryo. Two channels show different autofluorescence sources of the tissue, whereas the third channel shows the skeleton stained by alizarin red.

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Image of the Year 2020 – Regional Winners

Americas

The winning image was taken by Justin Zoll (U.S.A.).

The winning image was taken by Justin Zoll (USA).

Polarized light microscopy panorama of l glutamine and beta alanine crystals.

Download original image (jpg, 3.06 MB)

Europe, the Middle East and Africa

Grigorii Timin (Switzerland)'s image won the EMEA regional prize.

Grigorii Timin (Switzerland)'s image won the EMEA regional prize.

Collagen fibers (second harmonic generation) and dermal pigment cells (autofluorescence) in African house snake embryonic skin; maximum intensity projection of 10 confocal slices.

Download original image (jpg, 4.31 MB)

Asia-Pacific

Asia-Pacific regional prize was awarded to XinPei Zhang (China).

The Asia-Pacific regional prize was awarded to XinPei Zhang (China).

Scales collected from the wings of over 40 species of butterflies were photographed individually and finally assembled into this image.

Download original image (jpg, 2.93 MB)


BioScapes – International Digital Imaging Competition from 2004 to 2014

Olympus BioScapes

For more than a decade, we’ve celebrated some of the world’s most amazing images of life’s wonders as seen through microscopes. Take a look at the gallery and enjoy some extraordinary images and videos of the natural world. Then share links to the images you like best with your friends and colleagues.

 Click here to see more images on the BioScapes gallery

Competition Rules

You can upload your microscope images between October 18, 2021 at 12 p.m. JST and March, 1 at 1:59 p.m. JST, 2022. The winners will be notified in April, 2022.

Anyone over the age of 18 can participate. Olympus employees, their families, the judges, their families, and individuals engaged in the manufacturing or sales of microscopes are excluded from participation.

You can upload up to 3 images. All images must be JPEG or TIFF and have a maximum file size of 10 MB.

Images do not need to be taken with an Olympus-branded microscope. No purchase necessary to enter or win.

Images must be taken by the entrant using a light microscope. Images taken with an electron or any other microscope(s) that do not capture imagery using optical light technology are not eligible.

Macro photography is not eligible.

After participating in the competition your image might also be depicted in Olympus campaigns worldwide and you grant us the corresponding rights of use. You will be credited as the image creator so please be aware that you have to be the originator of the uploaded images and that images have to be free from any third - party rights. Please find the full details in the terms and conditions.

Our jury will judge the submitted images on artistic and visual aspects, scientific impact, and microscope proficiency.

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