These five images are the winners of this year’s Visions of Endocrinology image competition. From a close-up of bone tissue to a heart-warming moment with a critically endangered marsupial, these images encapsulate the breadth and diversity of endocrinology. All winners received a £100 Amazon voucher.
The Barometer of My Heart
Mark Storor, Leighton Seal, Stephen King
This image is an artistic response to conversations with men attending erectile dysfunction clinics in collaboration between artist Mark Storor and endocrinologist Dr Leighton Seal at St George’s Hospital, Tooting. The image is part of a participatory arts project, The Barometer of My Heart, which seeks to explore male health and masculine identity in relation to potency in general, and erectile dysfunction in particular, an early indicator of cardiovascular disease and stroke and the unspoken root of male anxiety, stress and depression. In September 2015 a company of artists and participants led by artist Mark Storor will present a series of intimate site-specific public performances that offer powerful insights into the relationship between sexual and psychological potency, men’s health and male identity.
The project is supported by the Wellcome Trust and Arts Council England and is produced by Anna Ledgard in association with Artsadmin.
In our hands
From reproduction to stress physiology, endocrinology has huge potential to assist efforts to conserve species threatened with extinction. Stephanie’s research combines endocrinology with animal health in the context of wildlife conservation. Specifically, she is looking at how stress may influence the health and survival of a unique and critically endangered Australian marsupial, the woylie or brushtailed bettong (Bettongia penicillata). In this picture, she is holding a precious little woylie joey. Once numerous across the country, woylies have declined by over 90% since the 1990s and can now only be found in the south-west corner of Western Australia. Stephanie hopes the image highlights how endocrinology can assist species whose future hangs in the balance.
Sagital section of a rat olfactory bulb
Rafael Pineda Reyes
Rafael’s image is a confocal image of a rat olfactory bulb section stained for the enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase and a nuclear counterstain. The olfactory bulb is a brain structure located in the forebrain that receives neural inputs from odours detected by receptors in the nasal cavity and it is the key part of the brain involved in social odour recognition. Complex social behaviours often depend on the recognition of the individual’s odour signatures.
Immunohistochemistry combined with confocal imaging is a very beautiful and powerful approach to show the morphology of neuroanatomical structures involved in important endocrine and behaviour regulations.
Backscattered scanning-electron microscope image of bone
Duncan Bassett, Alan Boyde and Graham Williams
This backscattered electron scanning-electron microscope image illustrates both the delicate structure of trabecular bone and its dynamic nature. The smooth trabecular surfaces show many darker dots which are the canaliculi through which osteocytes communicate to sense load. The roughened surfaces are areas of osteoclastic resorption which demonstrate the continuous remodelling of trabecular bone. The image highlights the skeleton as a key endocrine target organ.
Biomedical Sciences and Endocrinology
Elina’s picture is a colourful installation of ELISA plates, which her laboratory uses to detect fluctuations in hormones. In this image her ELISA plates reflects the human body, with each major endocrine gland highlighted in a different colour.
Talking about her image, Elina explained that she tried to capture how the biomedical sciences link to clinical work by associating this basic assay to the human organism, and more specifically the endocrine glands. A point that she feels should always be remembered by both scientists and clinicians.