Research in Focus competition winners

December 20, 2020

A huge thank you to everyone who submitted images and congratulations to our three winners. The Research in Focus competition will return in 2021. We look forward to more incredible entries!

Under the Microscope category

Winner: The Hardikar Lab at Western Sydney University

Title: When human islets have babies (proliferating human islet cells)

Caption: A collage of two images from human islets stained for insulin (purple) and nuclei (blue). Image shows two islets and layers of migrating and proliferating human islet-derived cells that now begin to produce mesenchymal proteins (stained in red and green). Reconstructed image stacks to project a fleet of baby cells (left) invading planet islet (right)!

Judge’s comment: A striking image that is colourful and beautiful in its portrayal of a condition that is neither of those things. The contrast of colours against the black background and the science this image captures made it one of the top choices although due to the diversity and quality of images in this category this wasn’t an easy decision to make.

Life in the Lab category

Winner: Prof Alicia Jenkins and her team from the University of Sydney

Title: Australian researchers starting the work day in Helsinki for Type 1 diabetes related collaboration

Caption: The Jenkins’ team (University of Sydney) and Prof. Per-Henrik Groop and the FinnDiane Cohort are working together to determine means to predict and prevent the long-term complications of type 1 diabetes. Dr Luke Carroll and Dr Andrzej Januszewski are about to start their work day in Helsinki, Finland.

Judge’s comment: A stand out image, it captures one of the core ‘essences’ of professionals who work in their field – long hours often arriving or departing outside of daylight hours, with these two people cloaked in darkness yet the workplace is well lit and clearly identified in this image. The composition, the black and white feel and the way there is balance across the images’ key elements makes it the unanimous winner.

People’s Choice category

Winner: Dr Nicola Quinn

Title: Semi-automated retinal vessel analysis

Caption: The left image shows a normal, healthy retinal optic-disc centred fundus image of a left eye. The middle image shows the Singapore I Vessel Assessment (SIVA) grid overlay on the retinal image. SIVA divides the retina into two main measurement zones. Zone B: Region from ½ disc diameter to 1 disc diameter from the disc margin. Zone C: Region from 1 disc diameter to 2 disc diameters from the disc margin. Veins appear blue whereas arteries appear red. The right image shows the red-free fundus image with the vessel covers present for each artery and vein measured. Vessel covers are inspected and must be placed perpendicularly to the vessel walls and cover the entire width of the vessel. Vessels that are deemed irregular are deactivated.

About the Judges

We are really grateful to our expert panel of judges for taking the time to go through all the entries, shortlisting their favourites and picking the winners. Here’s a quick introduction to each of our judges:

Mat Beetson

Living with T1D himself, Mat has a career in photography that spans over 30 years. He has won multiple awards including the 2019 & 2020 Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year, 2019 AIPP Western Australian Nature Professional Photographer of the Year and was also a 2019 AIPP Australian Professional Photography Awards Finalist – Nature. He is a member of the Australian Institute of Professional Photographers (AIPP). Mat’s photography portfolio can be viewed here.

Peter Ellyard

Peter has 20+ years of experience in photography and specialises in many different themes across portrait, nature and abstract photography. Peter lives with type 1 diabetes.

Tim Gladdis

Tim’s experience in photography goes back almost 50 years when, as a 13 year old, he developed an interest in the field using film. Black and white is his preferred medium but Tim is an all rounder, specialising in performance. Tim has also been involved in photographing some JDRF events in the past such as the 2018 One Ride. Tim has a 28 year old son who lives with type 1 diabetes. Tim’s work can be explored here.

Warwick Sickling

Warwick has over 19 years of experience in photography and also lives with type 1 diabetes. The main themes he works in are landscapes and abstract photography. His photo blog can be seen here.