Biomedical Imaging Research Unit

In addition to Highly Commended awards, the BIRU sometimes confers a Special Mention award for an image that has special character, shows imagination and/or makes the judges smile or a Patriot award, where the image is reminiscent of or symbolic of Aotearoa New Zealand, e.g. people, plants, animals and places! This year's winner is an easy guess, representing our national bird.

Click on the image to see a larger version.

Special mention award - light microscopy


Anmol Sandhu

Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

'Faces of the human umbilical cord – shocked, happy, surprised'

Cross sections of three different human umbilical cords stained with haematoxylin and eosin. The umbilical cord cross sections resemble a face (arteries appear like eyes and the vein appears like a mouth).

Imaged with a Zeiss Axio Observer microscope/Axiocam 506 camera at 10x magnification.

See Anmol with her prize

Patriot award - light microscopy


Jess Kelly

Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

'Kiwi and her egg, spheroid style'

Cortical spheroids, made using induced pluripotent stem cells. IPSC spheroids form neural rosettes from which they proliferate and self-pattern into complex networks of neural cells.

Imaged on a Thermo-Fisher EVOS microscope.

See Jess with her prize

Special mention award - confocal microscopy


Rosica Petrova

Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences


Confocal image of rat 14µm thick lens cryosection immunolabeled with AQP5-green, the membrane marker Wheat Germ Agglutinin (WGA)-red and the nuclei marker DAPI-blue from the periphery of the lens.

This is an artistic representation of the result by duplicating the image on the lower left panel and subsequently stitching and inverting the orientation of the extra three images to obtain a fun kaleidoscope looking effect.

See Rosica with her prize