Cancer Research UK scientists among winners of Wellcome Image Awards

In collaboration with the Press Association

Two members of the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute (LRI) and a funded student have been recognised in this year's Wellcome Image Awards.

The awards recognise scientists who have created particularly beautiful images as part of their research.

Winners were presented with their awards at a ceremony today (March 11th) by science broadcaster Vivienne Parry, and the images will remain on display in the Wellcome Collection Atrium until the summer.

One of the winners, Denise Stenzel, received her award for an image of the formative stages of new blood vessel development in the retina.

Ms Stenzel, a graduate student in Cancer Research UK's Vascular Biology Lab at Lincoln's Inn Fields, said: "I think it looks very artistic and not, let's say, scientific, really. When I look at it I just think of roots of a tree trunk.

"Being creative has a very high impact on my research?I think as soon as you run out of ideas you're kind of stuck in your project."

Anne Weston, senior scientific officer from the Electron Microscopy Lab, was recognised for two images - one of red blood cells oozing from a ruptured vessel (above), and another of a breast cancer cell (right).

Ms Weston, who was also an award winner in 2006, uses techniques such as transmission electron microscopy and cryo-electron microscopy in her work with a variety of research groups.

She revealed: "We have a number of projects going at any one time. I think I enjoy taking the pictures more because you never know what you are going to find." Lorna McInroy was recognised for an image that freezes a pivotal moment in tissue healing.

Ms McInroy, whose image was taken while she was a Cancer Research UK funded student at the University of Durham's School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, said: "I think most ideas probably come from just playing around?sometimes you're just being creative, you're just mucking around in the lab and you can stumble on something that's a breakthrough."

Vivienne Parry, who was one of a panel of judges, said that picking the winning images was no easy task.

"It was very hard deciding on the winning images, not only because all of them are stunning but also because we had to consider their scientific content, the skills needed to make them and also how good they were at making complex science accessible," she said.

Catherine Draycott, head of Wellcome Images, added: "We are delighted with the results of this year's awards. The winning scientists have created stunning and beautiful images as part of their own research which can themselves be used widely in communicating science to all."