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The artistic side of the Ludwig Oxford community was revealed during the Science Meets Art competition held at our annual retreat.

Submissions to the Science Meets Art competition were invited from the Ludwig Oxford community on the theme of “Transformation”. Whether related to oncogenic, developmental or any other kind of transformation, researchers were invited to display their scientific artwork at the 2-day Ludwig Oxford retreat in June 2022.

In total, there were 13 entries to the competition. The artworks were judged by the attendees of the retreat and the prize was awarded to Sudipta Ghosh (Shi group) for his acrylic painting on canvas “Hope among chaos”.

Xin Lu with Peter Ratcliffe presenting Sudipta Ghosh the 'Science Meets Art' prizeXin Lu with Peter Ratcliffe presenting Sudipta Ghosh the 'Science Meets Art' prize


Hope among chaos© Sudipta GhoshHope among chaos


This painting depicts an invading cancer cell reshaping its environment. The chaos in the cancer cell is complex and daunting. Advancement in technology and scientific knowledge about cancer gives us the hope to restore the life to normality. - Sudipta Ghosh describing his artwork

Other entries included:

  • Brittany-Amber Jacobs: “Colour Coded Colonoids” APCmin/+ colonoids which have been colour coded according to their 3D depth in the Matrigel. 
  • Emelie Shepherd: “The Cheating Cell” This piece aims to highlight the need to consider cancer as a dynamic entity, from bench to bedside. Each "cell" demonstrates how a cancer cell evolves under the duration of disease, retaining proliferative features, and losing repressive ones. In this way, the cancer cell "cheats" its normal, healthy neighbours, and eventually the rest of the body.

The Cheating Cell© Emelie ShepherdThe Cheating Cell
  • Felice Wallner: “Over-Transformation” C. elegans worms labelled with whole-chromosome oligopaint fluorescent in situ hybridization and imaged with a point scanning confocal. Top: showing worm-only DNA staining, middle: same worm with colours specific to chromosomes 1,2 and 10, bottom: "overtransformed" worm due to harsh staining treatment. Too much of a good thing?
  • Hannah Fuchs: “Urban yeast” An S. cerevisiae yeast cell is transformed with an expression vector. The second layer shows how flowers and green spaces (urban gardening) can transform bland and grey cityskapes.
  • Helena Rodriguez Caro: “2 in 1 – Fluorescence Immunohistochemistry meets Enzyme Histochemistry” This poster illustrates the power of technical transformation. Here, correlated multimodal imaging is used to gather information on the same mouse embryo section allowing for spatial context between two different histological techniques.
  • Colour Coded Colonoids© Brittany Amber-JacobsColour Coded ColonoidsNeon skeleton© Svanhild NornesNeon skeleton
  • Joanna Carolacorreia Lima: “Microscope for kids from recycled lab waste” Do you know how much waste research labs produce in UK? A study from the University of Exeter, UK, has estimated that life scientists alone create approximately 5.5 million tons of plastic waste annually, which accounts for approximately 2% of the plastic waste produced worldwide. I’ve developed a microscope using lab plastic waste produced in the Ratcliffe Lab to raise awareness of this issue. This can be used to play with kids or even teach histology for middle school. 
  • Joanna Carolacorreia Lima: “Wall art” A colourful abstract wall art for the office. Frame with filters waste from small organic compounds and histological images from my postdoctoral project.
  • Magdalena Drozdz: “Nucleosomes” Four crocheted nucleosomes which can be assembled into heterochromatin or left as they are as euchromatin. The piece represents the transformation of chromatin states, but also symbolises the epigenetic dysregulation that is often involved in cancer transformation. 
  • Romuald Binet: “Face 2 face” Two faces. Two people who transformed cancer biology. Two sides of a coin. Two different stories. Oncogene and tumour suppression. HL and LH. Henrietta and Leonard. One painting. 

Table display of artwork in the science meets art competition

  • Salwa Lin: “Glittery cell” Adgrl4 is an adhesion GPCR receptor that was identified as one of a core tumour angiogenesis signature. Upon modifying endothelial cells in the lab to overexpress Adgrl4 receptors, they transform into cells with massive glittery tracks (threads). These tracks found to be enriched with integrins and matrix that contribute to cancer invasion and angiogenesis.
  • Svanhild Nornes: “Neon skeleton” The image shows the developing blood system of a 2-day old zebrafish embryo. This was produced by fluorescently labelling vascular endothelial cells, which line blood vessels (veins and arteries). All the endothelial cells are labelled with red fluorescence, while the endothelial cells on developing veins are labelled with green fluorescence. Where arteries and veins overlap, yellow fluorescence shows up.
  • Antonella D'Amore: “Beyond” Transformation is a marked change in form or appearance. What do you see in this picture? The answer is a piece of human colon biopsy. We cannot always trust our first impressions; it is sometimes necessary to go beyond.

3 entries in the science meets art competition© Antonella D'Amore, Helena Rodriguez Caro & Salwa Lin

Congratulations to Sudipta and all entrants for an impressive display!

Thank you to the organisors: Olivia Lombardi, Salwa Lin, Lucija Fleisinger, Helena Rodriguez Caro, Antonella D'Amore and Jessica Kindrick.

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