Illinois has had a strong presence in the annual Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition, which recognizes the efforts of photomicrographers from various scientific disciplines. The competition began in 1975 and has become a leading platform for showcasing the art and science of photomicrography.

Partnerships between Illinois-based companies and institutions and Nikon have bolstered the state’s participation in the competition. One such partnership is between the Illinois Biotechnology Innovation Organization (iBIO) and Nikon through the BIO Business Solutions program. iBIO members enjoy discounts on Nikon microscope packages and contract imaging services, enabling them to access high-quality imaging equipment and services at a reduced cost.

This year’s competition saw several Illinois participants being recognized for their outstanding contributions. Among them was Tong Zhang, the Managing Director of the Biological Imaging Facility at Northwestern University’s Chemistry of Life Processes Institute, who received images of distinction. Zhang and his team have been using advanced imaging techniques to understand various biological processes, including how protein aggregates form in the brain and how cells respond to drugs.

Other Illinois-based researchers who have been honored in the competition include Professor Gabriel Popescu, who heads the Quantitative Light Imaging Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Popescu’s work focuses on developing non-invasive imaging techniques for studying biological tissues, with applications in fields such as cancer diagnosis and treatment.

The Illinois-based participants in the Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition are a testament to the state’s strong scientific research and innovation tradition. Through partnerships with industry leaders such as Nikon, researchers in Illinois can access cutting-edge imaging equipment and services, which in turn helps advance our understanding of the natural world and the processes that govern it. As we look to the future, it is clear that Illinois will continue to play a vital role in shaping the field of photomicrography and scientific research as a whole.