“Beauty of Science” at NLM

When NLM Director Patricia Flatley Brennan, PhD, called on NLM staff to unleash their creativity and provide art that captured the “Beauty of Science,” they answered with 23 submissions. Entries included 3D imaging of T-cells, a scarf woven with a double helix, scientific photographs, blown glass, a hand-carved wooden stamp of the Library’s front facade, and more. The artists included scientists, division chiefs, librarians, editors, web designers, and other staff.

Light pink membranes encase T-cells, creating a flower-like structure

NLM winner’s “Dendritic Petals” is by Donald Bliss of the Lister Hill Center’s Audiovisual Program Development Branch.

The “Beauty of Science” contest kicked off the 2016 Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), which raises funds from federal employees for charities. All NLM submissions for the contest were reviewed and voted on by Library employees, with the winner representing the Library at the NIH IC Directors Art Challenge this month.

After several days of voting, NLM staff selected “Dendritic Petals” by Donald Bliss of the Lister Hill Center’s Audiovisual Program Development Branch. The stunning photograph of a 3D dendritic cell model suggested from HIV research resembles a pale pink flower. The image is “the result of a collaborative research project between the NLM and NCI [the National Cancer Institute]. The data show HIV-laden dendritic cells extending wide sheets of membrane to encase T-cells,” said Bliss.

Other highly rated entries included “Self portrait” by Aynex Mercado and “Malaria Gobelin” by Stefan Jaeger.

The contest offered an inside view of the diversity of talent at NLM and across NIH, with the ultimate winner coming from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS).


Alise K. Crutchman, NLM communication staff


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