Bio21 researcher wins NHMRC Science to Art Award

January 12 / 78

3D segmentation model of the main malaria agent
3D segmentation model of the main malaria agent

Bio21 Institute Electron Microscopy Unit Facility Manager and Senior Research Fellow Dr Eric Hanssen has been awarded the 2011 National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC) Science to Art Award for his image, 'Spooning'.

The Award recognises outstanding examples of the art which can arise from the research funded by NHMRC. Winners were announced at the NHMRC’s 75th Anniversary Scientific Symposium on 29 November.   

Dr Hanssen is internationally recognised in the field of high resolution imaging of the malaria parasite.

He said he entered the competition because he already had the images on his computer, and decided since he did all the work, it was worth spending five minutes sending one to the NHMRC.

“I didn’t really think I could win,” he said.

“I think it was my best work so far, not necessarily in scientific terms, but more on the 3D graphics and rendering side of things.I was quite happy with the metal look, I usually find a lot of flaws in my renderings, but not this time.

“I didn’t really realise I actually won until I went to Canberra for the award ceremony. There were about 50 images submitted to the NHMRC and they were all displayed, some extremely good (I think I would have voted for something else than my work actually), that’s when it sunk in.

“It always feels good to win something, even if it will not be a career changing achievement.  You never know, maybe I will drop science and become a full time artist … but maybe not.”

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