Researchers shortlisted in final of British Heart Foundation image competition
The BHF reflections of research competition showcases the cutting-edge work of heart and circulatory researchers to the public in the form of amazing images.
The BHF reflections of research competition showcases the cutting-edge work of their heart and circulatory researchers across the UK to the public in the form of amazing images.
Each year the most engaging, exciting and creative image is awarded the British Heart Foundation’s Reflection of Research 2019 Judges' Winner by a panel of judges.
Researchers Dr Mike Drozd and Dr Fraser Macrae from the Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine were shortlisted as one of the best 11 submissions in 2019. Fraser won this completion previously in 2014 and 2018. Fraser’s image “Nature’s bricks and mortar” (below) shows the internal structure of a blood clot.
Blood clots contract, compressing red blood cells into polyhedral shapes forcing a protein called fibrin (yellow) into the gaps between them. This creates an impermeable clot, perfect for preventing bleeding. But many cardiovascular diseases, like heart attacks and strokes are caused by the formation of obstructive blood clots in untoward places. These impermeable clots are very difficult to break down and regularly lead to irreparable damage or death. Learning how clots form and contract will aid development of new therapeutics to treat and prevent cardiovascular disease.
Mike’s image “A Rush of Blood to the Head” (above) shows the complex network of blood vessels that supply the brain. Damage to these blood vessels can lead to disease like vascular dementia or stroke. We have captured this image using light sheet microscopy of the mouse brain. Our team are researching how diabetes damages blood vessels and we are developing new treatments to repair them.