Each month, we ask people from across the Brigham to answer a question for our “Look Who’s Talking” feature. This month, we asked the Brigham community to share their favorite scientific image from their research. If you would like to add your voice to the conversation, please leave a comment below.

astrocytes in a dish“Our lab uses blood samples to make brain cells in a dish. We do this so that we can study disease processes in living brain cells from our patients. I love this image because we now can make beautiful-looking astrocytes, a specialized cell in the brain that is named for its star-shaped appearance. Just this past summer, a graduate student named Hyo Lee and an undergraduate student named Cheryl Pan took this image after improving our protocols for making these important cells.”

— Tracy Young-Pearse, PhD, Associate Professor, Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases




cancer cells in a mouse tumor that have gained a drug-resistant metabolic profile.“Combinations of drugs are used to treat aggressive cancers. We discovered that rewiring a tumor’s metabolism can engage a ‘resistance’ mechanism to thwart highly toxic combinations of therapy. This image shows cancer cells in a mouse tumor that have gained this drug-resistant metabolic profile, which is characterized by co-localization of cell surface glucose-uptake receptors (red) and cell surface scaffolding proteins (green) resulting in a yellow appearance, which indicates an overlap of protein expression. This observation helped us to determine a novel combination of drugs that can prevent tumors from engaging the drug-resistant behavior and thwart their ability to grow under drug pressure.”

— Aaron Goldman, PhD, Principal Investigator, Division of Engineering in Medicine



micrograph of our hyaluronic-acid-based microneedles“Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of mortality in the world; yet, to date, there is no technology that allows for early diagnosis of the disease. We are working on the development of a minimally invasive means for the simultaneous detection of multiple biomarkers in skin interstitial fluid using a flexible, adhesive microneedle array coupled with a microfluidic device, providing real-time quantification of numerous biomarkers. This image is a micrograph of our hyaluronic-acid-based microneedles. We are excited by this project as we aim to eventually shift from treating to preventing diseases using continuous biomarker monitoring to deliver information in real time.”

— Natalie Artzi, PhD, Bioengineer, Division of Engineering in Medicine


macrophages eating cancer cells“This is a powerful image of macrophages eating cancer cells. Cancer progresses by co-opting macrophages. Here, the macrophages were activated by treating with a nanoparticle that was designed to block two immune checkpoints in a macrophage. This image shows a red macrophage engulfing a yellow cancer cell.”

— Shiladitya Sengupta, PhD, Bioengineer, Division of Engineering in Medicine






Home | Look Who’s Talking Archive