Duraine wins an electron microscopy image contest

Lita Duraine, a certified electron microscopist at Baylor College of Medicine and Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital, won an image contest held by JEOL USA, a leading global supplier of electron microscopes, ion beam instruments, mass and NMR spectrometers.

“Many years ago, I learned of JEOL’s worldwide contest for electron microscopic images with a humorous angle,” Lita said. I found this very interesting because when I’m scanning TEM images, I can often see/imagine other things/situations within the image”.

Her award-winning entry was a transmission microscopic image of a sciatic nerve axon that subjectively appears to have a small bird inside. “I imagined this ‘bird’ chirping all the time and titled this image, “This Bird is Getting on My Nerves”, which seemed to have resonated with the judges.

Lita has submitted 11 entries to this contest over the past few years and has won eight times. The images she has submitted cover a wide range of biological ultrastructural organelles from brain axons, retina cilia, boutons, lipids, fat bodies to vacuoles. 

Lita is grateful to Dr. Roy Sillitoe, the director of the Neuropathology Core, for supporting her creative endeavors. The transmission electron microscopy lab she manages is supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development of the National Institutes of Health (P50HD103555), Baylor College of Medicine, and Texas Children’s Hospital. It is a part of the Neuropathology Core lab which is supported by The Hamill Foundation, BCM IDDRC (P50HD103555), National Center for Research Resources (C06RR029965), and the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (R01NS089664, R01NS100874, and R01NS119301).