Skip to main content

14 November 2022

King's PhD student named runner up in contest that blends science and art

A scientist from King’s has been named runner up in the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) annual ‘Reflections of Research’ image competition, with four more researchers from London Universities having also made it to the final.

A heart in lungs website large
'A heart in lungs' by Manpreet Kaur

Blending the wonders of science and art, the competition challenges BHF-funded scientists to showcase their awe-inspiring research into cardiovascular health and disease through stunning imagery.

‘A heart in lungs’ was entered by Manpreet Kaur who is studying for her PhD at King’s College London. This purple-grey heart in the middle is an airway in the centre of a mouse lung, and the tiny air sacs called alveoli that form a mesh-like network around the airway are shown in pale purple. Surrounding the airway are large blood vessels highlighted in bright purple.

Manpreet Kaur is looking at how the structure of blood vessels in the lungs change in pulmonary hypertension. The walls of the blood vessels become thick, causing the space inside to narrow so they cannot expand as well as they should to allow blood through. It's a serious condition that causes high blood pressure and can damage the right side of the heart.

It’s such a privilege to be shortlisted for the Reflections of Research competition and have the opportunity to highlight the beauty behind our BHF-funded research. This type of image allows us to look at the thickening of the blood vessel walls in the lungs which often occurs in people with pulmonary hypertension. By comparing certain aspects of what’s captured here, we can then measure how effective drugs are in reversing the damage to ultimately find new treatments.”

Manpreet Kaur

The top prize was awarded to Dr Régis Joulia, BHF Research Fellow at BHF Centre of Research Excellence, Imperial College London for her photo, ‘A flare of stellar vessels’. Two other scientists from Imperial College London and another from Queen Mary University of London were also in the shortlist.

It is amazing to think that each of these beautiful images tell a story of the dedication of our brilliant BHF scientists as they make progress to save and improve lives. I love how they all shine a spotlight on the stunning complexity of the cardiovascular system. The research behind these striking images could be what powers the next breakthroughs in tackling heart and circulatory diseases, saving lives in years to come.”

Dr Charmaine Griffiths, Chief Executive at the British Heart Foundation and one of the judges

When art and science merge, the results can be astounding. The shortlisted images in this competition represent some of the most artful science photographs I have seen and that made it almost impossible to select a winner.”

Simon Hill, President and Chair of Trustees at The Royal Photographic Society and this year’s guest judge

In this story