The Niche 2019 stem cell pic contest winner is Shiri Gur-Cohen

A couple weeks ago I launched our 2019 stem cell pic contest here on The Niche. It was a challenge for me choosing the winner from the top 9 finalists, whose images I made a composite of that is included toward the end of this post.

The picture at the bottom of the composite seems to be of a smiling human dental pulp stem cell, from biologist Matthew Wilgo, which I thought was great.

I love contests and holding them here on The Niche gives a bonus in that I get to have the fun of judging them.

The winner of this year’s stem cell pic contest is Shiri Gur-Cohen, a post-doc in Elaine Fuchs’ lab at Rockefeller in the Laboratory of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development. She submitted two amazing images of immunofluorescent staining of regenerated hair follicles.

Sheri Gur-Cohen
The winning image of regenerating hair follicles from Dr. Shiri Gur-Cohen.

Here’s how Shiri describes the images including the winning one and how they were stained and captured on the microscope:

2019 stem cell pic contest The Niche
2019 stem cell pic contest The Niche finalists composite.

“The images in the link below represent regenerated hair follicles, fueled by hair follicle stem cells in the mouse skin. The image was taken using a deep 3D imaging of whole mount cleared back-skin tissue, stained P-cadherin (Red), Sox9 (Green) and DAPI”. Both images were taken using a spinning disk confocal microscope, and processed using Imaris.”

Very cool.

What does Shiri get for winning?

I’m going to send her a copy of my new book, How to Build a Dragon or Die Trying, a copy of my older book Stem Cells: An Insider’s Guide (which I’m aiming to have a new edition of for 2020!), and a cool stem cell t-shirt.

Congrats, Shiri and good luck with your research!

I’m trying to decide what the next The Niche contest might be.

I had fun with a stem cell essay contest some years back so maybe I’ll do that again.

The winning essay was pretty mind-blowing. 

Any ideas for other kinds of contests?

Maybe a stem cell cartoon or illustration contest?

I’m also debating whether to continue The Niche’s Stem Cell Person of The Year Award, which has had some amazing winners over the years with a $2K prize.


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