Read more about the people behind the winning images.
Kuan-Chung Su and Mark Petronczki
Kuan-Chung and Mark both studied molecular biology at the University of Vienna. Mark worked with Jürgen Knoblich, Kim Nasmyth and Jan-Michael Peters on various aspects of cell proliferation. His work on cell division covers multiple model organisms, including flies, yeast and human cells, and different developmental contexts. In 2007, Mark became the head of a laboratory at Cancer Research UK's London Research Institute. Kuan-Chung joined the team of scientists at the London Research Institute for his doctoral studies in 2008.
Kuan-Chung and Mark are studying the mechanisms that control how cells divide, ensuring that each new cell receives the correct amount of DNA - its genetic instructions. If this process goes wrong, cells may get the wrong amount of DNA, which can lead to cancer. When a cell divides, it copies its DNA and divides it equally between two 'daughter' cells. The final step in this process is called cytokinesis, when the old cell finally splits in two. Dr Petronczki and his team are studying the molecular 'motors' that drive cytokinesis, which act like a belt tightening around the middle of the cell and cause it to split.
Kuan-Chung says: "I always liked biology at school, but the first time I saw a cell under a microscope I knew that it was something I wanted to explore further some day. We hope to transport a bit of our fascination and passion for the wonders of life with this image to the public, who made our research possible and for whom we are actually doing the research. Perhaps somebody who reads this will be inspired to find out more and choose to contribute to the quest to decipher the secrets of the cell."
Mark tells us: "Scientific images often reveal a world hidden to our normal sense of vision. They are not merely tools for research but are capable of inspiring people and sparking their curiosity."
To find out more about Kuan-Chung and Mark's image, click on the thumbnail below.