Scripps Cell Biologist, Australian Marine Scientist, and Estonian Researcher Gain Nikon Small World Top Honors

sept. 24, 2003

Nikon 2003 Gallery of World's Best Photomicrographs To Debut in Times Square; Expanded Museum Tour to Launch in December

Nikon Instruments Inc., the world leader in microscope and digital imaging technology, announced today the winners of the Nikon 2003 Small World Photomicrography Competition. The winners will be celebrated at a twilight reception at the Reuters Building in New York's Times Square this evening. Dr. Torsten Wittman of The Scripps Research Institute, Dr. Greg Rouse of South Australia Museum, and Dr. Heiti Paves of the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics in Estonia have taken first, second, and third prizes respectively. At the event, Nikon will also debut the complete gallery of winning photos set to tour science and art museums across the nation beginning December 1st.

The photo contest was founded in 1975 to recognize excellence in photography through the microscope. Each year, Nikon makes the winning images accessible to the public through the Nikon Small World calendar, a national museum tour, and an electronic gallery featured at The competition's reputation has grown throughout the years and is regarded as the leading forum for recognizing the beauty and complexity of life as seen through the light microscope.

The Nikon Small World 2003 distinguished panel of judges included Paul Forscher, Ph.D., of Yale University, Carolyn Smith, Ph.D., of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Kristine LaManna of Popular Science Magazine, Michael Davidson, Ph.D., of Florida State University, and Jennifer Waters Shuler, Ph.D., of Harvard University.

Lee Shuett, Nikon Executive Vice President, who will congratulate the 2003 winners at this evening's event, commented on the collection's stunning quality and its representation of photomicrographers across disciplines and continents. "This year's best photomicrographers are studying cancer, Alzheimer's disease, heart failure, reproductive disorders, marine and plant life, materials science, and more. Each of them-whether in California, Australia, Estonia, Massachusetts, Colorado, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, or Greece-sat at a microscope, found something beautiful, and sent it to us to share with you." Mr. Shuett continued, "The gorgeous gallery of art that is Nikon's 2003 Small World was selected from over 1200 beautiful photomicrographs sent to Nikon by scientists and artists around the globe. Tonight, we will celebrate all of them."

Nikon Communications Manager Eric Flem, who runs the Small World contest and its promotion, disclosed today that, as part of the technology leader's commitment to making science imagery accessible to the public, Nikon Instruments will launch in December an expanded Small World museum tour.

Alison Kartiganer of Pacific Science Center in Seattle, Washington, which will host the Small World exhibit this year, commented today, "The works of art in the Nikon Small World exhibit are exquisite. They are a wonderful reminder of the unique beauty in everything, and a testimony to the natural and wonderful coexistence of art and science. We look forward to bringing it back to Seattle."

Mr. Flem encouraged the public to visit the exhibit when it arrives at a museum nearby. "Whether they show us the intricate beauty of a marine worm or capture the brilliance of a snowflake before it melts away, these photos are about our work as well as our moments of discovery. When we pause to experience them, they remind us of our humble place in the world around us."


The 2003 gallery of winning images can be viewed at

1st Prize

Dr. Torsten Wittmann

The Scripps Research Institute

La Jolla, California, USA

Filamentous actin and microtubules (structural proteins) in mouse

fibroblasts (cells) (1000x)


2nd Prize

Dr. Greg W. Rouse

Marine Invertebrates, South Australian Museum

Adelaide, Australia

Myrianida pachycera, a polychaete nematode (worm) (60x)


3rd Prize

Dr. Heiti Paves

Laboratory of Molecular Genetics

Tallinn, Estonia

Dorsal root ganglion neurons of an embryonic rat (100x)


4th Prize

Dr. Thomas J. Deerinck

National Center for Microscopy & Imaging Research,

University of California - San Diego

La Jolla, California, USA

Stained rat brain section (600x)


5th Prize

Vanesa Y. Rawe

Pittsburgh Development Center, MWRI, University of Pittsburgh

School of Medicine

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

Mouse spermatozoa (100x)


6th Prize

Linda M. Strzegowski

Materials Research Science and Engineering Center,

University of Massachusetts

Amherst, Massachusetts, USA

Homopolymer blend dewetting on patterned surfaces (200x)


7th Prize

Dr. John Runions

Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge

Cambridge, UK

Trichome (hair cell) of the leaf epidermis of Arabidopsis

(a flowering plant) (600x)


8th Prize

Dr. Jonathan D. Eisenback

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Blacksburg, Virginia, USA

Dorylaim sp., a plant-parasitic nematode (worm) (630x)

Differential interference contrast

9th Prize

Nasser M. Rusan

Department of Biology, University of Massachusetts

Amherst, Massachusetts, USA

Epithelial cell in anaphase (stage of cell division) (100x)


10th Prize

Alice C. Kilgo

Sandia National Laboratories

Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

Monodisperse latex spheres (100x)


11th Prize

Ron Oldfield

Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University

Sydney, Australia

Microchip (switch controller) (8x)


12th Prize

John E. Hart

Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Colorado

Boulder, Colorado, USA

Crystallized acetaldehyde and carbon tetrabromide (7x)

Polarized light

13th Prize

Dr. Louise A. Aquila-Pastir

Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Human cardiac myocytes (heart muscle cells) (126x)


14th Prize

Jakob Jankowski

Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Bonn

Bonn, Germany

Mouse Purkinje (brain) cells (1400x)

Differential interference contrast

15th Prize

Dr. Lynn A. Boatner and Hu F. Longmire

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA

Surface of titanium carbide crystal (64x)

Differential interference contrast

16th Prize

Megan J. Cordill

Washington State University

Cheney, Washington, USA

Thin copper film surface (100x)


17th Prize

Peter Webber

Planapo Optical

Kavala, Greece

Arachnoidiscus sp. diatom (microscopic algae) (800x)

Differential interference contrast

18th Prize

Dr. Eli Finkelstein

Edison, New Jersey, USA

Crystallized oxalic acid and monosodium glutamate (MSG) (25x)

Oblique illumination, darkfield and polarized light

19th Prize

Edward Kinsman

Kinsman Physics Productions

Rochester, New York, USA

Snowflake (35x)

Fiber optic illumination

20th Prize

Loes Modderman

Science Art

Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Crystallized caustic soda (cleaning agent), Glauber's salt

(multi-purpose chemical), and D76 (a photochemical) (40x)

Polarized light


Dr. Torsten Wittmann

La Jolla, California, USA

Filamentous actin and microtubules (structural proteins) in

mouse fibroblasts (cells) (1000x)


Rick C. Stahl

Danville, Pennsylvania, USA

Nerve culture from dorsal root ganglia of an embryonic rat (100x)

Confocal and fluorescence

Kevin Mackenzie

Aberdeen, UK

Wing surface of Argema mittrei (Madagascar Moon Moth) (25x)

Brightfield and fiber optic illumination

Dr. Thomas J. Deerinck

La Jolla, California, USA

Stained rat brain section (1500x)


Edy Kieser

Ennenda, Switzerland

Succinic acid and urea (40x)

Polarized light

Dr. Jhodie R. Duncan

Melbourne, Australia

Mixture of Zinnoberrot and Janus Green (coloring agents) (10x)


Ian C. Walker

Huddersfield, UK

Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) (63x)

Polarized light

Dr. Rong Wen

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Rat retinal (eye) artery (200x)


Wim van Egmond

Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Magelonid larva (a polychaete worm) (100x)

Differential interference contrast

Aaron Messing

West Orange, New Jersey, USA

Cross section of Pinus stem (pine tree) (40x)


Dr. Marna E. Ericson

Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Sagittal section of a mouse foot (100x)


Adele J. Vincent

Hobart, Australia

Cortical neurons (brain cells) of an embryonic rat (200x)


Loes Modderman

Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Crystallized saccharine (25x)

Polarized light

Dr. Pedro Barbosa

Evora, Portugal

Predatory nematode (worm) feeding on a phytonematode

(plant-parasitic worm) (100x)

Differential interference contrast

Daniel Kirilly

Kansas City, Missouri, USA

Section of a Drosophila (fruit fly) ovary (germarium) (120x)


John E. Hart

Boulder, Colorado, USA

Crystallized acetaldehyde and methylene blue (25x)

Polarized light

Dr. Dennis D. Kunkel

Kailua, Hawaii, USA

Drosera sp. leaf (sundew plant) (14x)



The Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition is open to anyone with an interest in photomicrography. Participants may submit their images in traditional 35mm format, or upload digital images directly at MicroscopyU on the Nikon Web site. The first and second of twenty prizewinners will receive a selection of Nikon products and equipment worth $3,000 and $2,000 respectively. For additional information, contact Nikon Small World, Nikon Instruments Inc., 1300 Walt Whitman Road, Melville, NY 11747, USA or phone (631) 547-8569.