By Joseph Herrgard
Pfizer Worldwide Communications
Special to the LightState-of-the-art imaging technologies have the ability to enhance the scientific data coming out of Pfizer’s research and development labs, including microscopes that employ X-rays and fluorescent dyes to detect the spread of breast cancer cells or the reduction of lung cancer tumors in lab experiments. But can these images also be viewed as art?
Without a doubt, according to Suchitra Ananthnarayan, a scientist at Pfizer La Jolla, one of the company’s major research and development facilities. Ananthnarayan was inspired to launch the site’s first annual Art Microscopy Contest after using a fluorescent microscope in her work pursuing potential cancer drug targets within the company’s Oncology Research Unit. Microscopy is the technical field of using microscopes to view samples and objects, such as human and animal cells, which could not otherwise be seen with the unaided eye.
“As scientists and non-scientists working on different aspects of making medicines, we can appreciate each other’s roles by understanding the beauty of science,” said Ananthnarayan. “At Pfizer we have state-of-the-art imaging technologies but they are only as outstanding as the experts who operate them. Besides promoting art appreciation, I wanted to launch this contest in order to publicize the shared microscopes that we have at Pfizer, hoping that this will encourage new collaborations and ideas.”