A stunning image of human muscle cells taken by a Genea scientist will be displayed in Times Square, New York after winning an international competition.
Genea scientist, Dr Leslie Caron, one of three global winners, is the first Australian scientist to win the IN CELL Analyser image competition after her photo was selected from more than 60 entries.
Dr Leslie Caron, a Research Scientist with more than ten years experience, took the photo while conducting research into Facioscapulohumeral Dystrophy (FSHD), an inheritable muscle disease characterised by the progressive weakening and loss of skeletal muscles. The smooth muscle cells captured in the image were generated from human embryonic stem cells.
There are currently no cures or treatments for FSHD, Genea scientists are working with embryos donated by IVF patients to help learn more about the disease.
“I’m humbled to win the competition, it’s a privilege to be able to show the public the beauty of science,” said Leslie.
Leslie has won a flight to New York for her and a colleague to see the image displayed for the weekend of 20 to 22 April. All photos submitted were taken using the IN CELL Analyser, a highly sophisticated cell imaging system.
Genea CEO, Tomas Stojanov, said: “The IN CELL Analyzer allows us to analyse hundreds and thousands of cell populations in great detail, ensuring we are at the forefront of research.”
He added: “We have such talented people in our laboratory; it’s always great to see them recognised.”
The images were shortlisted by an expert panel of judges and the winners determined by more than 8,000 public votes.
Genea invests almost 10 per cent of annual revenues into research and development, vastly more than any other fertility clinic in Australia. Of the nine current licences issued by the federal government for embryo research, Genea holds eight.
Genea patients have the option to donate embryos to stem cell research. Disease affected embryos, from patients who have used Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD), a method used to screen for genetic diseases, are particularly valuable. They can provide new insights into the mechanics and progression of currently incurable diseases. The results from research are expected to help pharmaceutical and bio tech companies develop new treatments.
Our current major research projects and past achievements include:
- Genea’s research virtually doubled IVF success rates for our patients in the mid-nineties and continues to improve outcomes today.
- Genea was the first clinic in Australia to introduce routine Day 5 embryo transfers, the first to introduce routine single embryo transfer and the first clinic worldwide to introduce Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) successfully for Day 5 embryos.
- Genea continues to research and improve its culture media, the fluid that protects the gametes and embryos in the laboratory, prior to transfer into the uterus. The culture medium significantly affects the quality of the embryos and contributes to Genea’s outstanding success rates.
- Genea offers genetic studies on DNA provided by patients who suffer recurrent miscarriage. The studies aim to identify genes that are commonly associated with recurring miscarriage.
Genea is Australia’s leading centre for fertility and has one of the highest IVF pregnancy rates in the world.
Sydney IVF was reborn as Genea in September 2011. Genea has clinics at the following locations: Sydney City, Sydney Northwest, Liverpool, Illawarra, Canberra, Tamworth, Newcastle, Orange, Coffs Harbour, Lismore and Maitland.
For further information, interview requests, or a high resolution image, please contact:
Zoë Taylor – firstname.lastname@example.org Ph: 0405 014 028
Alice Bruce – email@example.com Ph: (02) 8484 7611