First Place: Dancing House: Sketch to Model

Sarah Long, Student, Department of Art and Art History, School of Arts and Sciences

The architect’s sketch is a primary means of expressing an idea, particularly in the early stages of a project. A realistic rendering, on the other hand is almost always considered to be the final and more valuable product of the architectural design process. The value of hand drawings to architecture is trivialized by the preference for realistic computer renderings, a phenomena which is misrepresents the incredible process through which architects and engineers turn preliminary sketches into iconic buildings. Frank Gehry is a world-renowned architect with a characteristically dynamic style of expression. This animation is an attempt to visually connect the beginning and the end of the architectural design process, and to understand the dynamism of Gehry’s sketches and buildings through this transformation from sketch to rendering.

Second Place: pH-Dependent Conformational Change Animation in Fusion Loop 2 of Herpes Simplex Virus Glycoprotein B

Samuel Stampfer, M.D.-Ph.D. Candidate, Biochemistry, Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences
Ekaterina Heldwein, Associate Professor, Molecular Biology and Microbiology, Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences

Stampfer - Visualization Awards Video Contest Entry

Herpesvirus glycoprotein B (gB) mediates viral entry into the cell by fusing the viral membrane and cell membrane together to create one compartment. This is a pH-dependent process in cell types where herpes lesions form. We crystallized gB and found that functionally-important fusion loop 2 (FL2) underwent pH-dependent conformational changes that could promote membrane fusion. This animation shows the surface of glycoprotein B (in white) with FL2 (cyan loop) in motion. At neutral pH, FL2 is anchored by uncharged Histidine 263 (H263), whose side-chain rests in a hydrophobic groove on the surface of gB (left side). At low pH, H263 becomes protonated, making it energetically unfavorable to remain in the hydrophobic groove. It is expelled from the hydrophobic region, dragging FL2 with it. Then, H263 flips downward and forms a hydrogen bond with Aspartate 226 (right side), stabilizing the acidic conformation. This effect is likely reversible, as depicted here.

Third Place: Dynamic monitoring of neuronal mitochondrial organization

Antonio Varone, Masters Student, Biomedical Engineering, School of Engineering
Min Tang-Schomer, Postdoctoral Scholar, Biomedical Engineering, School of Engineering
David Kaplan, Professor, Biomedical Engineering, School of Engineering
Irene Georgakoudi, Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering, School of Engineering

Mitochondrial arrangement in neurons is subject to damage by various agents, including toxic stimuli, metabolic stress and inflammatory mediators. In some cases, the loss of cells occurring in neurological diseases and brain injuries can be monitored by analyzing the mitochondria dynamics within the cells of interest which include not only neurons, but also the auxiliary astrocytes. We hope that our efforts in imaging and quantifying the neuron network rearrangements in live cells will provide insight into how mitochondrial organization is related to brain health and disease. Cortical neurons were stained with orange mitotracker and imaged using confocal microscopy over several hours to monitor the dynamic response of the dendrites and the mitochondrial network to L-DOPA drug. The time-lapse video shows a cluster of neurons arranging their axons. Axons from close neurons are bundling together forming extrusions from which new nerves will originate.