Looking at Zebrafish in a New Light: An Interview with Dr. Admir Masic

1) How did you compose the image on the recent cover of Biophysical Journal?

Working in collaboration with Dr. James Weaver, the cover image displays a photo-montage of two fluorescence micrographs of a live zebrafish, one highlighting the fish’s circulatory system (green) and one of its skeletal system (white).  These images were combined with a bone-specific Raman spectrum with characteristic octacalcium phosphate like peaks to highlight the simultaneous acquisition of these multiple data sets.

2) What prompted you to submit your image as cover art?

The opportunity to communicate my research through the use of an artistic image is a great way to introduce both scientists and the general public to this fascinating field of study. 

3) How does this image reflect your scientific research?

The image is a summary of the primary results we presented in our research article.  The ability to perform whole animal chemical imaging on living specimens is a field of great interest to me and one that I feel has great potential for monitoring real-time processes in biological systems.

4) Where do you see the artistry in your image? How did you come to see this?

High signal to noise fluorescence micrographs intrinsically have a black background, which in this example, permitted the uninterrupted transition from the micrographs, to the Raman spectrum, and ultimately to the molecular composition of the developing bone.  This seamless transition parallels the methodology we employ for the simultaneous collection of multiple data sets during our investigations.

5) How does it feel to have your image chosen as the cover of an issue of Biophysical Journal? What is the significance of this for you?

My research interests lie at the interface between biology and chemical physics, so Biophysical Journal is one of the most prestigious journals in my field for highlighting new characterization techniques as part of my interdisciplinary research. 

6) Do you consider yourself an artist as well as a scientist? Any ideas or aspirations for your next science-as-art submission?

While I do not consider myself a true artist, I very much enjoy the aesthetic aspects of scientific discovery.  Presenting these topics in a visually appealing manner and incorporating these themes into my research presentations and posters is a great way to communicate my research interests to others.

7) Do you have a website where our readers can view your recent research?



One thought on “Looking at Zebrafish in a New Light: An Interview with Dr. Admir Masic

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