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Microscopic World Comes Alive During Nikon Small World Exhibit

PHILADELPHIA — (Dec. 17, 2019) — See cellular images as distinct as abstract art, minerals appear as future urban landscapes, single-celled organisms of the microscopic netherworld, and much more from the 2019 Nikon Small World competition of photomicrography. These photographs taken through microscopes will be on display at The Wistar Institute, with an opening reception on Jan. 31, 2020 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. From Feb. 3 through April 10, 2020, the top-20 images will be on view at Wistar, and the exhibit is FREE to the public. The Wistar Institute is the only Pennsylvania venue to host these remarkable works.

At Wistar, researchers look through microscopes and hypothesize over microscopic images with the goal of advancing cancer and infectious disease research to develop future therapeutics. Each year, winners are both scientists and artists possessing the skill, scientific discipline and creativity for which the Nikon Small World competition is known.

Opportunities at Wistar’s opening reception include:

  • Top 20 honoree images on view,
  • A feature wall of 15 high-definition TV screens projecting 2019 Nikon Small World in Motion winners and Photomicrography Competition winners,
  • A hands-on microscope demonstration by Wistar scientists,
  • A self-guided tour of cell photographs created by Wistar scientists and other pieces of Wistar history, and
  • Brief talks by Teresa Zgoda & Teresa Kugler, 1st place winners, James E. Hayden, Wistar Imaging Facility managing director, and Eric Flem, Nikon Instruments Inc. communications manager.

Small World spans 45 years as a leading global competition for photomicrography. This year’s images were chosen from more than 2,500 entries from 89 countries. Wistar has been hosting the exhibit for more than 17 years.

2nd place photo by Dr. Igor Siwanowicz, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), of depth-color coded projections of three stentors (single-cell freshwater protozoans).


The Wistar Institute is an international leader in biomedical research with special expertise in cancer and infectious disease research and vaccine development. Founded in 1892 as the first independent nonprofit biomedical research institute in the United States, Wistar has held the prestigious Cancer Center designation from the National Cancer Institute since 1972. The Institute works actively to ensure that research advances move from the laboratory to the clinic as quickly as possible.

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