Reflections of Research

Two cells are dividing to form a heart in the centro of the imageReflections of Research is our annual competition, reflecting the groundbreaking research of the British Heart Foundation through images. This research would not be possible without your donations. 

We know that our driven researchers carry out cutting-edge, painstaking research every day and we want them to share a picture of this research.

The most engaging and exciting image is awarded the British Heart Foundation’s Reflection of Research Judges' Winner by a panel of judges, and our Facebook supporters pick the Supporters' Favourite.

Reflections of Research 2015

The 2015 competition is now open. You can enter microscopy images, computer modelling, photography or video - as long as it's an engaging research image created with BHF-funding, we want to see it. 

2015 Judges

Doctor Sarah Clarke, President of the British Cardiovascular Society

Andrew Rouse, wildlife photographer

Sofie Layton, an artist and designer who has worked with cardiovascular researchers looking at how art can be used to help teenagers understand their heart condition  

Professor Peter Weissberg, our Medical Director

Download the entry form

2014 Judges' Winner: The Clot Thickens

Fraser Macrae, University of Leeds.

A grey background, showing a clot, with multi-coloured cells depicted from a scanning electron microscope

When combined, art and science can help us see things in a way that words alone can rarely match.

Dr Jasmine Pradissitto
Physicist and Quantum Artist

This image could easily be mistaken for an underwater coral reef but is, in fact, a detailed view of a blood clot – the leading cause of heart attacks and stroke.The thick grey mesh is the clot, capturing a mixture of different cells – seen in different colours. 

A BHF-funded researcher in the 1970s was the first to prove that clots can cause heart attacks and Fraser’s research aims to better understand how clots are formed in the body. Alongside colleagues at the University of Leeds, he wants to work out why people with heart and circulatory disease have unusual clot structures that makes clots harder to break down. If researchers can find a way to make people form more normal clots, this could lead to benefits in the prevention and treatment of heart and circulatory disease.

Apart from gaining lots of press coverage for his work and institution, Fraser attended our Celebrity Ball: Roll out the Red and his image was accepted as a gift to the Duke of Edinburgh at our Annual Reception. 

2014 Supporters' Favourite: Lifelines

Francesco Iori, Imperial College London.

Swirling coloured lines depict blood flowing through blood vessels using computer modelling

This image was created using the same computer modelling programmes that engineers use to design aeroplanes, this is one way that our scientists can now precisely model the blood flow in our blood vessels.

People with kidney failure need regular dialysis – a procedure where their blood is cleaned using an external machine. Doctors must connect a tube from the dialysis machine into the patient’s bloodstream, usually via a vein in the arm. Francesco’s research looks into better ways to make the connection between the patient and the machine, so that their blood flow is not disrupted. 

Simon Gillespie, our Chief Executive said: 

“The 2014 Judges' Winner, a breath-taking image of a blood clot, gives insight into important processes that affect our risk of developing, and recovery from, heart and circulatory diseases like heart attack and stroke.

“From micro bio-engineering to help cells assemble and build tissue, through to bringing techniques from aircraft design to examine flow patterns in blood vessels, these stunning images show how we’re now able to see inside the body in intricate detail. These unique insights help us to better understand and research heart and circulatory diseases.”

2014 Judges

Roger Highfield, Director of External Affairs at the Science Museum, London

Daniel Glaser, Director of Science Gallery London

Jasmine Pradissitto, a Quantum Artist

Simon Gillespie, our Chief Executive 


Previous winners

The competition has been running since 2005. See the spectacular images our scientists have previously entered into our Reflections of Research competition.