Previous winners

The Reflections of Research competition first ran in 2005 and has been going strong ever since.

The winning images have been featured in national press, on the BBC and in exhibitions around the country, including in front of the London Eye.


The 2018 winner ‘Explosive beginnings’ came from Courtney Williams, a Master’s and PhD student from the University of Leeds. The image shows a close-up snapshot of hundreds of endothelial cells – the cells which line all blood vessels – growing on the surface of a bead. They’re in the process of ‘sprouting’ which is the first step in the formation of new blood vessels.


The winning image from 2017 came from Fraser Macrae at the University of Leeds titled ‘Getting to the heart of the matter’. The image takes us inside a deadly blood clot - the leading cause of heart attack and stroke. In the image red blood cells are trapped in the 3D mesh of fibrin fibres, which hold the clot together. One red blood cell had been compressed into a heart shape by the contracting fibres surrounding it. 


Reflections of research winner 2015/16 Shows blood flow through the heart

The winning image from 2015/16 came from Dr Victoria Stoll, from the University of Oxford. Titled 'Go with the flow', the image shows blood flow within the main pumping chambers of the heart - the ventricles - and through the main vessels leaving these chambers.

The blue flow is blood that needs oxygen, and is travelling towards the lungs, and the red is oxygen rich blood which has just passed through the lungs.

Victoria used this kind of image to visualise how patterns in blood flow are impacted by conditions like heart failure.


Fraser McRae, 'The clot thickens' Reflections of Research winner 2014This stunning winning image 'The clot thickens' came from Fraser Macrae at the University of Leeds. His picture of a blood clot has since been featured across the media and many of our publications and web pages.

Read about Fraser's amazing journey since winning on our Medium blog.

The judges in 2014 were our Chief Executive Simon GillespieRoger Highfield, Director of External Affairs at the Science Museum, London; Daniel Glaser, Director of Science Gallery London; and Jasmine Pradissitto, a Quantum Artist.

Explore the whole shortlist in our Facebook album.


The judges in 2013 were James Gallagher, BBC Health and Science Reporter, our Medical Director Peter Weissberg and our Chief Executive Simon Gillespie.

The winning image came from a team at the University of Edinburgh, Gillian Gray, Megan Swim and Harris Morrison, with their image of the 3D structure of a mouse heart called The Broken Heart.

See the shortlisted images and videos from 2013 in our online album.


The winners of the 2012 competition accepted their prizes at the Annual Reception hosted at the Heartbreak Gallery.

The overall winner was a King’s College London team led by Dr Elisabeth Ehler, for her image B of the Bang, right. The Mending Broken Hearts award went to Ms Evie Maifoshie and colleagues at the Imperial College London.

See all of the shortlisted images and videos from 2012's competition in our Flickr album.




The winners of the 2011 competition accepted their prizes at a ceremony at the June conference of the British Cardiovascular Society in Manchester. As well as the usual image and video categories we launched a new prize in honour of our Mending Broken Hearts Appeal.

The overall winner was a Kings College London team led by Professor Nic Smith, for his image Feeding the Heart. left. The Mending Broken Hearts award went to Dr Renata Gomes and colleagues at the University of Oxford.

See all of the shortlisted images and videos from 2011's competition in our online album.



The winners of the 2009-10 competition were announced at a ceremony at the London Eye in February 2010 to coincide with National Heart Month. There were two categories: images and video.

The winner of the image category was Looking through the Heart by Dr Mathieu-Benoit Voisin and Miss Doris Proebstl from Queen Mary, right.

Dr Michael Markl, University of Freiburg, and Dr Philip Kilner, Imperial College, triumphed in the video category with their arresting movie of blood flows in the heart.

We made a film of the winners at the ceremony on London's South Bank.




We had an amazing selection of entries, and the overall winner was Dr Steve Thomas from the University of Birmingham for his stunning image of blood cells called 'platelets' being formed in bone marrow. left

He says the image "highlights their beauty and complexity". Dr Thomas is a postdoctoral research fellow in the laboratory of BHF Professor Steve Watson, a world expert in platelets.

Understanding more about platelets is vital to deciphering how blood clots are formed and broken down.




Richard Clayton from the University of Sheffield struck a chord with this image showing a computer simulation of electrical activity in the heart during the onset of cardiac arrest, right.

Instead of regular activity controlled by the pacemaker of the heart, electrical activation (shown in red) has looped around into a spiral that will fragment, resulting in lethal electrical anarchy.

“This type of computational model gives powerful insight into the mechanisms of normal and abnormal electrical activity in the heart while reducing the need for experiments using animal tissue.”



Aleksander Ivecic from Imperial College really impressed the judges with his story of cell migration.

"Cell migration could not be achieved without the presence of a cell skeleton (cytoskeleton). This reflects the way that the BHF has served to be the backbone of research investment in our department.

"The cell is migrating in a directed fashion which reflects a unified direction that every scientist under the BHF is making towards a better understanding of cardiovascular disease."