Nikon Instruments Announces Judges for 45th Nikon Small World Competition

Nikon Instruments Inc. today announced the judging panel for the 2019 Nikon Small World photomicrography and Small World in Motion video competitions, which will be held June 25-27 at the Marine Biological Lab in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

Submissions are evaluated on creativity, informational content, technical prowess and visual impact. Denisa Wagner, Ph.D., Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and the head of the Wagner Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital, Rita Strack, Ph.D., Senior Editor of Nature Methods, Tom Hale, Staff Writer at IFLScience and Ben Gaurino, Science Reporter at The Washington Post will make up the panel selecting 2019’s winning images and videos.

Now in its 45th year, the Nikon Small World competition is widely regarded as the leading forum to recognize proficiency and excellence in photomicrography and video. The competition will honor the top 20 photography and top 5 video winners in addition to awarding Honorable Mentions and Images of Distinction. Top submissions will be recognized for their outstanding ability to capture visually compelling and scientifically significant moments under the microscope.

Throughout its history, the Nikon Small World competition has showcased brilliant imagery and artistic feats in biology, chemistry, and the unseen world around us. Recent winners have ranged from a close-up of a credit card hologram to developing neurons in a zebrafish.

The ability of the competition to bring science to a mass audience relies on both the talent of the entrants and expertise of the panel of judges. More detail on this year’s panel:

  • Dr. Denisa Wagner, Edwin Cohn Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and the head of the Wagner Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital: Dr. Wagner has dedicated her career to the fields of vascular cell biology and the causes of inflammation and blood clots. For many years, her laboratory’s research has focused on adhesion molecules (cell adhesion molecules help cells stick to each other and to their surroundings)and their function in normal physiology and in pathological situations. One of her labs current interests is the biology of neutrophil extracellular traps (networks of extracellular nuclear DNA) and the study of their production using time-lapse microscopy.
  • Dr. Rita Strack, Senior Editor at Nature Methods: Dr. Strack has been an editor at Nature Methods since November of 2014. Her primary areas of coverage for the journal are imaging, microscopy, and probes, but her interests and expertise also extends to molecular biology, structural biology, and biophysics. She attended the University of Chicago, where she earned her Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 2010. Strack did a postdoctoral fellowship at Weill Cornell College of Medicine, where she spent countless hours on the microscope getting beautiful images to better understand the toxic RNAs associated with Fragile-X tremor, an adult-onset neurodegenerative disease.
  • Tom Hale, Staff Writer at IFLScience:Hale is a London-based journalist at beloved popular science publication IFLScience. He is an experienced science writer, researching and sharing insights on everything from new species and biomedical breakthroughs to climate change and viruses. He has also written on art in culture, his working appearing in publications such as VICE's Motherboard and FACT Magazine.
  • Ben Guarino, Science Reporter at The Washington Post:A top science writer for The Washington Post, Guarino focuses on the practice and culture of science. Before making the switch to journalism, Guarino studied bioengineering and worked at the Spine Pain Research Lab at the University of Pennsylvania. He has also worked as a freelance science journalist, an associate editor at the Dodo and a medical reporter at the McMahon Group. His work has also appeared in publications like The Verge and The Huffington Post.

“At the heart of the Nikon Small World competition is a desire to bring stunning scientific imagery to the general public,” said Eric Flem, Communications Manager, Nikon Instruments. “We are excited to bring together another incredible panel of expert judges whose penchant for art and science will bring the best microscopy to an audience with a desire to learn about the world around them.”

The Nikon Small World in Motion video winners will be announced in September, and winners of the Small World photomicrography competition will be released in October.

For additional information, please visit To get an inside look at the judging process and experience, follow the hashtag #NikonSmallWorld and conversation on Facebook, Twitter (@NikonSmallWorld) and Instagram (@nikoninstruments).

About Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition

The Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition is open to anyone with an interest in photography or video. Participants may upload digital images and videos directly at For additional information, contact Nikon Small World, Nikon Instruments Inc., 1300 Walt Whitman Road, Melville, NY 11747, USA or phone (631) 547-8569. Entry forms for Nikon’s 2019 Small World and Small World in Motion Competitions are available at

About Nikon Instruments Inc.

Nikon Instruments Inc. is the US microscopy arm of Nikon Healthcare, a world leader in the development and manufacture of optical and digital imaging technology for biomedical applications. For more information, visit contact us at 1-800-52-NIKON.