MCMP Image Contest 2019

Please review the contest rules below before sending your submissions to Eric Lizotte ( before February 8th 2019. The winners will be announced mid-februrary.

Download the contest rules & consent and release form (PDF)

2019 Image contest for the Molecular and Cellular Microscopy Platform Olympus Discovery Center

To showcase the excellent research at the DHRC, the MCMP/Olympus Discovery Center at the Douglas is organizing its second image contest to recognize the best original images obtained using Olympus technology. You are invited to submit one image acquired within the context of your scientific work at the Douglas.

The 3 best pictures will be selected for monetary prizes (600, 400 and 300 CAN$) and the 10 best pictures will be selected to be exposed at the microscopy facility, on the MCMP website and Olympus social media outlets.

In preparing your image, please adhere to the following rules:


  1. This contest is open only to students and post-docs working at the Douglas Hospital.
  2. Your image must have been acquired by you at the Douglas on one of the Olympus microscopes (ex: the VS120 Slide Scanner, the FV1200 Confocal, the FVMPE-RS multiphoton or the BX63 widefield automated microscope).
  3. The images should be submitted as TIF (TIFF) files with a minimum 1024 X 1024 pixels.
  4. The image cannot be modified in a significant way. The following modifications are permitted: changing the color palette (LUT’s), contrast adjustment, noise removal (ex: low pass filter, subtraction), deconvolution and projections of z-stacks and time-lapses. 3D reconstructions are also allowed. You are not required to use Olympus software for image post-processing.
  5. Modifications that are not allowed: any image treatment other than the ones listed above, image montage (not including projections and stitching), adding text or any graphics to the image, processing only part of an image (i.e. changing the color of half the image only)
  6. The images will be judged and ranked by an independent committee at Olympus Canada, based on the following criteria, in order of importance:
    1. Visual impact
    2.  Scientific/optical technique
    3.  Description of the scientific context
  7. Winners will be announced and images will be presented mid-February.
  8.  You must submit your image to Eric Lizotte at Olympus Canada ( by February 8th 2019 with the following ( in separate files):


  1. A title (max 10 words)
  2. A short description of your image in the context of your research (max. 100 words). Don’t forget to mention your group/lab!
  3. The technique you used along with the model of Olympus microscope and the objective/magnification used.
  4. The signed Release and Consent form (Download PDF)



Title: Brain Friends

Description and scientific context: In this picture, we see hippocampal neurons and astrocytes making multiple contacts in colorful ways. In this experiment, I counted the number of contacts between neurons and astrocytes in control versus treated animals to study the impact of social defeat on these possible connections. We believe that the number of contacts is decreased after repeated bouts of social defeat and that this underlies some of the behavioral symptoms seen in those animals.

Specimen and labels: GFP-labelled neurons and RFP-labelled astrocytes in a fixed brain slice from a rat hippocampus

Technique: Two-photon excitation microscopy on an Olympus FVMPE-RS, 300x magnification