Science and art together at the Arizona Cancer Center

Science as Art
Science as Art

Whether you're coming in from the north entrance or the south, it's hard to miss the nine 16-square-foot panels that now ornament the upper alcoves of the Arizona Cancer Center. What could be mistaken for abstract masterpieces are enlarged images of photographs snapped in the midst of research conducted at the Cancer Center.

Whimsical names such as Watching Hemidesmosomes and Tubulin Clouds belie the serious nature of the origin of these images. Sangita Pawar, PhD, was investigating cancer metastasis when she stained and photographed cells for specific hemidesmosome proteins, which normally help anchor cells to surrounding tissue, preventing their movement to distant sites. In a similar study, Thomas Sroka, MD, PhD, designed synthetic peptides that can stop cancer cells from breaking away by promoting cell adhesion sites. Meredith Henderson, a student in the Cancer Biology Graduate Interdisciplinary Program, photographed interesting tubulin stains while studying the toxicity of a novel anti-cancer drug in the lab of Dr. Bob Dorr.

In sets of three representing the trio of research projects, these photographic panels illustrate how beautiful the relationship between science and art can be.

Full descriptions of the images can be found on the eastern wall of the Cancer Center's main entrance, by Kiewit Auditorium.