Beckman Group Wins SCS Science Image Challenge

The image “Mature HIV virus capsid,” by Juan R. Perilla, John Stone, Peijun Zhang, and Klaus Schulten of the Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group, has won the School of Chemical Sciences Science Image Challenge. 

An Open House to celebrate the awards will be held Thursday, Dec. 12, from 2- 4 PM at the SCS Viz Lab, 151 Noyes Lab. All are invited to attend.

The image shows viral particles of HIV-1 containing conical cores (or "cones") formed by a protein shell composed of the viral capsid protein (CA). The capsid protein (CA) plays critical roles in both late and early stages of the infection process and is widely viewed as an important unexploited therapeutic target. Capsid protein assembles into hexamers (gold) and pentamers (green), the curvature of the capsid is determined by the location of the pentamers.

Images by Li Huey Tan, graduate student in the 3D Micro- and Nanosystems Group, and Boonchong Goh, a graduate research assistant in the Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group, were finalists.

The challenge was open to graduate and undergraduate students, postdoctoral associates/fellows, and staff members, excluding faculty members. The entries were computer-assisted or traditional scientific images designed to inform, educate, and inspire. The principal investigator must be a faculty member or an affiliate/adjunct of the Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering or Chemistry Departments.

The winning entries will be displayed for one year in the School of Chemical Sciences VizLab, and on the Gallery of Winning Images on the contest’s web site. The challenge is inspired by the NSF/Science magazine International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge.