Goldman is the chair of the department of cell and molecular biology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, and uses photomicrography in his own research. He’s also served as a judge for the 43rd annual Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition, in which participants submit images that capture the wonder and strangeness of the microscopic realm.
This year, the winning photograph was the work of doctors from the Netherlands Cancer Institute. Their image, in vivid shades of goldenrod and electric blue, depicts an overactive skin cell producing abnormal amounts of keratin. In second place was the work of another trained doctor, Dr. Havi Sarfaty of Israel, who captured the feathery white seed head of a dandelion-like flower. Considering the cost of these sophisticated microscopes—which can range, according to Goldman, from $50,000 to $500,000—many of the entrants have the backing of a research lab or clinic.