MBI researcher’s captured image of microglia appears in NIH 2024 BRAIN calendar

NIH calendar feature
This image shows microglia (magenta), a type of immune cell found in the brain, digesting nerve terminal cells (green).

By Michelle Jaffee

MBI researcher Anthea Mengfei Bu submitted a winning entry in the NIH’s 2024 BRAIN Initiative calendar contest with an image of microglia digesting nerve terminal cells.

Bu, a graduate assistant in the lab of UF neurology professor Matthew Farrer, Ph.D., submitted her image to the Show Us Your BRAINs! photo and video contest. The contest invites scientists at all career stages to nominate their “most fantastic, most artistic and [most] eye-catching images or short videos.”

With winning entries from across the country and one from France, the calendar features Bu’s image for the month of August. Her image, with brilliant magenta and green, reflects research into how genetic mutations can lead to a toxic process in mouse models of Parkinson’s disease.

“Many wonder how dopamine neurons die in Parkinson’s disease,” Farrer says. “The terminal branches of axons in the striatum are thought to degenerate before the death of cell bodies in the substantia nigra. Anthea has been working to illuminate and quantify this process.”

Hard copies of the calendar are free and may be ordered on the NIH website.

Click here to access the calendar.