MCDB professor’s microphotos win Nikon nod

Mike Klymkowsky's image of the feet of an E. coqui frog stained for cartilage and collagen.

Mike Klymkowsky, a professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology, is known for his scientific acumen and his passion for good teaching. He’s also an award-winning photographer of the very small world he studies.

Klymkowsky’s image of the feet of an E. coqui frog stained for cartilage and collagen was named an “Image of Distinction” in the 2010 Nikon Small World Photomicrography competition. The cartilage appears blue, and the collagen appears brown. Klymkowski took the photo as part of a project done with James Hanken, a Harvard University biologist.

Nikon’s Small World competition is regarded as the leading forum for showcasing the beauty and complexity of life as seen through the light microscope, the competition’s web site states. For more than 30 years, Nikon has rewarded the world’s best photomicrographers who make critically important scientific contributions to life sciences, bio-research and materials science.

Klymkowsky won seventh place in the Small World competition in 2007 for his photo of Xenopus frog embryos. That image (shown below) was captured as part of a research project to characterize the anti-Sox3 antibody. It shows the distribution of a protein (the transcription factor Sox3) in early clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) embryos.

In 2008, Klymkowsky was elected as a fellow to the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was cited for his distinguished contributions to biology education, particularly through the development of tools for the assessment of conceptual understanding in the biological sciences. He has been involved in building the Biology Concept Inventory—a program designed to measure student understanding of basic biological concepts—and also has been exploring approaches to generate more interactive learning experiences.

To learn more about the Small World competition, see

Mike Klymkowsky's 2007 photo of Xenopus frog embryos.

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