Shape Shifters: Cancer Cells in Motion

Shape Shifters: Cancer Cells in Motion

Collections: Image Award Winners

2017 Award Winner

Claudia Schafer and Frank Gertler

Koch Institute at MIT, MIT Department of Biology

These metastatic lung cancer cells are showing their true nature as they wander around the dish. Images taken ten minutes apart over the course of 16 hours are stacked atop each other to create a composite image. Researchers in the Gertler Lab are studying how different levels of proteins expressed by the cells affect their shape and motion.

Take a look—can you trace the pathways? Are the cells moving slowly or quickly? Do they change shape or stay round? How do they compare to each other?


Claudia Schäfer shares the story and science behind her award-winning image. You can also watch the presentation from the exhibition opening event on March 23, 2017 here.

More like this