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Illinois IGB


Art of Science Gallery 13


Art of Science image titled Dissenter’s Hope
Dissenter’s Hope

Scientist Collaborators Umnia Doha

Md Taher Abu Saif, Saif Group

Multiphoton Confocal Microscope Zeiss 710 with Mai Tai eHP Ti:sapphire laser

Funded by Cancer Center at Illinois (CCIL)


Cancer has affected humanity since time immemorial, with the earliest record appearing in ancient Egyptian manuscripts. The inherent nature of the disease is inconsistent, challenging researchers across the globe: It can manifest in different types of cells, either remaining stationary in one part of the body and serving as an easy target or spreading across the body with heartbreaking consequences. And yet, there is hope. Every year new and innovative therapeutics are created by scientists who are as stubborn as the disease, bringing us closer to the possibility that cancer will become a distant memory. 

The artist created this piece by superimposing colorectal cancer cells on images of chrysanthemum flowers. Many of us tend to think of cancer cells as solid tumors that either lodge themselves in one place or are passively carried to another part of the body. However, cancer cells, just like flowers, are dynamic. They respond to cellular forces all around them, constantly reorganizing their processes based on their environmental cues. Much like an early spring bud which has to listen to the world around it before it decides to effloresce.