Dr. Timothy Bromage Wins FASEB 2020 BioArt Competition


Human Enamel Prisms

Congratulations to Timothy Bromage, PhD, professor of molecular pathobiology, who was selected as a winner of the 2020 BioArt competition of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB).

Now in its ninth year, the BioArt competition aims to shine a spotlight on the beauty of biological research and inspire public curiosity about science. Contestants include investigators, contractors, or trainees with current or past research funding from a U.S. federal agency and members of FASEB societies.

Dr. Bromage’s winning image shows the enamel histology of a modern human tooth cut through a molar cusp and captured by backscattered electron microscopy in a scanning electron microscope. This structure of tooth enamel is designed to resist cracks.

Microscopic units of enamel structure called “prisms” are seen in the image, which were color-coded using a program to measure prism orientation. The image demonstrates that prisms have divergent courses, with some cut lengthwise in the plane of the image and others cut in cross section and appearing semicircular while coursing in and out of the plane of the image. This heterogeneity helps the tooth resist cracking, enabling it to withstand the mechanical forces of chewing.

Additional members of Dr. Bromage’s research team include Khemet Calnek, Paola Cerrito, Bin Hu, and Sasan Rabieh.