Announcing the winners of The FEBS Journal 2021 Cover Image Competition

The FEBS Journal is pleased to announce the three winners of the 2021 Cover Image Competition. You can see their prize-winning entries below!
Announcing the winners of The FEBS Journal 2021 Cover Image Competition

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We recently invited our community to submit an attractive cover image relevant to any of the topics that fall under the broad scope of The FEBS Journal and we were delighted to receive fantastic entries from our participants – many thanks and congratulations to all of you who contributed to the competition.

Huge congratulations to the winners!

The three winners of The FEBS Journal 2021 Cover Image Competition are described below.

  1. Merve Evren (Izmir, Turkey) was awarded our first prize for her artwork entitled 'Different approaches to Covid-19 vaccine development'. Merve completed her undergraduate studies in biology and subsequently obtained her Master's and PhD degrees in biotechnology at Ege University, Turkey. Throughout her undergraduate and graduate science education, she developed a strong interest in art and worked on 3D structures of biological and physiological systems, as well as their modeling and simulations. Her MSc thesis was on 3D modeling and animation of structural and functional properties of the human auditory system and her PhD thesis focused on interactive simulation of vision. Since 2017, she has been working on surgical simulations in a company in the Technology & Research Development Zone of Ege University. With the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, her work has moved from surgical models to 3D visuals at the molecular level. Merve drew inspiration from the current challenging circumstances in which we have witnessed scientists investing a huge amount of time and resources into identifying COVID-19 treatment and vaccines. In her artwork, she tried to reflect the mystery of COVID-19 with many unknowns; however, as two main types of vaccines have emerged on the COVID-19 scene (inactive virus-based vaccines and mRNA-based vaccines), she also included illustration of these elements. Merve chose a turquoise background because the colour always brings to her mind the soothing effect of the layers under the sea – she wanted her artwork to reflect the calming effect of strong science efforts. Given that The FEBS Journal logo is of a similar colour, we obviously approve of Merve’s choice! Merve’s entry will be featured on a cover of special COVID-themed issue of The FEBS Journal later this year.

  1. Marie Zechner ((Edinburgh, UK) received our second prize for her image entitled ‘Untangling the effect our genes have on Covid-19’. Marie is currently pursuing a PhD in Precision Medicine with Dr Kenneth Baillie at the Roslin Institute, Edinburgh University, Scotland. Her project is centred around understanding the genetics of COVID-19, with a particular interest in whether there exists a shared genetic architecture with other diseases that could point towards potential drug targets or repurposed treatments. Her cover design was inspired by work on GenOMICC (, a global study on the genetics of mortality in critical care that recently found multiple genetic associations with critical illness in COVID-19 using genome-wide association data from 2,244 critically ill patients with COVID-19 from 208 UK intensive care units. Graphic design is something that Marie has enjoyed doing for a long time, so much so that she was split over what to study – science or art! Although she is very happy to have decided on science, she never stopped doing design projects in her free time and still enjoys them greatly.

  1. Jaida Begum (Bristol, UK) was awarded our third prize for her image entitled ‘Computer-Aided Drug Design of Glycogen Phosphorylase Inhibitors’. Jaida is currently working within the NHS in Medicine Optimisation and will be starting her PhD at the University of Bristol in October 2021, funded by the GW4 BioMed MRC DTP programme. The inspiration for her cover entry was the computational chemistry research she performed during her undergraduate studies at University of Central Lancashire under the supervision of Dr Joseph Hayes. She was involved in the identification of glycogen phosphorylase inhibitors for the potential treatment of type 2 diabetes.  Jaida has always enjoyed creating scientific graphics. This started when she joined Dr. Joseph Hayes’ computational lab and she was involved in creating figures for various publications.  

We were impressed with the exceptional quality of the entries received. We would like to highlight an honourable mention:

    • Valentina Pirillo (Varese, Italy) for an image entitled: ‘Representation of polyethylene terephthalate-degrading enzyme (PET hydrolases) in complex with 2-HE(MHET)4 model (PDB code 5XJH)’. This image is an artist representation of a plastic-degrading enzyme (PET hydrolase) that is correlated with the recent Emerging Methods and Technologies article published in The FEBS Journal: ‘Analytical methods for the investigation of enzyme-catalyzed degradation of polyethylene terephthalate’ by Valentina Pirillo, Loredano Pollegioni and Gianluca Molla.

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Go to the profile of Ferhan Sagin
about 3 years ago

Congratulations to all the prize winners; Merve, Marie, and Jaida! 
It is so nice to see that scientists are also involved with art.
And a big thanks to the FEBS Journal Editorial Office for stimulating this every year!

Ferhan Sagin
(Chair, FEBS Education Committee)