Dean’s microscopic work honored

PUHI — Kaua‘i Community College Dean of Student Services Earl Nishiguchi proved that it’s not the equipment that makes the man.

Nishiguchi, who had previously won awards for his photomicroscope work, was pleased to display the awards he earned in the Olympus Bioscapes Digital Imaging Competition.

Nishiguchi, who was tending to first-day-of-school duties yesterday, said in the top 10 finishers, six of the winning entries were done using laser microscopes, three used fluorescent microscopes and one was done using a traditional microscope — his.

“Laser microscopes cost in the thousands of dollars,” Nishiguchi said. “We don’t even have one.”

The dean was pleased that among the thousands of entries from 44 countries around the world, judges awarded him an eighth place for his Drosophila testis specimen, and an honorable mention for his Drosophila melanogaster testis and sperm specimen.

Jean Livet of Harvard University was named the top winner of the competition that feted the winners at a special banquet in Washington, D.C., in December.

“Livet took top honors for a ‘brainbow’ image of axons in a mouse’s brain stem,” states a press release from Olympus. “The cascading canvas of color captured through a confocal microscope resembles a vivid Impressionist painting.”

According to the press release, 20 of the 1,007 winning and honorable mention images will be displayed in Washington, D.C., and at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Janella Farms campus in Virginia this winter.

Following that, the display will begin a national tour which will take them to destinations such as New York City, San Diego, the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass., and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, N.Y.

Previously, Nishiguchi had earned awards in the Small World Competition sponsored by Nikon Microscopy.

In 2001, a 45x magnification of a sundew plant earned him seventh-place honors in that competition resulting in the college getting posters of the winning image.

Additionally, that image graced the cover of the Small World calendar.

Nishiguchi, who admits that he still does film photography, also earned 13th place for his Drosophila virilis sperm magnified 400x.

Winning images and a list of winners from the 2007 Bioscapes competition can be found at the Olympus Web site at

• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.