SPARC Art Contest Winners Announced

Congratulations to the winners of the NIH Common Fund’s Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions (SPARC) Art Contest! 

In celebration of SPARC’s efforts to bridge the divide between anatomists/physiologists, device developers and computational modelers to advance bioelectronic medicine, we asked the community to ignite their imagination and creativity! We received over 30 entries featuring original images and videos, and the public cast more than 850 votes in response to the contest.

The first place winners of the SPARC Art Contest were selected from two categories: People's Choice (most votes from the public) and SPARC's Choice (most votes from SPARC Program team). The winning entries are featured in an editorial Visualizing the "internet of the body": Winners of the NIH SPARC Art Contest in the November print issue of the International Society for Autonomic Neuroscience (ISAN) journal Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic & Clinical.

The NIH Common Fund’s SPARC program supports a broad range of research projects, ranging from identification of neural targets to device development and clinical discovery—all in support of SPARC’s goal of advancing bioelectronic medicine through precise control of the autonomic nervous system.

People's Choice Winner

Circuitry of the Stellate Ganglion by John Tompkins is a composite picture of the stellate ganglion, overlayed with three labeled neurons in blue, purple, and green. A video describing the process used to to create this type of image can be seen here









SPARC's Choice Winner

Circle of Data by Max Novelli depicts a radial dendrogram or TidyTree, a format used to visualize and organize the variability in field names and data types present in a dataset employing a schema-less structure. The dataset used to generate this image comes from recordings of compound nerve action potentials (

The NIH SPARC program shares curated data sets, maps of nerve-organ interactions, experimental protocols, and more with the research community via the SPARC Portal (

Circle of Data













All of the SPARC Art Contest Entries can be viewed here.

This page last reviewed on November 4, 2021