Whether documenting a risky hours-long surgery in Pittsburgh, getting up close to radioactive-resistant fungus in a NASA lab, or capturing an exhausting day in the life of a pediatrician caring for Zika-affected babies in Brazil, STAT’s contributing photographers have been a critical part of our editorial team in 2016.

During the last year, STAT has covered stories from as close as Boston’s Longwood medical district to as far away as Tahiti. The pictures below are the photographic highlights of our first full year of publication.

Phillips - surgery
Stephanie Strasburg for STAT Stephen Phillips is prepped for a controversial surgery in Pittsburgh, Penn. Phillips spent five months desperately trying to arrange the surgery in the hope that it would beat back his rare appendix cancer.
Space fungus
Jenna Schoenefeld for STAT Chernobyl fungi sent to the International Space Station are grown in lab dishes at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. Researchers hope the samples will inspire new drugs to protect people from radiation.
Rio sanitation
Lianne Milton for STAT Two girls hunt for baby crabs that grow along the trash- and sewage-filled shoreline of Tubiacanga, a fishing community on the shores of Guanabara Bay, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. For many Brazilians, filthy waterways are part of daily life. And it’s making them sick.
Justin Laycock
Laura Mcdermott for STAT Justin Laycock, 23, listens during his sentencing hearing at Lucas County Common Pleas Court in Toledo. Laycock was found guilty of manslaughter as part of a plea deal after his best friend died of a fentanyl overdose.
Appalachia Ohio
Stephanie Strasburg for STAT A shuttered building along the roadside in the Appalachian region of Ohio. As deaths from cancer have steadily declined across much of the country, Appalachia remains an outlier.
Tahiti Mosquitoes
Gregory Boissy for STAT Mosquito pupae at the Institut Louis Malardé in Tahiti, where scientists are studying how to fight mosquitoes and the diseases they spread, including Zika.
Marion, Alabama
Caleb Chancey for STAT Melvin and Tynarmia Miller, owners of Melvin Miller funeral home in Marion, Ala., where a tuberculosis outbreak occurred this year. The Millers said tuberculosis as a cause of death was rarely discussed among their clients.
Hand Transplant
Aram Boghosian/The Boston Globe WIll Lautzenheiser leaves his physical therapy appointment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital after receiving prosthetic legs and a double hand transplant.
Paula Skelley -- End of Life -- children
Kayana Szymczak for STAT Paula Skelley stands at her daughter Lydia’s gravesite bench in Portsmouth, N.H. When Lydia was sick with terminal cancer, Skelley said their open acknowledgement of death served as a way for them to ease each other’s pain.
Ali Khodadoust
Steven G. Smith for STAT Dr. Ali Khodadoust, an ophthalmologist in Connecticut, earned a place in medical history after having 100 million viruses placed inside his chest to battle an infection.
Athena Fenstermacher
Melissa Lyttle for STAT Athena Fenstermacher, 18, about a month before her gender confirmation surgery. Researchers leading the first NIH grant for research on transgender youth hope that data will show the benefit of earlier intervention.
Dr. Neal Kassel
Matt Eich for STAT Dr. Neal Kassel in Charlottesville, Va. Kassell has been promoting the obscure medical technique of focused ultrasound for a decade.
Dwane Foreman
Alissa Ambrose/STAT Dwane Foreman, 68, rests in his car in East Oakland, Calif. in January 2016. Foreman, who was terminally ill at the time of the photo, slept in his car most nights. He died in October.
Boston Children's -- education
Kayana Szymczak for STAT Elaine Klingensmith, a teacher with Education Inc., tutors Christiana Silva, 6, while a nurse adjusts her IV at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Dr Kia Washington
Jeff Swensen for STAT Dr. Kia Washington in her lab at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Washington heads a team of Pittsburgh transplant surgeons aiming to use donor eyes to restore sight in people who have suffered traumatic eye injuries.
Ohio Trump health
Andrew Spear for STAT Paul Hall mans the Republican Party booth at the Brown County Fair in Georgetown, Ohio. Hall, the chairman of the county’s criminal task force, didn’t think either presidential candidate would solve the area’s heroin epidemic.
Kissing Bugs
Ilana Panich-Linsman for STAT Citizen scientist Hugh Brown cools off by skinny-dipping in the pond near his Texas home. Brown contributes to infectious disease research by collecting kissing bugs on his property. Some of these bugs carry the parasite that causes the deadly Chagas disease.
Dr. Regina Coeli
Lianne Milton for STAT Dr. Regina Coeli, a pediatric infectious diseases specialist at Oswaldo Cruz University Hospital in Recife, Brazil, examines a baby who was born with Zika-related microcephaly.
Hope For New Hampshire
John Happel for STAT Kelly Riley, the supervisor at Hope for NH Recovery, offers support to a young man who was brought to the center after he was treated for a heroin overdose earlier that day.
Cigar regulation
Kayana Szymczak for STAT Salesman Charles Normand lights a cigar at L.J. Peretti Co. tobacco shop in Boston. Cigars may soon be regulated.
Dr. David Casavant
Kayana Szymczak for STAT Dr. David Casavant and respiratory therapist Lauren Perlman conduct a check up with D.J. Younge, 5, during a home visit in Taunton, Mass. A team from Boston Children’s Hospital makes house calls to care for the growing number of children who breathe with ventilators.
Alma Baltazar -- Medicaid enrollment
Kim Leeson for STAT Alma Baltazar, shown at her Dallas home with four of her eight children, mentors families through the Medicaid enrollment process.

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