The Competition Why did we run this competition?
Increasing awareness and understanding about research among patients and the public to facilitate active public involvement in influencing patient-centred research is one of the objectives of the
NIHR (National Institute for Health Research).
This usually starts with engagement of the public and patients (PPE) through “research showcase events” led by researchers and clinicians. It evolves into detailed dialogues between researchers and patients so that the public can help shape research through their involvement at all stages (PPI). For example, reflecting the views of the public:
- in the identification of the priorities of a patient-centred research project; - in the way that research is planned and carried out; - about the hindrances for different cohorts of people in taking part in research; - in the planning for dissemination of the results of a study. An important precursor to effective PPE/I is appropriate communication with lay audiences. This competition encouraged staff and students at Moorfields Eye Hospital and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology to get creative with written, visual, aural & tactile pieces of work that bring research to life for lay audiences.
There were three rounds held throughout the year. The winner from each of the three rounds were then entered into an overall winners' competition in December 2015 where at least one winner will receive the overall winner's prize. In recognition of the UN’s International Year of Light, there was also a special prize awarded in December (received from any of the rounds) that the judging panel thought best embodies the spirit of the Year of Light in the context of vision.
The competition winners and their submissions can be found by clicking on the either of the three tabs above. All three winning entries attended the prize-giving on the 17th February 2016. The Knitted Retina The Knitted Retina picture and accompanying text was submitted by the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology Knitting Group and won the 2nd round of the competition and the overall competition winners prize: This knitting group includes Susie Sandford Smith, Gill Tunstall, Liz Hurst, Amanda Carr, Jenny Williams, Katharina Lueck.
The Knitting Group at UCL Institute of Ophthalmology took on the challenge of producing an anatomically accurate model of the retina in knitted form! The impressive finished product, which is about 5,000 times the size of an actual retina, can be seen in the photo below. Click on the link below to view the detail along with information about the different components of the retina that have been recreated in wool.
If you are visiting Moorfields City Road, you can view the knitted retina on the lower ground floor next to the Medical Retina clinics. It is the centrepiece of the Moorfields Arts Committee's "retinal imaging artwork project" which shows the development of imaging since the days of eye examination by candlelight.
Ibn al-Haytham This painting and accompanying article was written by Noori Husain, a 4th year Medical Student and won The Year Of Light Special Category: A Thousand Years of Research, Light, and The Eye
Ibn al-Haytham, or Alhazen, is without question, the father of modern optics- the scientific study of sight and the behaviour of light, or the properties of other forms of raditation.
His pioneering research resulted in the seven volume 'Book of Optics' which first appeared 1000 years ago. He is regarded as the first theoretical physicist to develop reliable scientfic methods of experimentation, which adhere to a system scientists still use in investigative research today 1. The story goes, that Alhazen was directed by the Caliph of Egypt to create a hydraulic system to improve the flooding of the Nile; however, he realised this would be impossible. Fearing the anger of the Caliph, he feigned madness and was kept under house arrest until his death in 1021 2 . During this time, he wrote over 92 works on topics including the theory of vision, astronmy and mathematics. In my painting I have involved aspects of Alhazen's work; which forms the basis of modern day photography. Much of our research today is built on these remarkable pioneers, and I feel it is important to remember and respect their contributions. There is a crater on the Moon and an asteroid named in his honour. References: 1. James S Ackerman (2 August 1991). Distance Points: Essays in Theory and Renaissance Art and Architecture. Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: MIT Press. p. 590. ISBN 978-0262011228. 2. ''The Great Islamic Encycyclopedia''. Cgie.org.ir. Retrieved 2012-05-27. Update: Since the Communicating Research Competition, Noori Husain was approached by the arts committee at Moorfields Eye Hospital (City Road) to create a temporary art exhibition at the hospital. The exhibition, which focused on a 'history of ophthalmology through time', was unveiled on the 13th October 2016 in celebration of World Sight Day. Noori's exhibition at the hospital focuses on the important historical aspects of Ophthalmology, and the contributions of cultures around the world to the vast knowledge in the field today. The paintings are mixed media, using mainly spray and acrylic painting techniques. Noori uses symbolic shapes to integrate elements of nature, the eye and vision, including circles, bright colours and contrast between light and dark. Noori gratefully acknowledges the many scientists, physicians and thinkers inspired by the incredible organ of sight since the beginning of time, who have given her the opportunity to build on their work.
The artwork will remain on display in the optometry corridor at Moorfields, City Road until January 2017.
Partnership for Sight This video was put together by Mariya Moosajee and her research team and explains their stem cell research from a patient's perspective. The video was the winner of the 3rd round: VIDEO
Mariya's research is based at the The Department of Ocular Biology and Therapeutics (ORBIT) which is the largest department of UCL Institute of Ophthalmology. More information about the research conducted in The Department of Ocular Biology and Therapeutics can be found by
clicking here. Update: The NIHR announced ‘Partnership for Sight’ as the winner of its 2016 New Media Competition. The annual NIHR New Media Competition invites researchers to raise awareness of their work through video to communicate their research and its impact on patients. For more information about this year’s National Institute for Health Research New Media Competition, please click here.
On winning the NIHR New Media Competition, Dr Moosajee said:
“I am absolutely thrilled to hear that the public and NIHR have awarded my team this prize. Losing your sight is one of the most feared health outcomes with an enormous impact on the individual and their family’s day-to-day life. Patients with genetic eye disease face this future with no treatment available to them. This prize highlights that the public understand the importance of research into blinding conditions and the positive impact it can have on quality of life. I am so pleased to be able to work with patients and give them hope for the future.”