Science of Sight

Cutting edgE science and art merge in new interactive sight exhibition

– Dr Mariya Moosajee, Clinician-Scientist and Consultant Ophthalmologist, will lead visitors on a sensory exploration into the science of the eye in her new exhibition ‘Science of Sight’ at the Science Museum, London. A keen advocate that art can be for everyone, she will include tactile, scent and sound pieces from the BlindArt Collection at Moorfields Eye Hospital –


London, England, 27 July 2017 – A new exhibition will be launched on 8th August 2017 at the Science Museum, London. The exhibition ‘Science of Sight’, part of the BBC Tomorrow’s World Live series, will be visited by thousands of people each day1. Dr Mariya Moosajee will be joined by a team of scientists, researchers, artists and patients.

The exhibition, supported by The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, will include demonstrations and examples of pioneering science such as growing an eye in a petri dish, a model eye and brain, scent and sound boxes and tactile blood cells. Dr Moosajee will educate and entertain children and adults with demonstrations, talks and science exhibits during the three-day exhibition while discussing her own research and discoveries in sight and genetic conditions of the eye.

Art will be a key feature of the exhibition with sensory pieces on display from the BlindArt collection from Moorfields Eye Hospital. Visitors to the exhibit will be welcomed and encouraged to touch, smell and listen to art, thereby demonstrating that art can be created and enjoyed by people with visual impairments.

Dr Moosajee said of the exhibition, “We are thrilled to be invited to display our work at the Science Museum. It’s exciting that we are able to access so many people of all ages and showcase some of our innovation and research. We want to highlight that learning about the science of the eye and some of the conditions that affect it is accessible to everyone whether you have full sight or not. That extends into art as well, and I have an especially keen interest in ensuring that it can be enjoyed by everyone. We will be showing the science behind that too.”

A wealth of artists and experts, including those with blindness and partial sight, will be discussing the science and art. These include: Marcus Inniss who has Usher Syndrome and is partially deaf and blind, Annie Fennimore a blind artist, Suki Chan a film maker and Alexandra Contil-Lacoste a senses artist.

The Tomorrow’s World gallery can be found towards the rear of the main floor, between the restaurant and the IMAX theatre. Thousands of people are expected to visit the exhibit each day.

Journalists are welcome to visit the exhibition, please contact for details and media information.

Dr Mariya Moosajee is available for interview prior to and at the Science Museum, please contact to schedule an appointment.

Interactive demonstrations and talks will run each day from 8 to 10 August from 11am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm. The Science Museum is located on Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 2DD.

- ENDS -

References

1. Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. 2017. Statistical Data Set: Museums and galleries monthly visits.


Further information

About Dr Mariya Moosajee

Dr Mariya Moosajee is a Consultant Ophthalmologist specialising in Genetic Eye Disease at Moorfields Eye Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children. She leads a research group at UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and her specialist interest is understanding the molecular basis of eye development and genetic eye disease, using relevant disease models, human-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived retinal cells and medical bioinformatics. Through dissecting the molecular and cellular pathways of disease, Dr Moosajee and her team have identified therapeutic targets and developed treatment strategies, including nonsense suppression therapy, which is applicable to a wide range of inherited eye disorders.

Dr Moosajee will be talking about:

It has been estimated that more than 60% of blindness amongst infants is caused by genetic eye disease including congenital (present at birth) cataracts, glaucoma and eye malformations. Inherited retinal disorders such as retinitis pigmentosa are now the leading cause of certifiable blindness among working age adults in England and Wales. We have made significant advances improving our genetic diagnostic rates using the latest technology which can read all 3 billion letters of our DNA (our genome), but as yet no effective treatments are available for patients. We are entering an era of personalised medicine and I will highlight how we are translating science to medicine using our genome, stem cells, pharmacological small molecule drugs, and non-viral gene therapy for the treatment of genetic eye disease.

About NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at Moorfields Eye Hospital and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology

The NIHR Moorfields Biomedical Research Centre was established in April 2007 and awarded a third five-year term by the NIHR from April 2017. Its purpose is to conduct translational research that is designed to take advances in basic medical research from the laboratory to the clinic, enabling patients to benefit more quickly from new scientific breakthroughs. The Centre is currently one of 20 Biomedical Research Centres that were awarded to NHS/university partnerships with an outstanding international reputation for medical research and expertise, and experience of translating that research into the clinical setting. For further information, please visit www.brcophthalmology.org.

About Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is one of the world’s leading eye hospitals, providing expertise in clinical care, research and education. It has provided excellence in eye care for more than 200 years and continues to be at the forefront of new breakthroughs and developments. The trust is an integral part of one of the UK’s first academic health science centres, UCL Partners, and is now part of one of the first science health networks. Moorfields was one of the first organisations to become an NHS foundation trust in 2004. For further information, please visit www.Moorfields.nhs.uk.

In 2015/16 the trust treated more than half a million patients in their outpatient services and carried out almost 40,000 surgical procedures, making Moorfields the largest ophthalmic provider in the UK. They also provided care to 104,000 patients in their A&E department. Moorfields treat people in 32 locations in and around London enabling them to provide expert treatment closer to patients’ homes.

About UCL Institute of Ophthalmology

UCL Institute of Ophthalmology is one of the foremost eye and vision research institutes in the world. It operates at the cutting edge of translational research, delivering new therapies, diagnostic tools and preventive measures to patients suffering from visual impairment or blinding conditions. The combination of the Institute’s research resource with Moorfields Eye Hospital, which has the largest ophthalmic patient population in the western world, opens the way for further advances in vision research. Close collaboration with other academic partners and with industry extends its impact. The Institute has been named as the best place to study ophthalmology in the 2017 Centre for World University Rankings (CWUR). For further information, please visit www.ucl.ac.uk/ioo.

About UCL

Founded in 1826, UCL was the first English university established after Oxford and Cambridge, the first to admit students regardless of race, class, religion or gender, and the first to provide systematic teaching of law, architecture and medicine. It is among the world’s top universities, as reflected by performance in a range of international rankings and tables. UCL currently has almost 29,000 students from 150 countries and in the region of 10,000 employees. For further information, please visit: www.ucl.ac.uk.

About National Institute for Health Research

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR): improving the health and wealth of the nation through research.

Established by the Department of Health, the NIHR:

• funds high quality research to improve health

• trains and supports health researchers

• provides world-class research facilities

• works with the life sciences industry and charities to benefit all

• involves patients and the public at every step

For further information, visit the NIHR website www.nihr.ac.uk


''Our strategy is based around themes defined by major common eye problems or disease processes. ''

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