UCL community wins Wellcome image awards

22 October 2009

Two members of the UCL community are amongst the winners of the 2009 Wellcome Collection Image Awards.

The awards recognise the creators of the most informative, striking and technically excellent images among recent acquisitions to the Wellcome Images collection of medical and historical imagery.

This year sees 19 images awarded in three categories: biomedical, illustration and photography.

Theresia Hofer 'Amchi Tala, Tibetan doctor'

Theresia Hofer is currently studying for a PhD at the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL. She is a social and medical anthropologist and her work focuses on 20th-century Tibetan medicine. She spent a year carrying out field research in the Tibet Autonomous Region.

Theresia bought her first camera, a Nikon, aged 16, to document her immense curiosity about different places and people. Half a year spent absorbing a different culture from her own in Chile inspired her to become an anthropologist. In her mind, anthropology and photography are bridges that foster understanding. Theresia has photographed West Africa, Central and South Asia, Tibet and the Himalayas to "tell powerful stories, of cultural survival, continuity and change". She says her photographs "bear witness to people’s struggles, memories and dreams. Not least my own."

Jackie Lewin 'Sickle-cell anaemia'

Jackie Lewin (UCL Medical School) carries out research and diagnostic services and the samples she works on include cell cultures, tissue morphology and various polymers. Many of the images she produces show detailed microanatomy, and are helpful for teaching students at the Medical School about cell ultrastructure.

Jackie has spent 31 years working in the field of microscopy. Her continued interest is partly due to the "fantastic" developments in digital imaging software, which allow her to enhance her images with colour using a technique called layer blending. Apart from the academic applications, she says that giving colour to the images has the "added advantage of fuelling my creative side".

Selected by a panel of expert judges, the winning images were created using a range of microscopic techniques, including combinations of light microscopy and innovative histological approaches, and electron microscopy; illustration, and photography.

To find out more about what each image reveals and why it was chosen go to the link above. The winning images are all on display in the Wellcome Collection until spring 2010.


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