Joint Research Office


JRO photography exhibition opens

11 May 2012

A photography exhibition commissioned by the Joint Research Office has opened featuring 5 clinical researchers and their patients.

Photograph by Clare Park (copyright)

In a groundbreaking initiative, the JRO commissioned award-winning photographer Clare Park to work with researchers and patients to explore their feelings about translational research. The result is a provocative exhibition that takes a rare view of translational research through the eyes of patients and researchers.

The photographs, which capture the unique relationship between patient and clinician and the hope and human spirit wrapped up in research projects, can be seen in the Street Gallery of University College Hospital, 235 Euston Road, NW1, from 4 May to 27 June.

The exhibition focuses on the translational aspect of research and covers some of the most cutting edge areas including the development of gene therapy for patients with blood cancers and the study of the effect of exercise and extreme conditions on the body.

Clare Park, who won the Royal Photographic Society's 153rd International Print Exhibition and is renowned for her work with theatre and dance companies, previously worked with a UCLH patient and his family to explore the impact of Parkinson's disease.

Clinical researcher and haematology consultant, Emma Morris said: "The challenge of this project has been to convey in pictures the unique relationship between a patient and their doctor, when both are involved in medical research.

"In some circumstances, patients volunteer to take part in studies where the potential benefit to them individually is unknown. It is an extraordinary example of unselfishness, generosity, hope and human spirit. The perseverance, determination and vision of the researcher is more than met by their partner in discovery. We are totally dependent on each other. Clare's thought-provoking photos have brought this into focus. Literally."

Patient John Gebbels said: "My involvement with this project has served as an important insight into what doctors do 'behind the scenes', the extent of which may remain invisible to many other patients. The level of dedication which these doctors commit to their research is quite exceptional. Without this my two complicated stem cell transplants and various associated treatments may not have been possible." 

Diving from Reality - photograph by Clare Park ©