Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering


World Cancer Day 2024 – Researchers and Artists collaborate for Surge 3

4 February 2024

Artists impression of a man

This World Cancer Day, we are showcasing a year of ground-breaking research conducted by the UCL Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering community and sharing insights into our cutting-edge advancements as we work towards a cancer-free world.

Wellcome / EPSRC Centre for Interventional and Surgical Sciences (WEISS) researchers have collaborated on, SURGE III, a Public Engagement project with the University of the Arts London (UAL). The project saw artist Kate Emily Kelly from the University of the Arts London postgraduate community collaborate with WEISS researcher Robert Stafford-Williams on two arts-led workshops exploring heart disease and lung cancer. These workshops used techniques, such as painting, to explore these topics and how technology intersects with the patient experience of healthcare.

“I have really enjoyed it [SURGE III]. It's been a joy to balance creativity and more of the patient side of things with all the engineering and physics I usually do, and it has opened my eyes up to more opportunities and projects I can take part in along the way. It's a great thing to have alongside the growing importance public engagement is being given in academic careers.” Robert Stafford-Williams, WEISS Laboratory Manager

Artists impression of a man
Credit: Kate Kelly in collaboration with Robert Stafford-Williams, the Wellcome/EPSRC Centre for Surgical and Interventional Science (WEISS) at University College London (UCL), The University of the Arts London Post Graduate Community produced through workshops with people with experience of either lung cancer or heart scans.  CC BY-SA 4.0


“SURGE III has impacted and changed my practice for the better, giving me the opportunity to work on my own more targeted projects alongside SURGE. I have found this has led me to respond to situations in surprising and exciting ways it’s given me space to be experimental and allowed me to explore a more intersectional feminist approach to my practice.” Kate Emily Kelly (Artist and SURGE workshop facilitator)

The workshops have inspired artwork by the artist, which will be displayed in Central Saint Martins in March 2024.

With a long history of major breakthroughs, UCL is home to one of the largest concentrations of cancer specialists to be found anywhere in the world. On World Cancer Day 2024, find out more about UCL’s world-leading research on cancer at the UCL Cancer Institute