Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Annina Grädel works together with painter-printmaker and video-artist to create an artwork that reflects T-cells in the thymus

As part of a public engagement project at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, our Department offered one DPhil student the exciting opportunity to work together with a local artist from the Oxford Printmakers Co-op to create an artwork based on their research. Annina Grädel won the bid to take this project forward and worked together with painter-printmaker and video-artist Jonathan Moss. The result is a stunning lightbox - a reflection of T cells in the thymus.

It is fascinating to have the unique opportunity to see your own research through completely different eyes. The collaboration with Jonathan made me focus on the “raw information” that is conveyed in my graphs and images, rather than the technical details and analyses my work normally focuses on. - Annina Grädel

The T cells of the immune system are responsible for defending us against infections, but they need to learn not to attack our own body. They learn this in an organ called the thymus. When T cells fail to be tolerant to their own body, this leads to autoimmune disease. Annina studies the genetics of this tolerance mechanism. The lightbox is Jonathan's interpretation of Annina's work.

The project culminated in an exhibition of all the artworks at Fushion Arts Oxford with a day of family fun where children and adults could engage with artworks as well as table top science.

The artwork will be displayed in the Department and will also make another outing to be exhibited in the JR between 21st of January - 3rd of March 2017. More details about where will follow nearer the time.

To read a bit more about the collaboration, visit Jonathan's blog. You can also watch a video of the artwork here. We are very pleased to know that Jonathan has found so much inspiration in Annina's work that he is currently creating more artworks which he will exhibit in due course. 

Similar stories

Developmental dynamics of the neural crest–mesenchymal axis in creating the thymic microenvironment

A new paper from researchers at the Department of Paediatrics and the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences has shown that fibroblasts in the thymus, often considered simply as dull “structural” cells, are much more complex than previously thought.

Oxford scientist named Australian of the Year in the UK

The Oxford Vaccine Group’s Lead Statistician, Professor Merryn Voysey, received the prestigious Australian of the Year in the UK award at a gala dinner recently.

Angelman syndrome: first patient to receive potential therapy in Oxford

Things that seemed impossible, only a few years ago, are happening today. The first patient in Europe and one of the first in the world was injected with a potential treatment, GTX-102, in a phase I/II clinical trial in Oxford.

New model for infant leukaemia announced

The breakthrough could lead to development of new treatments for infant Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia.

Why it's so hard to treat pain in infants

For decades physicians believed that premature babies didn’t experience pain. Here’s what doctors know now – and the innovative solutions being embraced by today's caregivers.

Oxford to work with Brazil to establish clinical research hub

The University of Oxford and Brazilian Ministry of Health have announced a joint initiative to set up a global health and clinical research unit in Brazil led by Professor Sue Ann Clemens CBE.