Illuminating the Self

We are delighted to announce that Wellcome have awarded us funding to expand our public engagement around the CANDO project. Our grant is split into three components to explore and engage with patients and the public about epilepsy and optogenetics amongst others. For information about upcoming CANDO events visit our Eventbrite page,

Watch the following video to find out more about the engagement project.


We will be collaborating with renowned international artists Susan Aldworth and Andrew Carnie for concurrent exhibitions which will run at the start of 2020 at the Hatton Gallery and Vane Gallery in Newcastle upon Tyne. In the build up to the exhibitions, we will develop workshops and events to help shape the exhibitions that will be taken out into communities. Susan recently collaborated with CANDO investigator Dr Fiona Le Beau on a project exploring schizophrenia entitled 'Reassembling the Self'.


Susan and Andrew have done some previous work on optogenetics which involved discussions with members of the CANDO team.  Details of the resulting work can be found on Andrew's blog here.


We will be working with North East based theatre company Operating Theatre to develop a piece of drama and workshops linking in with the project.  Operating Theatre specialise in health based drama that aim to transform the way people think about health and wellbeing.

The drama is called 'Making for the Light' and the title is taken from a letter Vincent van Gogh, who is believed to have suffered from epilepsy, wrote to his younger brother Leo towards the end of his life. 

 Operating Theatre website

Virtual Reality

In keeping with the cutting technology utilised within CANDO, we are teaming up with software developers AnimaVR to demonstrate the effects of a cortical implant for optogenetic neural control on the brain in Virtual Reality. This software, which will be free to download will provide people with an immersive opportunity to explore the brain, the effect of epilepsy on the brain and the CANDO therapy. Below is a screenshot from an early version of the software.

Image: Enlightenment 10, Aldworth & Carnie, monotype, 2015

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