Maria Cotuna (She, Her)
I am a medical visualiser with a varying skillset including 3D modelling, animation, volumetric visualisation, interactive application design, VR design and development. Originally from an artistic background, previously having studied jewellery design and worked as a goldsmith, I am skilled at designing prototyping and developing real world products. After studying the Msc Medical Visualisation & Human Anatomy, I have developed new digital skills as well as knowledge of human anatomy. I have a passion for making the unseen seen and improving health literacy among the general public.
Para-sight is an interactive VR application that showcases the hidden life of parasites. It was developed as a public engagement tool in collaboration with the Wellcome Centre For Integrative Parasitology and the School of Simulation and Visualisation.
Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) affect millions worldwide, causing death and disability. Currently, there is still need for funding of drug deployment programmes as well as vaccine R&D. This need is only going to grow, making it necessary for the general public, private and public investors, governments and charities to be more aware of parasites and tropical diseases. Using interactive means of conveying information has been shown to be highly effective in facilitating learning and public engagement. Therefore, this project was designed and developed as an interactive VR application tool for public engagement, allowing the user to: explore the blood flow, learn about the parasite’s mechanism of infection, and it’s cellular anatomy. By shedding light on the hidden life of these microscopic lifeforms, funding may be better prioritised to tackle diseases that are hidden to us but affect the lives of many.