Introducing ... Glasgow Life Sciences

Issued: Mon, 16 Dec 2019 15:05:00 GMT

Annabel Slater Glasgow Life Sciences Sketchfab

Glasgow Life Sciences is a new, imaging-based knowledge exchange service for researchers within the School of Life Sciences and the wider College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences (MVLS).

As public engagement and proof of impact become increasingly important in attracting research funding, there is a very real need for a service that can help in the creation of 3D animations, VR scenes, and other multimedia productions to publicise research.

To that end, Glasgow Life Sciences has established a database of over 30 sets of 3D BioImaging data drawn from 13 different research groups or PIs across MVLS on the popular website Sketchfab.

A secure and popular website for 3D artists and game asset creators, Sketchfab is being increasingly used by universities and cultural institutions to display digital collections.

Glasgow Life Sciences has created a virtual reality gallery featuring a selection of the best models, presenting the viewer with a fully immersive experience in which they navigate two floors to view various wall hangings and interact with 3D exhibits.

A screengrab from the Glasgow Life Sciences VR display

Anyone can view 3D models from Sketchfab online in virtual reality – just try with Google Cardboard - and also in augmented reality, via the free Sketchfab mobile app.

As well as hosting simple animations, Sketchfab can be used to embed fully-rotatable 3D models into your webpage or social media by just using their URL.

Depending on permissions and licenses, Glasgow Life Sciences can make models, which could be easily used in digital handouts, presentations, simple 3D animations, and VR Apps, available for download or purchase for offline use.

These resources can also be used for teaching and thus provide an essential component of our research-led teaching, with the Sketchfab page and VR gallery having already seen use in both L3 and L4 teaching during semester 1 to an enthusiastically response from undergraduate students.

If you would like more information, have a need for a 3D animation or multimedia, or would like to contribute any microscopy data to the collection, please contact Craig Daly or Annabel Slater.


This pilot project has been made possible through a BBSRC Excellence with Impact (EwI) award and an MRC Proximity to Discovery (P2D) award made to Craig Daly. 

The EwI grant supports the development of a wide range of impacts arising from academic research, and P2D funds a broad range of activities aimed at generating new commercialisation ventures and collaborations with industry.

The funding is part of a portfolio of translational block awards managed by the MVLS Translational Research Initiative and supported the recruitment of Annabel Slater as a bioscience data curator and multimedia producer.