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David Pao

PhD Work


  • Dave Pao
  • PhD


    School of Design


    Innovation Design Engineering, 2013–

  • Dr Dave Pao (MBBS, MRCP, MD) is a practising medical doctor in the field of sexual health and HIV medicine. He graduated from the UCL Royal Free Medical School and trained in general internal medicine and genitourinary medicine. In 2012 he was awarded his research MD from UCL, for work on the phylogenetics of HIV transmission.

    In 2013 he was awarded the Ted Powers scholarship to undertake a practice-based PhD at the RCA. His research here begins with the premise that each individual’s perspective of their illness is pivotal to their health-seeking and social behaviour.

    With a focus on the culture of diagram, he is exploring novel ways – physical, digital, multimodal – that might broker the doctor-patient conversation within a fragmented health and social care system. As well as his clinical work, he has on-going collaborations with researchers in the field of design, digital, textile and visual art, the social sciences and philosophy.

    In 2014, he won Artifact, an Imperial College / RCA art-science competition, with an audio installation highlighting the disconnect between the patient perspective and that of the medical establishment.