Category Archive: Other News

Oct 13

Tyler Fox “hooded” by senior supervisor Dr. Gromala

As part of the tradition of earning a PhD, Tyler Fox was “hooded” by his senior supervisor Dr. Gromala at SFU’s Fall Convocation ceremonies in October. PhDs earn the degree and additions to the graduation gear, namely, a long silken hood and a Renaissance-looking cap. Dr. Fox is now on faculty and is the Studio Director for the 
Interactive Media Design program at the University of Washington.


Sep 02

Pain Studies Lab celebrates Tong’s graduate thesis completion

Xin Tong successfully defended her M.Sc. thesis defence under supervisor Dr. Diane Gromala at the School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Simon Fraser University in August 2015.Tong’s thesis is titled “Encouraging Physical Activity with Gamification Approaches: Goal-setting, Social Community, and “FitPet” Game-based Mobile Application.” It focuses on investigating the effectiveness of certain gamification approaches for encouraging physical activity. Tong also developed the mobile interactive game — FitPet. The game associates the player’s physical activity (steps) to his/her virtual pet’s health condition and the growth level. She then compared it with two other common gamification strategies in a six-week field study. Results revealed that social interaction was the most effective one under certain condition among all three approaches. Although participants’ physical activity level in FitPetgroup did not have significant difference compared to the control group, participants liked the game and they gave suggestions to make the game more engaging. In her thesis, Tong also offers design implications for developing future gamification strategies for promoting physical activity, which are summarized from her interviews with the participants. Later, Pain Studies Lab researchers got together to celebrate Tong’s thesis completion.

Left to right:
Ashfaq Amin, Weina Jin, Dimple Gupta, Abhishek Gupta, Mahsoo Salimi
Mine, Servet Ulas, Xin Tong, Dr. Diane Gromala, Dr. Chris Shaw, Gillian Ramsay


Aug 31

Two graduate researchers join Pain Studies Lab in Fall, 2015

Servet Ulaş, digital artist and Weina Jin, digital health professional will join the Pain Studies Lab in Fall, 2015. Servet Ulaş is a Ph.D. graduate student from Istanbul, Turkey. He received his M.A. degree in Visual Communication Design from Sabanci University, under supervision of Dr. Elif Ayiter. He has industry experience as a digital art director in the advertising sector and more recently as an augmented reality creative developer. His research interests are in the areas of interaction design, game design, physical computing and bodily interaction. Weina is currently pursuing M.Sc. under the supervision of Dr.Diane Gromala. She holds a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree from Peking University. Before joining the Pain Lab, she received two-years’ neurology residency training in Peking University First Hospital. She has also designed physician-patient communication application in a mobile health startup and is the founder of a non-profit medical website. Her research interests are in developing health-related VR, serious game and HCI.

Aug 31

Tyler Fox from Pain Studies Lab is now Assistant Professor at University of Washington

Tyler Fox, PhD. successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis defence under supervisor Dr. Diane Gromala at the School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Simon Fraser University in summer 2015. In his thesis titled “Transductive Praxis in BioArt: Relational Ontology and Aesthetics of Nonhuman Experience,” Tyler explores how art can help work against anthropocentric conceptions of the world. Tyler is now an Assistant Professor at the University of Washington.


Aug 26

Pain Studies Lab researchers attended Body-Voice-Space Boot Camp

Pain Studies Lab researchers Dimple Gupta and Weina Jin attended an intensive two-day voice and presentation skills boot camp in August, 2015 at Simon Fraser University. This workshop encourages participants to explore breath, projection, gesture and movement in delivering effective presentations. It offers tools, resources and skills to refine one’s personal practice.

Aug 24

Pain Studies Lab researcher becomes a certified Program Leader

Pain Studies Lab researcher Weina Jin attended University of Victoria 4-day Program Leader Training on chronic disease self-management in August, 2015. She is now a certified Program Leader for conducting six week self-management workshops in the community. The six week workshops are offered to the public free of charge, run for 2.5 hours each week, and provide information and tools that encourage participants to take an active role in managing their chronic disease.

Aug 22

Pain Studies Lab at ISEA, 2015

The Pain Studies Lab at Simon Fraser University attended the 21st International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA), 2015 in Vancouver. Diane Gromala, Pain Studies Lab founder and Chronic Pain Research Institute Director presented her research at a pain panel discussion. Other experts on the panel joining Gromala were Ståhl Stenslie and Christa Sommerer. Gromala has lived experience with chronic pain for over two decades, and conducts multi-disciplinary research at Simon Fraser University for “Transforming Pain.”

Gromala seen below with the Pain Studies Lab team at ISEA, 2015.

Jun 30

SFU’s Digital Health Hub

digitalhealthhubThrough SFU’s partnerships with Fraser Health and other health organizations, the SFU’s Digital Health Hub solves real health problems with digital solutions. The group is headed by Maryam Sadeghi, the CEO of MetaOptima Technology Inc. She completed her PhD at SFU in Computing Science and earned numerous awards for her work. She developed an application for helping detect skin cancer.


Jun 30

Innovation Boulevard


Innovation Boulevard is a new network of health related entities that strives to improve health care. Their vision lies primarily in improving four areas of health care:

  1. Improving health care outcomes for patients.
  2. Implementing intelligent solutions for the health care system.
  3. Attracting talented clinicians and researchers.
  4. Growing companies in health care technology and services sectors.

Innovation Boulevard is located in between SFU Surrey and Surrey Memorial Hospital, a perfect union of theory and practice.

- See more at:

May 14

Pain Studies Lab Attended GRAND 2014 Annual Conference

Dr. Gromala and Dr. Shaw along with the Pain Studies Lab’s graduate students Mehdi Karamnejad, Xin Tong and Chao Feng attended GRAND 2014 in Ottawa. In Phase Two, CHRONIC project Leaders, NIs and HQPs coordinated meetings to discuss current progress within each sub-project and future research approaches and directions. The conference also facilitated networking sessions in order to assist project leaders and graduate students find potential collaborators. Additionally, graduate students Mehdi Karamnejad and  Xin Tong presented posters about their new research and study.  Chao Feng demoed his thesis research in various tracks.GRAND2014_logo_web1021_21 1021_20

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