Project LeadersResearchersTeam Members
Diane Gromala (leader)Network ResearchersRon Baecker
Chris Shaw (co-leader)Ron Baecker (Toronto)Margaret Dolinsky
Lyn Bartram (SFU)Tyler Fox
Sheelagh Carpendale (Calgary) Amir Ghahary
Paula Gardner (OCAD)Diane Gromala
Diane Gromala (SFU)Abhishek Kumar
Carman Neustaedter (SFU) Terry Lavender
Karon MacLean (UBC)Maryam Mobini
Chris Shaw (SFU)Karon MacLean
Collaborating ResearchersJeremy Mamisao
Pamela Squire (UBC)Mark Nazemi
Bernhard Riecke (SFU)Bernhard Riecke
Bernie Garrett (UBC)Kim Sawchuk
Tarnia Taverner (UBC) Chris Shaw
Kim Sawchuk (Concordia)Yacov Sharir
Pamela Squire
Jay Vidharthi
Mehdi Karamnejad
Amber Choo
Ozgun Eylul Iscen
Nathan To
Xin Tong
Cheryl Yu
Emre Erhan
Dimple Gupta

Prof. Diane Gromala, PhD, is the Canada Research Chair in Biomedia and Interaction Design, and Associate Director of the School of Interactive Art and Technology at Simon Fraser University. Her VR work is used in over 20 clinics and hospitals worldwide, and is supported by research grants from Canada’s Networks for Centres of Excellence (NCE GRAND), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), and the American National Science Foundation (NSF) Canada.

Prof. Chris Shaw

Prof. Chris Shaw, PhD, is the co-author of the first virtual reality application and has created numerous virtual environments for medical applications. His current other areas of expertise are in the areas of bioinformatics, visual analytics and two-handed interfaces for 3D applications.Prof. Chris Shaw teaches human-computer interaction, interactive visualization and video game design.

Dr. Ron Baecker

Prof. Ronald Baecker, PhD, is Professor of Computer Science, Bell Universities Laboratories Chair in Human-Computer Interaction, and Director of the Technologies for Aging Gracefully lab (TAGlab) at the University of Toronto. He has been named one of the 60 Pioneers of Computer Graphics by ACM SIGGRAPH, has been elected to the CHI (Computers and Human Interaction) Academy by ACM SIGCHI, and has been given the Canadian Human Computer Communications Society Achievement Award.

Prof. Karon MacLean, PhD, heads the SPIN lab at UBC. Her research interest is to restore physicality to computer interaction. In many cases, this means taking it away from the desktop and embedding it in the world at its most natural point of use. At UBC, Prof. MacLean is developing the haptic language which will be the basis of our physical communication with computers, and devising  better ways of quantifying and evaluating physical and multisensory interfaces.


Bernie_Garrett_thumb Bernie Garrett, PhD, RN is an associate professor at School of Nursing, University of British Columbia. “His work focuses on the philosophy of science, professional education, educational technologies, and evaluation methods. For the last five years has been working in the field of educational technology particularly in the use of simulation, e-portfolios and scientific philosophy at UBC. His research interests are in the application of AI techniques in education, educational use of social networking and use of e-learning to support clinical education.”


Dr. Pam Squire, MD, CCFP, specializes in complex pain. A Clinical Assistant Professor at UBC’s School of Medicine. Dr. Squire speaks and teaches locally, nationally and internationally, and is an advocate for the multidisciplinary treatment of chronic pain. In 2008, the Chronic Pain Association of Canada awarded Dr. Squire the Dr. Helen Hays Award for Excellence in Pain Management.

Prof. Bernhard Riecke

Prof. Bernhard Riecke, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at the School of Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University, Canada. His primary research interests are human multi-modal spatial cognition, spatial orientation, and navigation in virtual environments, effective virtual reality simulations and multi-model, and interactive art/dance performances. He is currently teaching Human-Computer Interaction and Cognition.

Margaret Dolinsky

Prof. Margaret Dolinsky  is an Artist, Research Scientist and Assistant Professor at the School of Fine Arts at Indiana University. She is co-chair of the Engineering Reality of the Virtual Reality conference with Ian McDowall. Dolinsky investigates interactive experience over high-speed networks and the CAVE. Her research also involves using digital arts for cognition and perceptual shifts.

carmen-thumbProf. Carman Neustaedter, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at the School of Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT) at Simon Fraser University (SFU), Canada and Director of the Connections Lab at SFU SIAT.  His primary research is in human-computer interaction and domestic computing where he studies family communication and technology design.  He teaches interaction design, human-computer interaction, and computer supported cooperative work & social computing.

Tyler Fox

Tyler Fox is a PhD student in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University. An artist, researcher, and educator his work focuses on the intertwining relations of contemporary network society. Currently he focuses explicitly on the tangled relations of art, science, and technology as a foundation for new forms of creative research.

Amir Aziz Ghahary

Amir Aziz Ghahary is an MA student in the Bioaffective Media Lab at the School of Interactive Arts + Technology at SFU. He is a multi-disciplinary artist and designer who is exploring the intersection between technology and sacred space, in the spiritual music concert of Sufism. His research investigates the relationship between aesthetics, ritual, and interactive technology in the creation of sacred space which can affect spiritual experience.

Abhishek Kumar

Interaction and UX designer Abhishek Kumar has had extensive experience at ( and Microsoft (Live Labs & Windows Live). Kumar holds an graduate degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) and an undergraduate degree from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati. Kumar began working with Dr. Gromala during the inception of her research in chronic pain.

Terry LavenderTerry Lavender is a PhD student studying the relationship between immersion and mindfulness. His research interests also include persuasive and immersive games and health-based games. In 2007, his Flash-based persuasive game, Homeless: It’s No Game ( won the Georgia Straight Award for the best Vancouver video game. He is also a community activist, concerned with affordable housing, sustainability, urban agriculture and food security. He also writes the Megabytes technology blog for the Vancouver Observer (

Jeremy MamisaoJeremy Mamisao is an artist and designer currently completing his BA in Interactive Arts and Technology and Communications at Simon Fraser University. His interests lie in Virtual Environments, with an interest in creating immersive worlds using applications of video and motion design. He is also exploring the use of interactive software for art installations and audio/visual performance.

Mark Nazemi

Mark Nazemi is a sound designer and multimedia artist. He recently completed his undergraduate studies in Media Arts and is an MA student at the School of Interactive Arts & Technology at SFU. In addition, Mark established the post-secondary institute the Stylus College of Music & Sound Technology in 2003 teaching music production and audio engineering. His research interests are sound design and composition for the purpose of meditation & emotional transcendence, creation of poetic immersive environments, and user driven non-linear music compositions.

Prof. Yacov Sharir

Prof. Yacov Sharir is the founder of both the American Deaf Dance Company and the Sharir Dance Company, a professional dance company of the University of Texas College of Fine Arts. As a multiple recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Choreographic Fellowship, he has choreographed for such companies around the world. Sharir is a pioneer in integrating new technologies in dance performances.

Jay Vidyarthi

Jay Vidyarthi is a researcher, designer and active musician. After completing an undergraduate thesis in auditory psychophysics, he graduated with a B.Sc in cognitive psychology. Next, he was hired at Yu Centrik, where he was instrumental in research and design projects for UNESCO, Cirque Du Soleil, CIHI, Lexis Nexis, and more.  Currently, Jay is persuing  graduate studies at SIAT while continuing his work with Yu Centrik.


Mehdi Karamnejad holds a Bachelor’s degree in software engineering and is currently a Graduate student at School of Interactive Arts & Technology, Simon Fraser University. He develops Virtual Reality environments which are aimed to assist chronic pain patients to manage their pain. Mehdi’s research area mostly focuses on Virtual Reality, Human–Computer Interaction, Brain–Computer Interface, and Pattern Recognition. He is also enthusiastic about building Linux-based embedded systems with medical purposes in mind.


amberChoo-thumbAmber Choo is a graduate student from Kelowna, B.C. She received her BFA at the University of British Columbia Okanagan in 2012. Her graduate research is concerned with the construction of contemporary video games and experience of play in virtual game spaces, with a focus on massively multiplayer online worlds. Her research aims to discover how how fun and addictive game mechanics from popular contemporary video games could be repurposed for catalysing the effectiveness of educational persuasive games.


eylul-profileOzgun Eylul Iscen is a graduate student at the School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Simon Fraser University. She got her BA degree from Koc University, Istanbul with a dual major in Psychology and Sociology. Her interest in new media theory and practice is situated at the intersections of art, science, philosophy and micropolitics. Her recent work focuses on how we develop media art practices to enable the individuals in transcultural contexts to access,  express, and transform their embodied experience in performative and relational ways.



Maryam Maryam MobiniMobini is a recipient of the Vice President Research – Undergraduate Student Research Award (VPR- USRA) under the supervision of Dr. Diane Gromala. She is an undergraduate student in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser Universityand her research interests lie in the use of emerging technologies and interventions to assist people suffering from feelings of anxiety, hopelessness, depression and bipolar disorder. She is a co-founder of the Wishing Well Society, an organization dedicated to creating customized assistive devices for people with physical disabilities.



Nathan To, PhD (completion Fall 2013@Goldsmiths, University of London) is a clinical counsellor and interdisciplinary researcher of affect, memory, and trauma embodied through interactive media and moving images.  His upcoming postdoctoral work at SFU focuses on evolving and evaluating the potential of a game design paradigm situated at the intersection of identity, flourishing mental health (well-being), transformative learning, virtual worlds-MMO’s and video games overall.  Supported by Worldtribe Media & MITACS (pending).


tongxin1696_gsXin Tong is currently a MSc student under supervision of Dr. Diane Gromala at School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Simon Fraser University. She holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications. Her graduate research concentrates on how to alleviate chronic-pain patients’ pain on the basis of developing Immersive Virtual Environments. Her work focuses on body interface, Virtual Environments and interaction design.




Cheryl Yu is an honours Interactive Arts and Technology student at Simon Fraser University, also minoring in Publishing. Her current interest and study focus lie in the development of immersive 3D games and interactive virtual environments as learning and self-explorative tools. She is currently part of the team working on Mobius Floe under the supervision of Dr. Diane Gromala, exploring the use of games and virtual reality as forms of therapeutic experiences for chronic pain patients.

Emre ErhanEmre Erhan is currently in his second year of completing his BSc in Computer Science at Simon Fraser University. His interests lie in the fields of Bioinformatics. He currently works as an intern at the Pain Lab.

DimpleGuptaDimple Gupta, LCSW, RSW, specializes in mental health social work program design and delivery, psychotherapy and health communications. She holds a Masters degree in Social Work from San Jose State University and has practiced in the United States and India. Currently, Dimple is pursuing graduate studies at the School of Interactive Arts and Technology and her research interests include developing and using computational technology based interventions to treat chronic pain and mental health world-wide.

Fateme Rajabiyazdi

Fateme Rajabiyazdi is a visiting student from University of Calgary. She holds a Masters degree in Computer Science from Australian National University in Australia. Currently, Fateme is pursuing her PhD under supervision of Dr. Sheelagh Carpendale and her research interest includes visualizing doctor-patient communication and self-monitoring in chronic patients using computational technology.


Collaborating Researchers

Pamela Squire (UBC) Steven Barnes (UBC) Bernhard Riecke (SFU) Karon MacLean (UBC) Kim Sawchuk (Concordia)

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Network Researchers

Ron Baecker (Toronto) Lyn Bartram (SFU) Sheelagh Carpendale (Calgary) Paula Gardner (OCAD) Diane Gromala (SFU) Karon MacLean (UBC) Chris Shaw (SFU) Carman Neustaedter (SFU)

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Project Leaders

Project Leader: Diane Gromala (SFU) Project co-Leader: Chris Shaw (SFU)

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Team Members

Diane Gromala Pamela Squire Ron Baecker Chris Shaw Karon MacLean Bernhard Riecke Kim Sawchuk Steven Barnes Andrea Zeffiro Mark Nazemi Amir Ghahary Tyler Fox Terry Lavender Maryam Mobini Jay Vidharthi Yacov Sharir Margaret Dolinsky Abhishek Kumar Mehdi Karamnejad Amber Choo Ozgun Eylul Iscen Emre Erhan

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