Pain Lab Undergrad Researchers Henry Lo & Janice Ng won Surrey Top 25 under 25 Awards

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Janice Ng and Henry Lo, two of SIAT’s undergraduate students were named the “Top 25 Under 25” by Surrey’s Board of Trade on April 20th 2017. They received their awards at the 7th annual City of Surrey event which celebrated “the incredible initiatives of Surrey’s youth 25 years old or younger.”

The 25 winners were chosen for their business or community achievements, leadership ability, community involvement, professional achievements and uniqueness of their business or community projects.

Janice & Henry worked with Prof. Gromala and BC Children’s Hospital chief oncologist Dr. Caron Strahlendorf to create, build & test a pain distraction VR game (Farmooo) for teens undergoing chemotherapy. They are now working to install and sustain it at Surrey Memorial Hospital.

The research from Farmooo will also be featured as a “Hot Topic” at the Canadian Pain Society’s (CPS) Annual Scientific Conference in Halifax in May.

         Figure 1. Farmooo VR Game Title Screenshot

Figure 2. Henry in Head-Mounted Display testing Farmooo

Figure 3. Surrey Top 25 under 25 Award Ceremony (Janice Ng and Henry Lo)

DeepStreamVR Partners Present Pain Lab Work at Cannes

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The Cannes Film Festival has a category called “Cannes’ Health Lions.” Howard Rose — our industry partner with Ari Hollander at DeepStreamVR — presented our Virtual Meditative Walk as part of his talk Your Brain on VR: Virtual Worlds, Real Results” at noon on Sunday 19 June on the Health in Action Stage.

Health and Digital Media Workshop

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The interdisciplinary “Health and Digital Media Research Workshop” took place on Friday October 25, 2013 at Simon Fraser Universitys Harbour Centre. This workshop aimed to connect current GRAND NCE researchers with CIHR and CHRP researchers to explore possible healthcare research projects that respond to significant real-world healthcare issues. Many GRAND researchers are collaborating with researchers in health and medical sciences, and are interested in continuing and initiating new health and medical science related projects. Keynote Speakers were Dr. Kendall Ho (UBC, Vancouver General Hospital Emergency Medicine), and Dr. Yaakov Stern (Columbia University, NY, NY). 24-36 research faculty and graduate students joined the discussions, as well as 12-18 health and medical scholars.

More information on the Workshop can be here:

Mehdi Karamnejad Presented at SIGGRAPH/Expressive 2013

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Mehdi Karamnejad presented two posters at co-located venues SIGGRAPH/Expressive 2013. The posters represented the latest research being conducted at the Pain Studies Lab on Human-Computer Interaction, Biofeedback, Game Design, and Social Sciences. SIGGRAPH is one the most prestigious venues for showcasing breakthroughs in practices and production in Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques.

Pain Studies Lab attended GRAND annual conference

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Dr. Gromala and Dr. Shaw along with the Pain Studies Labs graduate students Mark Nazemi, Mehdi Karamnejad, Maryam Mobini, Amber Choo, Ozgun Eylul, Jeremy Mamisao, and Bryn Ludlow attended GRAND 2013 / Canada 3.0 joint conference in Toronto. Well-knowns such as Chris Anderson, Jane McGonigal, and Jian Ghomeshi were among the keynote speakers for the event.

The project leaders of GRAND NCE coordinated meetings to discuss and assess current progress within each project and discuss future research paths. The conference also facilitated networking sessions in order to assist project leaders and graduate students find potential collaborators.

Additionally, graduate students presented their papers and posters in various tracks and showcased their new revolutionary approaches  for  different projects addressing problems in computer science, graphics, sound design, visual analytics, and social sciences.

GRAND annual conference in Toronto

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The fourth annual digital media conference of GRAND will be held in Toronto from May 14-16.  The conference aims to demo multidisciplinary research being conducted across Canada in  digital media. The Pain Studies Lab will present four posters which showcase the research being conducted by the lab members. The title of the posters are as follows:

  • Soundscapes: A prescription for managing anxiety in a clinical setting
  • Immersive virtual reality and Affective computing for gaming, fear and anxiety
  • The Science, Poetics and Theories of Touch
  • Aesthetics: GRAND Definitions

Transforming Pain Research Group at SIAT showcase

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Transforming Pain Research Group supported project Sensorium was displayed for the first time, February 8th at the SIAT Showcase and Competition alongside other winning projects. The project was seen and demoed by other students, faculty, and industry professionals in the media arts, design, and informatics areas.
Sensorium, a virtual reality system that allows visitors to guide visual and aural stimuli in a virtual environment by concentrating on different parts of their sensorial system, is an undergraduate research project created by Interactive Arts students Jeremy Mamisao, Julian Giordano, and Samantha Derochie. The project is being guided and supervised by Dr. Diane Gromala and Dr. Chris Shaw, along with ongoing support from Transforming Pain Group members, including Mehdi Karamnejad and Maryam Mobini.
Taking cues from other Transforming Pain Lab projects (including the Virtual Meditative Walk), the project aims to teach users more about their body responses and how to control their stress.
The group looks forward to showcasing the project at both the FCAT Undergraduate conference happening on March 9th and the SFU Surrey Open House happening March 7th. More info can be found on the groups blog,

Professor Gromala appeared on PAINBCs radio show

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Professor Gromala was invited to PAINBC’s radio show to discuss the research in the fields such as virtual reality, biofeedback, social media, and robotics, that are explored in Pain Studies Lab. The studies are meant to assist chronic pain patients manage their pain, engage in physical activity, and be socially active.  To listen to the archived version of the show, please follow this link.

21st International Symposium on Electronic Art

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“The ISEA Board is pleased to announce that ISEA2015 the 21st International Symposium on Electronic Art will be held in Vancouver, Canada.  ISEA2015 has been awarded to Simon Fraser University in a bid led by Prof. Diane Gromala who holds a Canada Research Chair and teaches in Simon Fraser University’s (SFU) multidisciplinary School of Interactive Arts & Technology (SIAT).  The Vancouver team presented their proposal at ISEA2012 in Albuquerque in a very competitive round alongside proposals from the Netherlands, Mexico and Indonesia. The ISEA Board was impressed with the proposal’s developments since its original presentation at ISEA2011. Improvements included a stronger positioning of ISEA2015 within Vancouver’s local culture while maintaining an international perspective.  With the theme ‘Raw and the Cooked’ the symposium fill have the following focus:  “As one of the most  “green” cities on the planet, Vancouver’s inhabitants are committed to the struggle of re-visioning human relationships. Our conference will expand these human relations to non-humans—creatures, technology,  art, etc.—that have the potential to alter the relations in their collectivity through processes of individuation and transduction, among others.  The theme is meant not to bring us back to culture wars, but to provoke conversations about the impact of cultural practices on the technologies we make and use. Too often, technology is viewed in simple paradigms of so-called Western or industrialized nations vs. under-developed nations, yet the relevance of such a dichotomy fades daily. Instead, we hope to generate open discussions on the intertwining of culture  and technology.”  The development and the implementation of ISEA2015 will be managed through Simon Fraser University’s School of International Arts & Technology with the team of: Symposium Directors – Diane Gromala, Philippe Pasquier, Thecla Schiphorst Artistic Directors – Malcolm Levy, Kate Armstrong Assistant Director – Tyler Fox  With an academic conference, accompanied by a program of exhibitions, performances and workshops, ISEA2015 will be an international gathering of leading and emerging thinkers and practitioners working at the interface of art and technology to be held in July/August 2015.  This is the second time ISEA will be held in Canada with ISEA1995 being staged in Montreal.  For further details please contact ISEA Director Sue Gollifer at or