We are a research group and laboratory.
We invent systems to help transform the lives of people who live with pain,
and take into account their biological, psychological and social contexts.


“I Dreamed of My Hands and Arms Moving Again...”


Virtual Reality pioneer Dr. Diane Gromala has been leading research
and development of VR health applications for over 25 years.


Our mission: To create, build, test & scientifically validate
innovative technology to help people who live with pain.


Our goal: To help people live healthier, happier and more pain-free lives.


Our patient-centered approaches mean we work with patient-partners
every day to really understand their lived experiences.

In this study, patients with severe phantom limb pain
came to Beijing every week to use our VR system for
our longitudinal research study led by Dr. Xin Tong.


The Pain Studies Lab is a research group and physical research space
funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) at Simon Fraser University’s
School of Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT).
It was founded and is directed by Distinguished Professor Dr. Diane Gromala.

The diversity of our research work is reflected in our federal funding:

CIHR: The Canadian Institutes of Health Research

NIH: National Institutes of Health (U.S.)

NCEs: Canada’s Networks of Centres of Excellence


Kid’s Brain Health Network NCE (formerly NeuroDevNet)


NSERC: The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

NSF: National Science Foundation (U.S.)


SSRCH: The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada


CFI: Canada Foundation for Innovation

CRC: Canada’s Research Chairs

The Pain Studies Lab was named one of Google’s first Solve for X labs.


Google on Solve for X:
“Moonshots live in the gray area between audacious projects and pure science fiction; instead of mere 10% gains, they aim for 10x improvements. The combination of a huge problem, a radical solution, and the breakthrough technology that might just make that solution possible is the essence of a Moonshot.”

“Great Moonshot discussions require an innovative mindset – including a healthy disregard for the impossible – while still maintaining a level of practicality.”

“Dr. Gromala’s work is unlike any other,” Dr. Brennan Spiegel, at vMED, Cedars Sinai Hospital, 2020.