Professor Stephane Bouchard (2005)

Stephane Bouchard holds the Canada Research Chair in Clinical Cyberpsychololgy and teaches cyberpsychology and psychotherapy at the Université du Québec en Outaouais. As a scientist-practitioner, his research shows an important preoccupation towards conducting both meaningful clinical applications of cyberpsychology and rigorous science to treat anxiety and other mental disorders. His current research projects involve developing virtual environments to treat complex anxiety disorders and pathological gambling, leading randomized control trials on the efficacy of in virtuo exposure for anxiety disorders, and conducting experimental studies to understand to why virtual reality is an effective treatment tool. Another prolific area of expertise is telepsychotherapy, where he conducts randomized control trials and processes studies on the efficacy of delivering cognitive-behavior therapy in videoconference. His research lab holds Psyche, the only six-sided total immersion virtual reality system dedicated to mental health research in the world.

He has received for more than $11 million in infrastructure and research grants, is the co-director of the Cyberpsychology Lab of the UQO and the director of the Canadian Cyberpsychology and Anxiety Virtual Lab. He has published more than 100 scientific articles and book chapters and delivered hundreds of scientific communications around the world (see w3.uqo.ca/cyberpsy for more details).

Professor Brenda K. Wiederhold (2006)

A licensed clinical psychologist in the U.S. and Europe, professor at the Catholic University in Milan, and an entrepreneur, Dr. Wiederhold is President of Virtual Reality Medical Institute in Belgium, Executive Vice-President of Virtual Reality Medical Center in California, and President of the Interactive Media Institute, a 501c3 non-profit organization. She completed the first randomized, controlled clinical trial to provide virtual reality medical therapy for war veterans suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Her most recent achievement is working with coalition first responders to provide stress inoculation training prior to deployment. These are in addition to her VR work treating patients in the civilian sector since the mid-1990s.

Professor Wiederhold works to inform and educate policymakers, funding agents, and both the scientific community and general public to transform healthcare through technology. She is recognized as a world leader in the treatment of anxiety, panic, phobias, pain and PTSD with VR exposure and cognitive-behavioural therapy, objectively measuring results with physiological monitoring devices.

She is the founder of the international CyberPsychology, CyberTherapy & Social Networking Conference, now in its 20th year, Publisher of the CyberTherapy & Rehabilitation Magazine, Secretary General of the International Association of CyberPsychology, Training, & Rehabilitation (iACToR), and Editor-in-Chief of the MedLine-indexed CyberPsychology, Behavior, & Social Networking Journal. She serves as a Clinical Instructor at UCSD and has given invited lectures on the topic of advanced technologies and healthcare in 24 countries throughout Europe, the U.S. and Asia and has published more than 150 scientific articles and fourteen books.

 Professor Giuseppe Riva (2007)

Giuseppe Riva, Ph.D., is Director of the Interactive Communication and Ergonomics of New Italy. He is also a Professor (tenure position) of General Psychology and Communication Psychology, and a member of the steering committee of the Ph.D. programme in Psychology at the Catholic University of Milan, Italy. According to the scientific databases ISI Web of Science, PubMed/Medline and PsycInfo, Riva is the scholar who authored the highest number of peer-reviewed scientific publications in the fields of “Virtual Reality” in the world (as of February 2014). These papers range from specialistic journals such as “Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Reality” (MIT Press) to general scientific journals such as “Science” (AAAS). In its first decade, Riva pioneered much of the applications that enabled the diffusion of Virtual Reality and Internet in the field of health care. Specifically, his research work led to the development of a new scientific discipline – Cyberpsychology – integrating innovative research ranging from usability and ergonomics, clinical psychology and cognitive science, to mobile devices and simulation apparatus. Through the analysis of the cognitive processes involved in simulated realities he expanded the concept of “Presence” the feeling of being there – originally developed by communication and technology scholars.

Professor Cristina Botella (2008)

Professor Cristina Botella is Full Professor of Clinical Psychology at Jaume I University (UJI) in Castellon (Spain) since 1992. Director of Labpsitec (www.labpsitec.es). Head of one groups CIBER (Centre for Network Biomedical Research) in the area of Biomedicine and Health Sciences. Botella is also director of the Doctorate Programme in Psychology at UJI. She has trained 14 scholarship holders within the framework of the Spanish Researcher Training Program and she has been Ph.D. supervisor for 25 students, all of whom graduated Cum Laude with honors.

She has been principal investigator in more than 40 research projects and published over 150 papers. Her main line of research is the treatment of psychological disorders, and the use of ICTs (virtual reality, augmented reality the Internet and mobile apps) to promote health and wellbeing. Labpsitec has pioneered novel use of tools based on ICT and new human-machine user interfaces which are used worldwide. Dr Botella serves as referee for more than 40 scientific organizations and journals. She was president elect of the International Association of CyberPsychology, Training & Rehabilitation (iACToR) in 2009. She received the PhD award at Valencia University in 1983. The Annual CyberTherapy Excellence in Research Award at Cybertherapy 2008. The “Social Board Award for Excellence in Research” at University Jaume I, in 2009. First prize “Scientific Dissemination” of Banco Santander 2011. Prize “William Evans Visiting Fellow”, Otago University in New Zealand 2012. First Prize LLGA Cities Pilot the Future. San Francisco 2013 (USA).

Professor Hunter Hoffman (2009)

Hunter Hoffman, Ph.D.,  is currently a research scientist at the University of Washington Dept of Engineering (affiliate faculty in Radiology and Psychology) in Seattle, part time Research Scientist at Shriners Galveston Texas, and Effat University in Saudi Arabia.  In 1993, Hoffman gained access to VR technology, switched fields, and quickly became one of the early pioneers of applying virtual reality technology to difficult medical and psychological problems. Hoffman’s SnowWorld, the first VR pain distraction World, was in a Smithsonian curated design museum exhibit.  VR distraction typically reduces pain of burn patients by 20-50%1 (Hoffman, Patterson, Sharar).  2). SpiderWorld with tactile augmentation to treat spider phobias.  3). Hoffman and clinical psychologist JoAnn Difede designed the first VR world for treating civilian post-traumatic stress disorder (WTC).  4). Hoffman was the lead designer of BusWorld and IraqWorld.  5).  Hoffman and Jeff Magula designed and developed custom original hardware technologies, such as photonic fiberoptic magnet-friendly VR goggles that can be used during fMRI brain scans, and water friendly VR goggles that can be used by burn patients in the hydrotank.  Hunter Hoffman was named one of the top “fast 50” innovators of the next 10 years.

Professor Sun I. Kim (2010)

Professor Kim Sun Il was appointed as a professor to the College of Medical of Hanyang University in 1988. He founded first graduate course of Biomedical Engineering in Korea at Hanyang University as an interdisciplinary team in 1996, and established the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the College of Medicine in 2000.

Since 1995, he has been the manager of the Medical Engineering R&D project, one of the National R&Dprojects organized by the Ministry of Health and welfare. In recognition of his efforts, he served as the general manager of National Science Foundation of Korea’s Fundamental Research Center. This is an affiliated organization of the National Research Foundation of Korea, which is the largest research support institution in Korea.

Professor Sun Il Kim established the undergraduate program of Biomedical Engineering at the college of engineering in Hanyang University and now concentrates to cultivate professional talented people who combine medical science and engineering ability.

Professor Mark D. Wiederhold (2011)

Mark D. Wiederhold, is an Internal Medicine Specialist with extensive experience in Critical Care Medicine.  He was a member of the medical at staff of Scripps Clinic Green Hospital, Pomerado Hospital, and the Naval Hospital at Camp Pendelton. Over the past 38 years, he has been involved in a variety of clinical and research settings.  He was the Director of Clinical Research, Department of Internal Medicine at Scripps Clinic, and was a Clinical Assistant Professor in Internal Medicine at University of California San Diego School of Medicine.  He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, a Certified Physician Executive (CPE), a Diplomate of the American College of Physician Executives, and certified by the Certifying Commission in Medical Management.  He is currently the President of the Virtual Reality Medical Center and develops simulated environments that enable the user to achieve success in training, therapy and educational goals.  He has developed over 200 virtual environments for the treatment of PTSD and anxiety disorders.  VRMC clinics have treated over 1000 patients with combined virtual reality exposure therapy and physiological monitoring.

Professor  Mariano Alcaniz (2012)

Dr. Mariano Alcañiz is a Full Professor at the Polytechnic University of Valencia (Spain) and Director of the Human-Centered Technology Institute (LabHuman). He is a professor of Biomedical Engineering and has courtesy appointments in Virtual Reality.

His research interest is focused on how virtual reality related technologies can augment human abilities and performance in fields like medicine, health, education and marketing. From a scientific point of view, his interest is to understand and classify the relevant significance of each aspect of the human activity and how to use this information in computer mediated technologies for enhancing human abilities and quality of life. From a technological point of view, his objectives are to improve interactive technology in virtual environments used at different formats and the development of algorithms, methods and techniques for ubiquitous and non-obtrusive measurement of human activity.

Dr. Alcañiz has over 100 publications in the area of computer mediated human activity and patents on augmented reality and computer aided surgery. He has been the coordinator of various European projects and national research projects related to the area. He is also the coordinator of several national R&D programs of excellence. He is the National Program Coordinator of the Information Society Technology (IST) of the Ministry of Science and Innovation of Spain and he is the Spanish representative for ICT area at the Horizon 2020 European Research program Committee. He is the founder of several spin-off companies related with his research field. A native French-speaker, he was born in Paris.

Professor Richard M. Satava. (2013)

Richard M. Satava, MD FACS, is Professor Emeritus of Surgery at University of Washington Medical Center (Seattle),

Prior positions include Professor of Surgery at Yale University, military appointment as Professor of Surgery (USUHS) Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Program Manager at Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and Senior Science Advisor at US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command in Ft. Detrick, MD.  Undergraduate training was Johns Hopkins University, medical school at Hahnemann University of Philadelphia, internship at Cleveland Clinic, surgical residency at Mayo Clinic with a Master of Surgical Research.  During 23 years of military surgery he has been an active flight surgeon, an Army astronaut candidate, MASH surgeon for the Grenada Invasion, and a hospital commander during Desert Storm, all the while continuing clinical surgical practice.

He has served on the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Committee on Health, Food and Safety. He is on numerous committees of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), is past-president of many surgical societies, on the editorial board of numerous surgical and scientific journals, and active in numerous engineering societies.  He has been continuously active in surgical education and surgical research, with more than 200 publications and book chapters in diverse areas of advanced surgical technology, including Surgery in the Space Environment, Video and 3-D imaging, Architecture for the Next Generation of Healthcare,  Plasma Medicine,  Telepresence Surgery, Virtual Reality Surgical Simulation, and Objective Assessment of Surgical Competence and Training.

Professor Andrea Gaggioli (2014)

Professor Gaggioli is a Research Professor of General Psychology at the Catholic University of Milan, Italy; Senior Researcher of the Interactive Communication and Ergonomics of New Technologies – ICE-NET – Lab. at the Catholic University of Milan, Italy, and Deputy Head Researcher at the Applied Technology for Neuro-Psychology Laboratory – ATN-P Lab., Istituto Auxologico Italiano. For over ten years, Professor Gaggioli has investigated the potential role of pervasive technologies in promoting mental and physical wellbeing. His involvement with those research areas has led to the co-authoring of over fifty articles in refereed journals, including these papers published in “Science”: (i) Gaggioli A., Riva G., Working the Crowd, Science. 2008 Sep 12;321(5895):1443; (ii) Gorini A, Gaggioli A, Riva G. Virtual Worlds, Real Healing. Science. 2007 Dec 7;318(5856):1549. For his scientific work, Professor Gaggioli received several international acknowledgements, including the 2005 Annual Prize of the European Academy of Rehabilitation Medicine (http://www.aemr.eu/). In addition, he has recently completed coordinating the European Commission funded INTERSTRESS project (Interreality in the Management and Treatment of Stress-Related Disorders). This STREP project explored the potential of a new human-computer paradigm – “Interreality” – for the management of psychological stress.