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Trio receives research chair funding

June 26, 2008

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By Marianne Meadahl

Three Simon Fraser University faculty members are the latest to receive funding from the federal government’s Canada Research Chairs program.

Diane Gromala, an associate professor in SFU Surrey’s School for Interactive Arts and Technology, sociology professor Cindy Patton and education professor Phil Winne are among the 129 faculty members from 35 universities across Canada to receive new or renewed funding.

Gromala, one of 29 new Canada Research Chair (CRC) holders, receives funding for a Tier 2 Chair in Multidisciplinary and Multimedia Arts. She is the founding director of SFU’s BioMedia lab and is working with physicians to learn how virtual reality therapies can give people suffering from chronic pain ways to express and keep track of their pain. An artist and designer, Gromala also does research in interface design and critical analyses of interactive art, media and culture.

Patton currently holds a Tier 2 CRC in Community, Culture and Health and is developing a community-based research unit called the Health Research and Methods Training Facility at SFU’s Vancouver campus at Harbour Centre.

Another of her research goals is to investigate "complex" patients. "This work will look at several cases in which multiple medical disciplines must work together," she explains. The work will explore differences between medical subdisciplines, medical and allied health approaches to the patient, and lay and expert understandings of disease.

Winne holds a Tier 1 Chair in Self-Regulated Learning and Learning Technologies. He is continuing his research program on the strategies students use to study and how they manage these strategies to become better learners.

The federal government is investing $113 million to fund the chairs. The CRC program is designed to attract the best talent from Canada and around the world, helping universities to achieve research excellence in natural sciences and engineering, health sciences and social sciences and humanities.
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