who are we....

    current  alumni







current members
Ellen Balka, Director

Ellen Balka, Ph.D. is a professor in the School of Communication (Simon Fraser University), and a Senior Research Scientist at the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation Studies at Vancouver General Hospital. She also holds positions at the School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Simon Fraser University; Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia; and School of Health Information Sciences, University of Victoria. 

She began the ATIC Lab in 1997 in order to support multi-disciplinary research concerned with socio-technical aspects of technology.  ATIC Lab projects focus on (1) the assessment of technology in actual use contexts from users' perspectives, and (2) the links between the policy environment and user environment.  

Dr. Balka's interests include the design and implementation of health sector information technology, technology assessment, end user studies of technology, field research methodology, end user participation in system design, women and technological change, and science, technology and society perspectives on artistic production.

Visit Dr. Balka's personal web page

View Dr. Balka's CV

View Dr. Balka's profile on SFU's School of Communication

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Dr. Ellen Balka, Director of ATIC

Shannon Coates

Shannon Coates is an M.A. candidate enrolled at the School of Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT) at Simon Fraser University. Her interest in information technology for health care applications led her to join the ATIC lab with Dr. Balka as her senior supervisor. Shannon is pursuing research related to handovers in health care and informational continuity of care, with an eye to developing design guidelines for the creation of new systems for the management of patient information in the pre-hospital care chain. back to top

Shannon Coates
Fiona MacGregor

Fiona MacGregor is a Ph.D. student at the School of Communication (Simon Fraser University). She holds a Master of Women's Studies (MWS) from Memorial University of Newfoundland for which she researched gender, computer programming and the Internet. She has taught Women's Studies for the past 6 years as a Sessional Instructor at Athabasca University, Mount Royal University, and the University of Calgary focusing primarily upon women and health as well as women and technology. 

Fiona's current research interests focus on knowledge translation or the use of health trends emerging from electronic patient records to inform various stakeholders in the creation and application of future health information. back to top

Fiona MacGregor

Casey McCarthy
Casey McCarthy holds a B.A. in Communication from Simon Fraser University and a certificate in Technical Communication from Vancouver Island University. In her role as a research assistant, she assists Dr. Balka with the administrative duties related to the HeIDE project. Her experience also includes an internship with the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC), where she worked on the IT Training Team. Casey previously worked on the ACTION for Health project from 2006-2008, where she contributed to a study on the BC HealthGuide. back to top

Casey McCarthy
Marianne Tolar

Dr. Marianne Tolar is a post-doctoral fellow and research associate at the ATIC lab. In her work, she combines her backgrounds in social sciences and computer science to study the use of computers in different areas (e.g. health care, education), using concepts and theories from the fields of computer supported cooperative work (CSCW) and science and technology studies (STS). Through ethnographic studies she investigates the mutual shaping of work and supporting computerized information and communication systems. back to top

Marianne Tolar





Brandi Bell

Brandi Bell holds a Joint Ph.D. in Communication (Concordia University), M.A. in Communication (Simon Fraser University), and B.A. in Communication and Women's Studies (University of Ottawa).  Her Master's thesis looked at young women and feminism on the Internet, and she continues to explore the relationship between young women/girls and technology as her primary research interest.  Brandi was a member of the ATIC lab between Fall 2000 and Spring 2003. Brandi is now a Research Coordinator at Comprehensive School Health Research, University of Prince Edward Island. back to top 

Pernille Bjørn

Pernille Bjorn holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science and an interdisciplinary master degree in Computer Science and Educational Studies. Pernille was a Post-Doctoral Fellow on the ACTION for Health project from January 2007 to July 2008. Her research with the ATIC lab included a collaboration with a Canadian Pediatric hospital concerning the design and re-configuration of a patient tracking and triage IT system. She is currently an Associate Professor at the IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark. back to top

Nina Boulus

Nina Boulus holds a Ph.D. in Communication (Simon Fraser University) and an M.A. in Informatics (System Development) from the Department of Informatics at the University of Oslo in Norway.  Nina worked with the ATIC lab from 2004-2010. Her research interests concern health informatics, including: design and use of electronic patient records; clinical information systems; and health management information systems. Nina is currently an Assistant Professor at IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark.  back to top

Kaye Buchholz

Kaye Buchholz holds an M.A. in Communication from Simon Fraser University.  Kaye is interested in  health, information technology and society. Her thesis work focused on how people use the Internet as an alternative space for reporting adverse drug reactions. She worked at the ATIC lab from 2002-2003. back to top

Ana Maria Bustamante

Ana Maria Bustamante holds an M.A. in Latin American Studies (Simon Fraser University) and a B.A. in International Relations and Diplomacy with specialized courses in Communications.  She is interested in the application of health communication as a strategy in health promotion. Ana Maria was a research assistant at the ATIC lab in 2004. back to top

Arsalan Butt

Arsalan Butt is a Ph.D. student in the School of Communication (Simon Fraser University) and holds an M.Sc. from the School of Interactive Arts and Technology (Simon Fraser University). Arsalan worked with the ATIC lab on a Health Canada funded project concerned with technology governance and patient safety in healthcare. He also worked on the ACTION for Health project from 2004-2006, where his work included a study on the BC HealthGuide. He is currently working as the data manager for the Neonatal Follow-Up program at the BC Children’s Hospital. back to top

Michelle Daly

Michelle Daly holds a B.A. in Communication from Simon Fraser University. Her research interests include: gender and technology, participatory design, and online communication. Michelle worked at the ATIC lab from 2000-2001. back to top

Patrick Feng

Patrick Feng holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. (Science and Technology Studies) from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. His dissertation, entitled Designing a 'Global' Privacy Standard: Politics and Expertise in Technical Standards-Setting, investigated how the work of international standards organizations shapes both technology development and policy-making. Patrick was a Post-Doctoral Fellow with the ATIC lab from 2003-2004Currently, he is an Assistant Professor in the Science Technology and Society program at the University of Calgary. back to top


Kelly Fox

Kelly Fox was the Project Co-ordinator for the ACTION for Health project from 2005-2008, managing human resources, finances, IT, team communication, team meeting organization, SSHRC reporting and other administrative issues, negotiating timelines, deliverables and budget with more than twenty co-investigators world wide. In 2007, she presented Analysis of Internet cancer discourses: infantilization and pink boxing gloves at the Society for Social Studies of Science Annual Meeting in Montréal. She taught communication research methods to third year students for five semesters.

Kelly holds an MSc (with Distinction) in Science, Culture and Communication from the University of Bath. Her BSc in Microbiology and Immunology was from McGill University.

Kelly is currently Project Manager of Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage: theory, practice, policy, ethics (IPinCH). 
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Janet Freilich

Janet Freilich holds a B.A. from Cornell University. She worked on the ACTION for Health project from 2006-2008, where she contributed to studies on ghost charts and nurse's injury rates. She is currently studying Law at Harvard University. back to top

Faiza Hirji 

Faiza Hirji holds a B.A. in Communication from Simon Fraser University, and an M.A. and a Ph.D. from Carleton University’s School of Journalism and Communication.  Faiza spent the summer of 2002 working in the ATIC lab on projects involving gender, health and the Internet, among other topics. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Humanities, McMaster University.  back to top

Bev Holmes

Bev Holmes holds a Ph.D in Communication (Simon Fraser University). She was a member of the ATIC lab from 2003 to 2006. Having worked as a writer and communications consultant in BC's health care sector for 12 years, Bev's interests include the production, dissemination and use of health information. Bev currently works for the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, where she is responsible for Communications and Knowledge Exchange. back to top

Casper Bruun Jensen

Casper Bruun Jensen worked as a Post-Doctoral Fellow on the ACTION for Health project, specifically on issues arising for health care providers as they increasingly use information technology in the health sector. Casper received his Ph.D. in 2004 from the Department of Information and Media Studies at the University of Aarhus, Denmark, for his thesis entitled Experimental Devices: Studies in STS and Electronic Patient Records. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Information and Media Studies at the University of Aarhus in Denmark. back to top



Nicki Kahnamoui

Nicki Kahnamoui holds a M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from Simon Fraser University. She was a member of the ATIC lab between 2003 and 2005, during which time she worked on the "Technology Trouble" project. Her work experience spans business consulting, design and implementation of information technology. Currently, Nicki is Director of Business Development for the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics, University of British Columbia. She is also Acting Communications Manager for NeuroDevNet.    back to top

Guenther Krueger

Guenther Krueger has a long-standing interest in a variety of health-related issues. A former nurse, he has been working as a medical writer for the past 14 years. He has degrees in nursing, counselling psychology, and liberal studies in which he also did health-related work from a social perspective. Guenther holds a an interdisciplinary Ph.D. from Simon Fraser University. His doctoral work examined families who have experienced Sudden Infant Death, with an emphasis on how they use technology such as the internet in order to restructure their lives. back to top

Tracy Lee

Tracy Lee holds an M.A.Sc in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Toronto and a B.Eng Mechanical Engineering from McMaster University. Tracy worked on the Knowledge to Action project from 2008-2009. Her work focused on knowledge translation and assisting a Vancouver clinic with utilization of their EMR system to extract secondary data to provide both feedback about the practice and support in their practice change decisions.  back to top

Per Lindberg

Per Lindberg holds a Ph.D. from Karolinska Institutet and an M.Sc in Ergonomics from Linköping University. Per worked on the ACTION for Health project as a Post-Doctoral Fellow from 2006-2007. His work focused on Ghost Charts, or duplicate medical charts. He is currenly an Assistant Professor at the Centre for Musculoskeletal Research at the University-College of Gävle, Sweden.  back to top

Anne McCulloch

Anne McCulloch holds an M.A. in Communication (Simon Fraser University) and a combined Honours Bachelor of Journalism and Political Science from Carleton University. Anne's research interests lie in Science and Technology studies (STS), literacy and health, and production, dissemination and use of health information. Anne worked on the ACTION for Health project from 2005-2007, where she studied English- and French-speakers' use of the Canadian Health Network. Anne currently works as a Research Coordinator for the BC Cancer Agency. back to top

Janet Morrison

Janet Morrison is a Registered Nurse with a Bachelor of Health Sciences in Specialty Nursing (Occupational Health) and National Certification in Occupational Health Nursing (Canada). She also holds Masters degrees in Adult Education, and Library and Information Studies. She is currently a Ph.D. student at Simon Fraser University. Janet worked on the ACTION for Health project from 2006-2007. Her work focused on technology and occupational health in health sector workplaces. She is currently Program Head of Occupational Health Nursing at British Columbia Institute of Technology.  back to top

Ann-Marie Nicol

Anne-Marie Nicol holds degrees in Epidemiology (Ph.D., University of British Columbia), Environmental Studies (M.E.S., York University) and Communication (B.A., Simon Fraser University). Anne-Marie worked as a Post-Doctoral Fellow on the ACTION for Health Project. Her contributions include an extensive literature review of recent works on online health-information-seeking behaviour of patients, as well as involvement with the Vancouver Public Library Health-Information-Seeking Survey and the Farsi BC HealthGuide mass media project. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the School of Environmental Health, University of British Columbia. back to top

Kelsey Nutland

Kelsey Nutland holds a First Class Honours B.A. in Communication (Simon Fraser University) and an M.A. in Public Policy with a specialization in Innovation, Science and the Environment (Carleton University). Since graduating from Simon Fraser University, she has worked as an independent researcher in the health policy field with a focus on clinical research, seniors' health and Health Technology Assessment. She is currently a Management Consultant at Interis Consulting. Kelsey was a Research Assistant with the ATIC Lab from  2002 to  2004. back to top

Katrina Peddle

Katrina Peddle holds a Joint Ph.D. in Communication (Concordia University) and an M.A. in Communication (Simon Fraser University). Her Master's thesis explored the contextual factors influencing telehealth-use in Labrador, Newfoundland, Canada. Katrina's research interests surround the implications of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) on health care in rural communities. Katrina worked with the ATIC lab from 2002-2004. She is currently studying law. back to top

Brian Peterson

Brian Peterson has worked extensively in the areas of technology assessment and development as an academic researcher, governmental consultant and within industry. As an alumnus of the ATIC lab, Peterson's interests fundamentally lie in examining the social construction of technology. Prior research has focused on Internet and wireless data communications; however, increasingly his interests have shifted beyond communication technologies to alternative energy and into the examination of sustainable design and development of technological systems. He currently works in the computer industry. back to top



Kjetil Rodje

Kjetil Rodje is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Communication (Simon Fraser University). He holds a Master’s degree in Sociology, from the University of Oslo, Norway. Kjetil’s academic interests include Post-structuralism, Cultural Studies and Science and Technology Studies (STS). Kjetil worked on the ACTION for Health project from 2005-2008. back to top

Zena Sharman

Zena Sharman recieved an M.A. in Communication from Simon Fraser University. Her Master's thesis explored the relationships among gender, technology and nurses' caring work in relation to a Patient Care Information System. Zena was a member of the ATIC Lab from 2002 to 2004. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate at UBC's Interdisciplinary Studies program and the Assistant Director of CIHR’s Institute of Gender and Health. back to top

Karen Smith

Karen Smith is currently a Ph.D. student in the Faculty of Information Studies and Knowledge Media Design Institute at the University of Toronto. She holds an M.A. in Communication from Simon Fraser University. Previously, she worked as a Netcorps Intern in The Philippines with a non-governmental organization focused on the migrant workers sector, and with a media outreach program addressing HIV and AIDS issues. Karen has also worked for a major online banking site in a content management role. Karen’s research interests lie in applications of technology for social inclusion. She was a member of the ATIC lab from 2004-2006, during which time she conducted research about the use of an internet terminal in a clinic waiting room. back to top

Amanda Walker

Amanda Walker holds a B.A. in Communication from Simon Fraser University.  She was a member of the ATIC lab between 1998 and 2003, contributing to various projects. Her research interests include women and popular culture, gender and technology, and participatory design. back to top


Last Update: July 22, 2010

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