Lab Canada

Researchers receive over $3.9M from Ontario Research Fund

Kingston, ON – Two Queen’s researchers have received over $3.9 million from the Ontario Research Fund – Research Excellence program.

“This provincial funding will facilitate the work of Stephen Scott, who is uncovering the secrets of the brain, and boost Roel Vertegaal’s research on the next generation of computers and the future of human-computer interaction,” said Kerry Rowe, Queen’s vice-principal, research. “The program is a great support to research and innovation at Queen’s.”

Dr Scott received $2,940,000 for his research using robotic, eye-tracking and virtual reality technologies to unravel how the brain functions, and how neurological disorders affect these processes.

“The brain is the most complex and least understood organ of the human body. It supports all aspects of sensory, motor and cognitive function and even a small lesion to this structure can have a devastating impact on these functions, and thus severely impact the quality of life of an individual,” says Dr Scott. “This funding allows our research team to understand basic principles on how the brain supports these functions and importantly develop better diagnostic tools to quantify brain dysfunction due to neurological and psychiatric disorders.”

Dr Vertegaal received $1,003,800 for his research at the Queen’s Human Media Laboratory focusing on organic user interfaces. The project is aimed at developing computers that will be able to take on flexible forms, and respond to direct touch and even change their shape to better accommodate data. Dr Vertegaal’s work promises to revolutionize human-computer interaction and create a new computing industry.

“The funding will be used as operational funding for the new Human Media Lab facility on the Queen’s Campus, which was designed by world-famous designer Karim Rashid,” says Dr Vertegaal. “The research that is conducted will be on Organic User Interfaces, user interfaces with flexible display technologies. This will bring world-class industrial design to the world of computer products, focusing on objects with integrated computer interfaces.