Simon Fraser University’s Surrey campus. (File photo).

SFU Surrey gets eBrain centre and Homeware lab

Centre to help diagnose and treat neuropsychiatric disorders, the lab deals with Internet of Things

An “eBrain” centre and “Homeware” laboratory are being set up at Simon Fraser University’s campus in Surrey with a mind toward helping youth with mental health and addiction issues as well as advancing digital technology.

So what is a Homeware lab and an eBrain centre?

Let’s start with the latter.

The eBrain centre will be a research facility that aims to develop new technology-based diagnostic and treatment methods that will “safely, reliably and inexpensively assess brain health,” Marianne Meadahl, a spokeswoman for SFU, explained in a news release. “It will also lead to innovation strategies that extract and control markers of brain health and translate them into clinical trials.”

READ ALSO: Surrey SFU students win $35K for sleep apnea tech

READ ALSO: Cloverdale’s KPU Tech campus receives $500,000 to fund trades, tech equipment

Professor Faranak Farzan, SFU’s chairwoman of technology innovations for youth addiction recovery and mental health, will be in charge of it. She is considered a leading expert in developing neuromodulation technology — involving the alteration of nerve activity by stimulating specific spots in the human body — for diagnosing and treating neuropsychiatric disorders.

Dr. Faranak Farzan. (Photo: SFU).

“A unique function of the eBrain Centre is that it will integrate research and discovery between major stakeholders, including university, hospital, health policy makers, industry, and community,” Dr. Farzan said. “This will serve to centralize and oversee the process of discovery, innovation, and translation of biomedical research outcomes to benefit youth who are impacted by mental health and addiction issues.”

Meantime, Dr. William Odom, an assistant professor at SFU Surrey’s School of Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT), will be in charge of the new Homeware Lab, a first of its kind in Canada, where researchers will “efficiently translate people’s experiences with everyday analog objects to design of new IoT artifacts,” Meadahl said. “The lab will develop and refine integrative design processes for creating, producing, testing IoT artifacts and embedded systems, and studying them in real-world contexts.”

What’s IoT, or Internet of Things?

“The Internet of Things refers to connecting all kinds of devices, like cellphones, headphones, lamps, appliances and many other things,” Meadahl told the Now-Leader.

Odom is also co-director of the Everyday Design Studio and on the steering committee of the Interaction Design Research Centre.

Dr. William Odom. (Photo: SFU).

“The lab will be unique in Canada and rare in the world,” he said. “This research requires a laboratory to support the rapid iterations between and across the design and production stages of prototyping, fabrication, assembly, finishing, and deploying research products.”

Odom said there’s “increasing demand” for new approaches to IoT systems that match “real-world needs and living situations of Canadians in ways that are user-driven, beneficial, and offer sustained value over time.

“Knowledge and technology will be transferred effectively through collaboration with end-users in local, national and international industry,” Odom noted, “the community of human-computer interaction and design researchers and practitioners, and educational communities. Ultimately, the availability of IoT technology integrated into people’s everyday domestic lives will provide significant health and security benefits for Canadians.”

The Canada Foundation for Innovation John R. Evans Leaders Fund will support the two projects, providing $250,000 for the eBrain centre, $50,000 for the Homeware lab and $150,000 to support research into exposure to early life stressors conducted by Dr. Nadine Provencal, of SFU’s Faculty of Health Sciences.

Meadahl noted that Kirsty Duncan, federal minister of science and minister of sports and persons with disabilities, has announced more than $24 million in funding from the John R. Evans Leaders Fund to support 186 new research projects at 37 Canadian universities.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Just Posted

BREAKING: Plecas won’t run in next election if legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Mission firefighters to climb 48 flights of stairs in full gear

Group is raising money for the BC Lung Association

Case where son tried to evict mom ends with judge ordering sale of Abbotsford home

Mom gets back down payment and initial expenses of Signal Court property

Snow, road clearing kept Mission Public Works busy last week

Cost abount $125,000 over a four day period and more snow is expected

Garry Handlen’s ‘Mr. Big’ confession could have been fabricated, judge says

Details revealed of why evidence of Abbotsford girl’s 1975 murder was found inadmissible

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Prominent B.C. realtor says he doesn’t know how child porn got on his computer

Closing arguments heard in Ian Meissner’s Chilliwack trial for accessing, possessing child porn

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Avalanche control planned tomorrow on Highway 1

The highway will be closed in the morning east of Revelstoke

Mayors approve SkyTrain extension to UBC

Next step is a business plan and public consultation

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Snow turns to slush, rain as it warms up across B.C.’s south coast

Some areas are already covered by more than half a metre of snow following three separate storms

Most Read