Erik Viirre M.D. Ph.D. is a Professor in the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Department of Neurosciences, and the Director of the UCSD Arthur C Clarke Center for Human Imagination. In the UCSD Health System, he treats people with vertigo, eye movement disorders, balance problems and tinnitus. As a Virtual and Augmented Reality technologist, Dr. Viirre has worked on human safety and medical applications of the Virtual Retinal Display (VRD), the first in-the-eye laser based display system. Dr Viirre has also worked on assessment of human effects and medical applications of Head Mounted Displays (HMDs) including uses in people with low vision and with vestibular disorders. He has had funding from the National Institutes of Health, National Science foundation, US Navy, DARPA, NASA and a variety of corporate sources on HMD technology Developments and other topics. He has numerous publications and patents including those related to HMD use and display human effects. He has developed a variety of eye movement recording systems, including eye movement recording integrated into a VR HMD.
Dr. Viirre received his Ph.D. in Neurophysiology in 1987 at the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada and his M.D. in 1988 at the same institution. His Ph.D. dissertation was on the coordination control system of binocular eye movements. He completed a Rotating Internship at St. Joseph's Medical Center in London, Canada in 1989. After his internship in London, he was a fellow at the Robarts Research Institute in functional imaging and had an eye care practice. In 1994, Dr. Viirre was a Visiting Professor in Neurology and Ophthalmology at UCLA where he did a fellowship in Medical Neurotology, the management of inner ear disorders. In 1995-99 he was a Scientist at the world leading VR group, the Human Interface Technology Lab at the University of Washington. He was also a research scientist at Virtual i-O! an early HMD company from 1996 to 1998. He was a Senior Scientist in the Human Performance Department of the US Navy’s Naval Health Research Center from 2001 to 2012. At UCSD, he has been a faculty member of the Departments of Surgery and Cognitive Science and a member of the Institute for Engineering and Medicine.