About Vista


To advance vision science through computational and biological research perspectives, and to produce world-leading applications that generate positive health, societal, technological and economic impacts for Canada and abroad.


About the Vision: Science to Applications (VISTA) program

Vision: Science to Applications (VISTA) is a collaborative program funded by the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF, 2016-2023) that builds on York’s world-leading interdisciplinary expertise in biological and computer vision. In collaboration with over 50 academic, public, and for-profit partners from around the world, VISTA will propel Canada as a global leader in the vision sciences by integrating visual neuroscience with computer vision to drive innovation.

The central scientific question that drives VISTA is ‘How can neural and/or machine systems be integrated to provide adaptive visual behavior in real-world conditions’. Answering this question will provide fundamental advances to vision science and exciting, widespread applications for visual health and technologies. Our overarching aim is to advance visual science through research that spans computational and biological perspectives and results in real-world applications.


Board of Directors

Robert Haché, PhD (Chair)

Vice-President Research & Innovation

Lisa Philips, PhD

Vice-President Academic and Provost

Carol McAulay

Vice-President Finance and Administration

Jeff O’Hagan

Vice-President Advancement

Paul McDonald, PhD

Dean, Faculty of Health

Jane Goodyer, PhD

Dean, Lassonde School of Engineering

Esaias J. Janse Van Rensburg, PhD

Interim Dean, Faculty of Science

Norma Sue Fisher-Stitt, PhD

Interim Dean, School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design

J. J. McMurtry, PhD

Interim Dean, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies

Leadership Team

Doug Crawford, PhD

Scientific Director, Vision: Science to Applications (VISTA)
Distinguished Research Professor in Neuroscience
Canada Research Chair in Visuomotor Neuroscience

York Centre for Vision Research,
Brain in Action CREATE/IRTG Program,
Canadian Action and Perception Network (CAPnet),
Neuroscience Graduate Diploma Program and Departments of
Psychology, Biology, and Kinesiology & Health Sciences

Doug Crawford completed his PhD in Physiology at Western University in 1993 and then spent two years as an MRC Fellow at the Montreal Neurological Institute, before joining the York Department of Psychology in 1995. For the past 22 years his work at the York Centre for Vision Research has focused on the control of visual gaze in 3D space, eye-hand coordination, and spatial memory during eye movements. This has resulted in over 140 papers in publications such as Nature, Science and Annual Review of Neuroscience, and has garnered numerous awards, including the 2004 Steacie Prize. He has trained over 50 graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, so far guiding more than 25 of these into long-term research, clinical and teaching positions. He founded the York Neurophysiology Labs, the York Graduate Diploma Program in Neuroscience, and the Canadian Action and Perception Network (CAPnet), and co-founded the 'Brain in Action' International Research Training Program, with partners in Germany.

Richard P. Wildes, PhD

Associate Director, Vision: Science to Applications (VISTA)
Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, Lassonde School of Engineering

Richard Wildes received a Ph.D. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1989. Subsequently, he joined SRI (then Sarnoff Corporation) as a Member of the Technical Staff in the Vision Technologies Group. In 2001, he joined the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (then Computer Science) at York University, where he is an Associate Professor, Department Chair, Associate Director of the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) funded project Vision Science to Applications (VISTA) and a member of the Centre for Vision Research, where he previously was Associate Director. His research focuses on pure and applied aspects of computational vision, with an emphasis on motion and stereo analyses as well as their applications. He also is widely recognized as a pioneer in iris recognition for human identification. He has received extensive research funding from both government (e.g., CFI, CFREF, DARPA, DRDC, NSERC, OCE) and private (e.g., GM Canada, MDA, nVIDIA, Viewgle) agencies. Honors include receiving a Sarnoff Corporation Technical Achievement Award, the IEEE D.G. Fink Prize Paper Award and twice giving invited presentations to the US National Academy of Sciences. He holds multiple US patents and has over 6000 citations.

Lauren Sergio, PhD

Lead, Research Coordinating Committee
Professor, School of Kinesiology and Health Science, Faculty of Health

Centre for Vision Research
Coordinator, Neuroscience Graduate Diploma Program
York Lions Sport Medicine team

Lauren Sergio is a Professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science, and a member of the Centre for Vision Research at York University. She has studied the neural control of movement since 1988. After completing a bachelor's degree at McGill University in physiology, she did her Ph.D. there in psychology with David Ostry. She then pursued post-doctoral studies in neurophysiology at the Université de Montréal with John Kalaska. Her research examines the effects of age, sex, neurological disease, head injury, and experience (elite versus non-elite athletes) on the brain's control of complex visually-guided movement. Dr. Sergio works with a wide range of adult populations, including NHL draft prospects and dementia patients, using behavioural and brain imaging techniques. She is also a Research Affiliate at Southlake Regional Health Centre, part of the York University Sport Medicine team, and is the director of York University's Neuroscience Graduate program.

Denise Henriques, PhD


Lead, Training Committee
Twitter: Henrique5Denise
Professor, School of Kinesiology & Health Science, Faculty of Health

Centre for Vision Research
Director, CREATE Brain in Action

Denise Henriques completed her PhD in Psychology at York University in 2002, and did her postdoctoral training at the University of Minnesota and Western before joining the School of Kinesiology and Health Science as a faculty member in 2004.  Her research interests centre on how the brain uses sensory information in motor control, and specifically on sensorimotor integration, spatial processing, and motor learning. Her work has successfully challenged several key assumptions underlying previous sensorimotor models resulting in 67 peer-reviewed papers, which have been very well-received and has significantly contributed and in some cases, transformed our understanding of sensorimotor learning and spatial coding. The recognized, impact of her research has led to several awards including the Polanyi Prize in Physiology and Medicine (2005), an Early Researcher Award (2007), and Alfred P Sloan Fellowship (2009), as well as many international seminar invitations and funding from several granting agencies and foundations (NSERC, DAAD, Sloan). She has successful trained 17 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, and has active research collaborations both in Europe and the USA (resulting in 14 publications). She is the director of an NSERC CREATE international training grant, the Brain in Action, with partners in Germany.

James Elder, PhD

Lead, Partnership Committee
Associate Professor, Lassonde School of Engineering

Director, NSERC CREATE Training Program in Data Analytics & Visualization
Principal Investigator, Intelligent Systems for Sustainable Urban Mobility (ISSUM)
Core Member, Vision: Science to Applications (VISTA)
Faculty Member, Graduate Program in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Faculty Member, Graduate Program in Psychology
Associate Member, Graduate Program in Mathematics & Statistics

Sarah Howe, MBA, RTTP

Director, Innovation York

Sarah is a business development professional with extensive experience fostering innovation and developing strategic business operations. She is a leader and a strategist who successfully created a vision for an innovation office in Canada`s third largest University, obtained buy-in from the Executive, and executed on that vision to develop Innovation York, an office that delivers five service streams within a complex multi-stakeholder environment: research agreements, industry partnerships, knowledge mobilization, commercialization, and entrepreneurship. In her present role as Director, Innovation York, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day operations and the strategic direction of the office.

Sarah joined York University in 2010 as the Associate Director, Intellectual Property & Research Agreements and became the Director, Innovation York in September 2012. Prior to joining York, Sarah worked as a contracts coordinator and then as a business development officer at The Hospital for Sick Children. She has an MBA in technology and innovation management from the Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University.

Michael Brown, PhD

Lead, Performance Monitoring Group
Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Lassonde School of Engineering

Dr. Michael S. Brown received his undergraduate and PhD degrees in Computer Science from the University of Kentucky in 1995 and 2001 respectively.He has over 13 years of academic experience working in Asia, holding prior faculty positions at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) and the National University of Singapore.His research interests are in the area of computer vision, image processing and computer graphics with an emphasis on physics-based models for image enhancement and restoration. Dr. Brown regularly serves on the senior program committees of the major computer vision conferences (CVPR, ICCV, ECCV) and is currently an associate editor for the IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence (TPAMI) and the International Journal on Computer Vision (IJCV).

Mazyar Fallah, PhD

Co-Lead, Facilities and Infrastructure Development Committee

Associate Dean of Research and Innovation, Faculty of Health

Dr. Mazyar Fallah is the Associate Dean of Research and Innovation in the Faculty of Health and an Associate Professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science. He received his PhD in Psychology and Neuroscience from Princeton University in 2001 and completed a fellowship at the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences in 2005. His research interests include understanding the neural circuitry that mediates attention and neural binding. Dr. Fallah uses systems and cognitive neuroscience approaches to understand how attention works, how features are integrated across multiple brain areas to form object representations, and how attention and object representations drive eye movements. This research is performed through a combination of techniques including, behaviour and psychophysics, eye tracking, EEG, and electrophysiology.

Dr. Fallah has held various university administrative positions including, Undergraduate Program Director in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science at York University, and continues to serve on various committees on campus. His work helps to foster the success of university-wide research centers and multi-investigator research grants and programs.

Laurence Harris, PhD

Co-Lead, Facilities and Infrastructure Development Committee
Director, York Centre for Vision Research
Professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health
Link to http://www.yorku.ca/harris/

Laurence Harris received his PhD from Cambridge University in 1979. After post-docs in Durham (UK) and Dalhousie (Canada) he became a lecturer in Physiology at Cardiff University. He moved to York University in Canada in 1990 where is presently the director of the Centre for Vision Research. His research interest concerns how the different senses are combined to generate our perceptions. Examples include the visual and vestibular system's role in orientation and self motion perception; vision and hearing's role in localizing events in space and time; and how knowledge of our body affects our perception of stimuli. He is particularly interested in the way these combinations can adapt to changing demands brought about by unusual environments which he creates using various means including virtual reality, the microgravity of space, human centrifuges, and moving rooms. Additional information can be found at:

Michael Jenkin, PhD

Director, York Centre for Field Robotics

Michael Jenkin is a Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, and a member of the Centre for Vision Research at York University, Canada. Working in the fields of visually guided autonomous robots and virtual reality, he has published over 150 research papers including co-authoring Computational Principles of Mobile Robotics with Gregory Dudek and a series of co-edited books on human and machine vision with Laurence Harris.
Michael Jenkin's current research intrests include work on sensing strategies for AQUA, an amphibious autonomous robot being developed as a collaboration between Dalhousie University, McGill University and York University; the development of tools and techniques to support crime scene investigation; and the understanding of the perception of self-motion and orientation in unusual environments including microgravity.

Rebecca Pillai-Riddell, PhD

Associate Vice-President, Research & Innovation

Canadian Psychological Association
Ontario Psychological Association
APA Division 54, Society for Pediatric Psychology
Canadian Pain Society
International Association for the Study of Pain
Infant Mental Health Promotion Project


Niusha Barmala, MBA

Program Director
416-736-2100 x44192

Linda Moradzadeh, PhD

Project Manager (on leave)
416-736-2100 x44197

Zemina Meghji, MA

Project Manager
416-736-2100 x44197

Olivia Lin Zheng, MBA

Business Officer
416-736-2100 x44193

Yaser Kerachian, PhD MBA

Commercialization Manager
416-736-2100 x33843

Katherine Seton

Marketing & Evnts Coordinator
416-736-2100 x44162