Learn more about us

Citizen Science is a social movement that brings members of the public together to participate in research projects. As a Citizen Scientist for this project, for example, you will join forces with health scientists in British Columbia by providing information about your experience of living with pain.

The purpose of Citizen Science is to learn from people like you so we can all learn more about the burden of living with pain. Researchers will use this information to generate future research questions that will ultimately help you and others like you.

The Citizen Science team

Linda Li


Dr. Linda Li is Professor and Harold Robinson/Arthritis Society Chair at the Department of Physical Therapy, University of British Columbia, and Senior Scientist at Arthritis Research Canada. She holds a Canada Research Chair in Patient-oriented Knowledge Translation. Dr. Li’s research centers on improving the care for people with arthritis and supporting patient self-care. Her work focuses on the integration of online, mobile, and wearable tools in health care. Dr. Li’s work in knowledge translation and implementation science has led to a new line of studies on the benefits of engaging patients and the public in the research process. Her work has been recognized by a Distinguished Scholar Award from the U.S. Association of Rheumatology Professionals.

Erin Michalak


Dr. Erin Michalak is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia, Program Director for the APEC Digital Hub for Mental Health, and Patient Engagement Methods Cluster Lead for the BC SUPPORT Unit. Her research expertise is in bipolar disorder, eHealth/mHealth, patient engagement in research, knowledge translation, quality of life, and implementation science. Dr. Michalak is the founder and leader of the Collaborative RESearch Team for the study of psychosocial issues in Bipolar Disorder (CREST.BD), a CIHR-funded Canadian network dedicated to collaborative research and knowledge exchange in bipolar disorder.

Kimberlyn McGrail


Dr. Kim McGrail is Data Director for the BC Academic Health Science Network. She is also a Professor at the School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Scientific Director of Population Data BC, and the Principal Investigator for the SPOR Canadian Data Platform. Her research interests are quantitative policy evaluation, aging and the use and costs of healthcare services, learning health systems, and all aspects of population data science. She conducts research in partnership with clinicians, policy makers, and the public.

Cheryl Koehn

(Patient Partner)

Cheryl Koehn is the Founder and President of Arthritis Consumer Experts and JointHealth™. She is a national arthritis advocate, a community leader and a published author. A leading arthritis advocate in Canada, she is a frequently invited speaker at national and international arthritis and health-related conferences.

Sunny Loo

(Patient Partner)

Sunny Loo is a patient volunteer with the Patients as Partners initiative of the Patient Voices Network and is on the BC SUPPORT Unit's Patient Council. A pharmacist by training, with a focus on technology and innovations, Sunny’s 35 years in the profession included taking an active role in the development and implementation of various health initiatives, as well as participating in them.

Delia Cooper

(Patient Partner)

Delia Cooper has been a dedicated patient volunteer for more than 30 years, advancing the patient voice through various advisory roles, her efforts with numerous working groups, and speaking to national and international audiences about patient engagement. She is an active member of the Patient Voices Network and sits on the board of directors for the BC Academic Science Health Network (BC AHSN).

Diane Gromala


Dr. Diane Gromala is a Professor and Canada Research Chair in Computational Technologies for Transforming Pain at the School of Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University. As the founding director of the Transforming Pain Research Group, Dr. Gromala’s primary research interests include the development of new technologies — ranging from virtual reality and robotics to social media — to improve the lives of people living with chronic pain.

Chris Shaw


Dr. Chris Shaw is a Professor and Undergraduate Chair for the School of Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University. He is the Principal Investigator of the Bio-V group which investigates new methods for the visualization and understanding of biological data. His other areas of expertise include bioinformatics, visual analytics and two-handed interfaces for 3D applications.

Jacek Kopec


Dr. Jacek Kopec is a Professor in the School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia (UBC), and a Senior Scientist at Arthritis Research Canada.

His main areas of research are musculoskeletal epidemiology, quality of life studies, and population health. Dr. Kopec has taught courses in epidemiology, measurement methods, and survey design, and has supervised or co-supervised more than 30 graduate students.

Richard Sawatzky


Dr. Richard Sawatzky holds a Canada Research Chair in Patient-Reported Outcomes at the Trinity Western University School of Nursing and is a scientist with the Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences (CHÉOS). He is the Lead for the Patient-Centred Measurement Methods Cluster of the BC SUPPORT Unit. His research focuses on the validation and use of person-centred health outcome measures and quality of life assessment instruments, with a particular emphasis on a palliative approach to care for people who have chronic life-limiting illnesses.

Stirling Bryan


Dr. Stirling Bryan is a university-based health economist with extensive experience of engagement with the policy-making and decision-making world. Over recent years, Dr. Bryan has become a strong advocate for, and practitioner of, patient-oriented research, and now partners with patients in all of his research activities. In 2016, he was appointed Scientific Director for the BC SUPPORT Unit, an operational unit of the BC Academic Health Science Network (BC AHSN), focused on promoting patient-oriented research. In 2020, he became President of BC AHSN.

Alison Hoens

(Knowledge Broker)

Alison Hoens is a clinical professor and physical therapy knowledge broker. She has worked with many teams of patients, researchers, and health care providers to create tools that help get the right information to the right people in ways that they find most helpful.

Sarah Kesselring


Sarah Kesselring, MPH, is a Special Projects Coordinator with Population Data BC and Data Lead at the BC SUPPORT Unit. Her work involves assisting the BC SUPPORT Unit’s Data Partners to organize and implement the different projects and services that are part of the Unit’s Data Plan.

Bhairavi Warke

(PhD Student)

Bhairavi Warke is a designer and researcher pursuing her PhD at the School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Simon Fraser University, under the guidance of Dr. Diane Gromala. Bhairavi’s research focuses on using design to develop positive interaction experiences that may enhance responses to treatment and promote overall well-being in patients who live with chronic conditions.

Ankit Gupta

(PhD Student)

Ankit Gupta is a computer scientist and researcher pursuing his Ph.D. at the School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Simon Fraser University, under the guidance of Dr. Chris Shaw. Ankit’s research focuses on the use of personal informatics to develop informatics technology to improve the healthcare experience and health outcomes of patients with chronic conditions.

Stephanie Therrien

(Research Coordinator)

Stephanie Therrien is a research coordinator at Arthritis Research Canada. She earned two Bachelor of Arts degrees, one in Psychology and one in Criminology, from Simon Fraser University along with a minor in Counselling and Human Development.

Amrit Sandhu

(Research Assistant)

Amrit Sandhu is a research assistant at Arthritis Research Canada. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Psychology from the University of Victoria.

Hussein Mamdani

(Research Assistant)

Hussein Mamdani is a research assistant at Arthritis Research Canada. Hussein earned his undergraduate degree in Health Sciences along with a minor in Medical Anthropology at Simon Fraser University.

Kiran Dhiman

(Research Coordinator)

Kiran Dhiman is a research coordinator at Arthritis Research Canada. Kiran earned her Master of Public Health degree from the University of Saskatchewan.

Citizen Science Pain Research is funded through the BC SUPPORT Unit

Involved partners include:

BC Support Unit
Pop data BC
University of British Columbia
Post COVID 19 interdisciplinary
Arthritis research Canada Arc
Pain lab studios
Simon Fraser University
Tactica Interactive