PIA Executive Committee:

Technology and Dementia


Chair: Christopher Nugent, DPhil

Chris is the Head of the School of Computing and holds the position of Professor of Biomedical Engineering. 

He received a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronic Systems and DPhil in Biomedical Engineering both from Ulster University. Chris joined Ulster University as a Research Fellow in 1999 and was appointed as Lecture in Computer Science in 2000. Following this he held positions of Senior Lecture and Reader within the Faculty of Computing and Engineering before his appointment as Professor of Biomedical Engineering in 2008.  From 2015-2017 Chris was the Director of the Computer Science Research Institute.  In 2016 he was awarded the Senior Distinguished Research Fellowship from Ulster University.

His research within biomedical engineering addresses the themes of the development and evaluation of technologies to support ambient assisted living. Specifically, this has involved research in the topics of mobile based reminding solutions, activity recognition and behaviour modelling and more recently technology adoption modelling. He has published extensively in these areas with papers spanning theoretical, clinical and biomedical engineering domains. He has been a grant holder of Research Projects funded by National, European and International funding bodies.
He is the Group Leader of the Pervasive Computing Research Group and is also the co-Principal Investigator of the Connected Health Innovation Centre at Ulster University. 

Vice Chair: Julie Robillard, PhD
Dr. Julie Robillard is Assistant Professor of Neurology at the University of British Columbia, Scientist in Patient Experience at BC Children's and Women's Hospital and Director of the Neuroscience, Engagement and Smart Tech (NEST) lab. She is Chair of the Ethical, Legal, Social Impacts Committee of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging, a member of the Technology and Dementia Executive Committee of the International Society to Advance Alzheimer’s Research and Treatments, and an AGE-WELL Network Investigator. Dr. Robillard brings her multidisciplinary background in neuroscience and biomedical ethics to the study of issues the intersection of aging, health and technology. Her current work focuses on the evaluation of the patient experience of brain health technology and on the integration of artificial intelligence in technology for older adults.


Programs Chair: Allison Lindauer, PhD
Dr. Allison Lindauer is a nationally-certified gerontological nurse practitioner with a PhD in gerontological nursing.  Over the last 20 years, she has focused on providing high quality, culturally-relevant care to older adults.   Her clinical work involves caring for those with dementia at the Layton Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease Center.   Dr. Lindauer is also the Director of Outreach, Recruitment and Education at the Layton Center, one of 30 NIA-funded Alzheimer’s Disease Centers in the nation.  Dr. Lindauer’s research focuses on using technology to advance caregiving science using telehealth.   She is the Faculty Lead on Oregon’s first dementia-centered ECHO, Dementia 360.  Dr. Lindauer serves on national (Gerontological Society of America) and international (Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, Professional Interest Area: Technology) committees.

Communications Chair: Ian Cleland, PhD
Ian Cleland Ph.D, is a Lecturer in Data Analytics, within the School of Computing at Ulster University. His research focuses on the development and evaluation of novel healthcare technologies that incorporate concepts from pervasive computing, biomedical engineering and behavioural science. Areas of particular interest include, technologies for measuring and motivating healthy behaviours, supporting healthy independent living at home, activity recognition and the use of wearable and mobile computing for longitudinal measurement, specifically physical activity. He is a grant holder of projects funded by the European Union under Horizon 2020 including Marie Curie Actions projects, REMIND and ACROSSING. Ian has an extensive network of academic and industrial collaborators, with whom he has co-authored research publications. He is a regular reviewer for scientific journals and conferences, including IEEE Computer, IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics and MDPI Journal sensors. He has served as Programme Committee Chair for the 9th International Work-conference on Ambient Assisted Living (IWAAL 2015 and 2017). In 2018 Ian was awarded Ulster University’s Early Career Research Excellence Award. 

Programs Student Trainee: Michael Wong, BPharm, MPH

Major research interest is digital dementia screening in elders. My research focus is to develop digital screening platform for dementia screening. By analyzing drawing behavior between dementia patients and healthy controls, a model can be derived to screen for dementia. Besides digital screening, I am also interested in evidence-based medicine, such as conducting meta-analysis.

Communications Student Trainee: Nicole Bouranis, MA
Nicole Bouranis, MA is a research coordinator at the Oregon Center for Aging & Technology at OHSU and a Health Systems & Policy PhD student at the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health in Portland, OR. Her dissertation research utilizes community-engaged principles to identify multi-level factors affecting clinical research enrollment among people with Alzheimer's disease and other related dementias (ADRD). Other areas of research include dementia caregiving and telehealth as well as the use of unobtrusive in-home and mobile technologies to assess changes in activities of daily living and cognitive function. In addition to her research, she teaches undergraduate courses in health policy and health ethics.


Immediate Past Chair: Arlene Astell, PhD

Arlene Astell is Professor of Neurocognitive Disorders and Director of the Berkshire Memory and Cognition Research Centre at the University of Reading and Affiliate Scientist at University Health Network, Toronto. Arlene has over twenty years’ experience developing and evaluating interventions to support people to age as well as possible, particularly people living with dementia. She leads the User Needs Work Package in the AGE-WELL, Canada’s Ageing and technology network and has just completed a large multi-site Horizon 2020 project evaluating technologies to support older adults to live well at home with cognitive impairment. Arlene has authored over 180 peer-reviewed publications plus contributions to professional and practice journals. Her most recent book: “Adaptive Interaction and Dementia: How to Communicate without Speech” was published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers  in January 2018, with a second book “Technology for dementia: A guide for everyday living” due out later this year.