In The News

RuCCS Executive Director Sara Pixley wins Rutgers COVID-19 research grant for project "Artificial Intelligence, Pandemics, and Mental Health"


Sara Pixley, Executive Director at RuCCS, is one of the recipients of the grants as the Co-Principal Investigator for "Artificial Intelligence, Pandemics, and Mental Health." The project was granted a social
science research award by Rutgers University Center for COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness. The center encouraged biomedical and social science researchers at Rutgers to research COVID-19 and its impacts in September for eligibility in the grant opportunity. A total of 35 projects were selected from an application pool of 150. The projects aim to create new knowledge leading to effective virus treatment, improved mental health, and pandemic relief. This work is completed in collaboration with PI Vivek Singh (School of Communication & Infomration and RuCCS Affiliate) & Co-PI Vince Silenzio (School of Public

More information regarding the grants and other winning projects can be found here.






Thomas Papathomas, Professor and Director of the RuCCS Laboratory of Vision Research, is invited as a founding member to join the Editorial Board of The Journal of Illusion


The Journal of Illusion launched in October under Editor-in-Chief Akiyoshi Kitaoka of Ritsumeikan
University in Kyoto, Japan and is open for submissions. Papathomas is a Senior Editor for the journal alongside ten other professors.

Along with this, Professor Papathomas plans to continue collaborative research project across two sites (Rutgers, Rochester) with Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care's Dr. Steven Silverstein on the correlation between performance in depth-inversion illusions and illness severity in schizophrenia patients.
He has also recruited graduate research assistant Christen Crosta and two undergraduate students to continue the research project.






NJ Governor's Council for the Medical Research and Treatments of Autism awards grant to RuCCS

The grant is awarded to use RuCCS' technology at Schools to teach children how to be social using virtual environments. It is in partnership with Silas solutions, an award-winning, NSF and Microsoft funded local company catering solutions for social-emotional learning to over 45 schools across NJ, and many others in other states. Our research brings new methods, especially for social distancing times. 


RuCCS Affiliate contributes to Daily Beast article regarding COVID-19

Victoria Abraira, RuCCS affiliate and professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, lends
her expertise for a story in the Daily Beast that explores the impact of the coronavirus on our sense of touch. Read this intriguing piece and learn why Abraira says that "touch should be studied in the same rigorous way as the other senses."

Abraira was featured on CBC Radio earlier this year and is also a recipient of several awards including
NIH KO1 and Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences in 2019.

View more of her work at


Rutgers Professor of Philosophy Awarded Jean Nicod Prize

Congratulations to Frances Egan, professor of philosophy at Rutgers University and the 2020 recipient
of the Jean Nicod Prize! This prize is awarded annually in Paris to "a leading philosopher of mind or
philosophically oriented cognitive scientist." As the Jean Nicod Lecturer, Professor Egan will begin giving
her lectures in Paris, France in 2021. Egan is the fourth member of Rutgers University to receive this esteemed award, alongside Jerry Fodor, the first winner in 1993, Zenon Pylyshyn in 2004, and Stephen
Stich in 2007.