The International Society for Virtual Rehabilitation is proud to support and recognize our members through various award programs. We are excited to, once again, offer our Society and Congress Awards at our 2024 Congress: The World Congress on Virtual Rehabilitation which will be presented by ISVR and XR4REHAB.

Key Dates

Society Awards Timeline

Call for Nominations Opens: December 11, 2023
Call for Nominations Closes: February 2, 2024
Award Winners Notified: End of February 2024

Conference Awards Timeline

Judging Begins: June 26, 2024
Judging Ends: June 28, 2024
*Winners Announced at Closing Remarks

Distinguished Service Award

We are pleased to announce the call for the 2024 ISVR Distinguished Service Award. The purpose of this award is to recognize and acknowledge “exceptional leadership, dedication and service”. Award will consist of a certificate, a complimentary registration, and an opportunity to present a Keynote address at the World Congress of ISVR to be held in June 2024 as a joint congress with XR4REHAB.

Nominations are encouraged from both ISVR & XR4REHAB members. However, there must be a secondary nomination or vote of support from an ISVR board member. You can find the list of ISVR board members here.

2024 Winner

Judith E. Deutsch

Judith E. Deutsch

Rutgers University

Talk: VR for stroke rehabilitation: What does the Cochrane evidence tell us?

Abstract: This talk will reflect on the evolution of the evidence supporting virtual reality for stroke rehabilitation. The emphasis will be on upper limb use, gait, balance and activities of daily living using the Cochrane Reviews on the topic published in 2011, 2015, 2017 and 2024. This reflection will be contextualized within the broader work from the Rivers Lab.

Bio: Judith E. Deutsch PT PhD FAPTA is Professor and Director of the Research in Virtual Environments and Rehabilitation Sciences (Rivers) Lab in the Department of Rehabilitation and Movement Science at Rutgers University.  Her current research includes the development and testing of virtual reality and serious games to improve mobility and fitness of individuals with neurologic health conditions. She contributes to the transfer of the technology and knowledge synthesis and translation aimed at facilitating adoption and evidence-based practice of these technologies. She is a member is of the Editorial Boards of Games for Health. NIH, NSF and AHA have funded her work.

Previous Winners

2023: Mindy Levin, McGill University

2022: No Award Given

2021: Skip Rizzo, University of Southern California

2020: Award not Instituted

2019: Award not Instituted

2018: Award not Instituted

2017: Award not Instituted

2016: Award not Instituted

Early Career Investigator Award

We are pleased to announce the call for the 2024 ISVR Early Career Investigator Award. The purpose of this award is to recognize and acknowledge outstanding contributions by early career scientists whose research relates to virtual rehabilitation. The recipient will be awarded a certificate, a complimentary registration, and the chance to present a talk at the World Congress of the ISVR in June 2024 as a joint congress with XR4REHAB.

2024 Winner

Maxime Robert

Maxime Robert

Université Laval

Talk: The use of virtual reality in children with cerebral palsy: mechanisms and therapeutic approaches

Abstract: During the presentation, various aspects surrounding the clinical application of active video games for children with cerebral palsy will be explored. Specifically, Dr. Robert will delve into the findings of a previous study indicating the efficacy of active video games in enhancing physical fitness among children with cerebral palsy. Furthermore, the discussion will encompass an examination of the disparities between kinematics and postural control observed in virtual environments compared to real-life scenarios. Dr. Robert will further elaborate on the crucial role of sensation in facilitating motor learning. Emphasis will be placed on integrating motor learning principles into the design of interventions utilizing virtual reality systems. Concluding the talk, Dr. Robert will spotlight current virtual reality interventions aimed at enhancing both social engagement and motor functions in individuals with physical disabilities.

Maxime Robert is an assistant professor at Université Laval in Québec City, Canada. His research program encompasses a broad spectrum, spanning from neuroanatomical and physiological studies to enhancing rehabilitation interventions for individuals with cerebral palsy, extending to community-based initiatives. Each component of his research program synergizes towards a common objective: enhancing the quality of life and fostering social engagement for children with physical disabilities. Integral to his research endeavors is the integration of virtual reality as an innovative and effective tool adjunct to therapy, aimed at stimulating and facilitating motor recovery.

Previous Winners

Naomi Gefen, ALYN Hospital
Runner Up:
Sebastian Rutkowski, Opole University of Technology

2022: Athanasios Vourvopoulos, Instituto Superior Tecnico (IST) & University of Lisbon

2021: Marika Demers, University of Montreal

2020: Tal Krasovsky, University of Haifa

2019: Danielle Levac, University of Montreal

2018: Sandeep Subramaniam, UT Health San Antonio

2017: Roberto Llorens, Technical University of Valencia

2016: Monica da Silva Cameirão, University of Madeira

Best Talk Award

The ISVR Best Talk Awards are awarded to the most innovative and exciting conference platform presentation as identified by a panel of junior and senior ISVR members led by the Awards Co-Chairs. Each award is given to a junior (student, postdoc) and a senior (3 years from terminal degree) recipient. Recognition includes a cash prize (for junior awardees only), recognition on the website and in an ISVR Newsletter/eblast,
and a certificate.

2023 Winners

Senior Winner - Tal Krasovsky

Senior Winner - Tal Krasovsky

University of Haifa

Presentation: Hybrid tele-rehabilitation for children: Initial results of a scoping review 

Tal Krasovsky is a senior lecturer in the Department of Physical Therapy at University of Haifa and a researcher at the Department of Pediatric Rehabilitation at Sheba Medical Center. She completed a PhD in Rehabilitation Science from McGill University in 2013, under the supervision of Prof. Mindy Levin, and post-doctoral work with Prof. Tamar Weiss and Prof. Rachel Kizony. Dr. Krasovsky’s interest is in the ability of technology to serve as a barrier as well as facilitator to motor performance in aging and clinical populations. The presentation at WCISVR 2023 is part of a joint research project with Dr. Naomi Gefen, Prof. Patrice L. (Tamar) Weiss, Dr. Liat Gafni and Prof. Rachel Kizony, funded by the Chief Scientist Office at the Israeli Ministry of Health.

Junior Winner - Daniela Chan Viquez

Junior Winner - Daniela Chan Viquez

University of Toronto

Presentation: A movement tracking videogame with a family-centered approach to upper limb rehabilitation for children with cerebral palsy

Daniela is a pediatric physiotherapist from Costa Rica. She came to Canada in 2015 to pursue a MSc in Rehabilitation Sciences at McGill University. During her MSc, she studied the acquisition of locomotor skills during early childhood, approaching it from a motor control theory perspective. Following the completion of her MSc, Daniela undertook a Ph.D. in the collaborative program of Rehabilitation Sciences and Biomedical Engineering at University of Toronto, where she explored the intersection of technology and pediatric rehabilitation. Her current focal point involves the integration of interactive computer play (ICP) technologies, such as videogames, into home-based rehabilitation programs for children with cerebral palsy. She is specially interested in finding successful ways in which these ICP technologies can be used as an alternative motor therapy for children with disabilities living in rural communities and developing countries, where access to rehabilitation services is limited. With her PhD coming to an end, Daniela hopes to continue her research career with a focus on bridging accessibility gaps to rehabilitation care in underserved populations and international settings.


Previous Winners

2022: Sandeep Subramanian, UT Health San Antonio & Elizabeth Wilson, Temple University
2021: No Award Given
2020: No Award Given
2019: Grigore Burdea, Bright Cloud International Corp & Oran Ben-Gal, National Instuments
2018: No Award Given
2017: Danielle Levac, University of Montreal & Desiderio Cano Porras, Tilburg University
2016: No Award Given

Best Poster Award

The ISVR Best Poster Awards are awarded to the most innovative and exciting conference poster presentation as identified by a panel of junior and senior ISVR members led by the Awards Co-Chairs. Each award is given to a junior (student, postdoc) and a senior (3 years from terminal degree) recipient. Recognition includes a cash prize (for junior awardees only), recognition on the website and in an ISVR Newsletter/eblast,
and a certificate. 

2023 Winner

Senior Winner - Rachel Kizony

Senior Winner - Rachel Kizony

University of Haifa & Tel Aviv University

Presentation: Age effects on Performance and brain Engagement during simulation of an internet-based shopping task

Rachel Kizony, OT, PhD,  is affiliated with the department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Haifa and Tel Aviv University. She is also affiliated with the Occupational Therapy at the Sheba Medical Center. Her research aims to explore the role of cognition in everyday function.

Senior Winner - Gianluca Sorrento

Senior Winner - Gianluca Sorrento

Toronto Western Hospital

Presentation: Combining virtual reality and a splitbelt treadmill to induce freezing of gait in Parkinson’s disease

Gianluca U. Sorrento is a Scientific Associate in the Movement Disorders Clinic at Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network in Toronto, Canada. He currently oversees the research centre’s gait laboratory. His research interests in gait and posture stem from his doctoral studies completed in Rehabilitation Sciences at McGill University where he investigated the role of haptic inputs in adaptation and post-adaptation effects in gait post-stroke. He has since expanded his basic and clinical research to include populations with neurodegenerative movement disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease. He is interested in how these populations can improve locomotor and postural function with the use of virtual reality, sensory perturbations, and cognitive loading.

Junior Winner - Marina Petrevska

Junior Winner - Marina Petrevska

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

Presentation: Using Interactive Computer Play in Clinical Practice in Pediatric Rehabilitation

Marina graduated from the University of Toronto in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology and went on to complete her Master of Science in Physical Therapy degree at Queen’s University in 2019. Since then, she has been working at the Scarborough Health Network as a physiotherapist in the acute medicine and stroke rehabilitation units.

After working with children with disabilities for over ten years as a program coordinator, lead coach and volunteer for the Pickering Soccer Club All Abilities Program and board member for the Centre for Accessible Sport and Play, Marina began her PhD at the University of Toronto in 2020 under the supervision of Dr. Virginia Wright and Dr. Elaine Biddiss. Through her doctoral work at the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute and in conjunction with the Bloorview Research Institute, Marina aims to develop a novel home-based therapy gaming system to improve lower limb function and engagement outcomes for children with cerebral palsy.

Best Product Demonstration Award

The ISVR Best Product Demonstration Award will be presented to the demo that best represents innovative and exciting clinical applications of virtual reality for assessment or intervention purposes. Recognition includes a cash prize, placement on the website and in an ISVR Newsletter/eblast, and a certificate. Award decision is determined by a panel of junior and senior ISVR members led by the Awards Co-Chairs.

Sponsored By:


2023 Winner

Iveta Fajnerova

Iveta Fajnerova

National Institute of Mental Health

Presentation: OCD House – Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy for ObsessiveCompulsive Disorder

Iveta Fajnerova studied psychology and neurobiology, and obtained her PhD in neuroscience at the 3rd Medical Faculty of the Charles University in Prague. She is a head of the VR Research centre at the National Institute of Mental Health in Czech Republic. Her work focuses on the use of VR in research, diagnosis and therapy of psychiatric disorders, with emphasis on anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder and cognitive impairments.