Albert “Skip” Rizzo, PhD, is a clinical psychologist/neuropsychologist and director of medical virtual reality at the University of Southern California (USC) Institute for Creative Technologies. He is also a research professor with the USC Department of Psychiatry and the USC Davis School of Gerontology.
Skip conducts research on the design, development, and evaluation of virtual reality (VR) systems targeting the areas of clinical assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation across the domains of psychological, cognitive, and motor functioning in both healthy and clinical populations. In this work, he has focused on posttraumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Alzheimer disease, stroke, and other clinical conditions.
In spite of the diversity of these clinical research and development areas, the common thread that drives all of his work with digital technologies involves the study of how interactive and immersive virtual reality simulations can be usefully applied to address human healthcare needs beyond what is possible with traditional 20th-century tools and methods.
In 2010, he received the American Psychological Association Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Practice of Trauma Psychology, and in 2012, the Medicine Meets Virtual Reality Satava Award for excellence in the use of VR for therapeutic applications. In 2015, he received the Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics Pioneer in Medicine Award, presented to individuals who have significantly contributed to the scientific advancement in the fields of medicine through a multidisciplinary approach.
To view some videos on his work, please visit his YouTube channel.