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Albert “Skip” Rizzo, Ph.D.

Chief Science Officer

Skip serves the Cognitive Leap Executive Team as our Chief Science Officer, utilizing his expertise as a psychologist/neuropsychologist leading our research efforts, with a particular focus on virtual reality and research. Skip is a pioneer in virtual reality therapy, currently serving as the Director of Medical Virtual Reality at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies and also works as a Research Scientist and Research Professor at the Institute for Creative Technologies and Department of USC Department of Psychiatry and the USC Davis School of Gerontology.


Over the last 20 years, Skip has conducted research on the design, development and evaluation of Virtual Reality 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. This work has focused on ADHD, PTSD, traumatic brain injury, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke aftermath and other clinical conditions. In each of these areas, Skip focuses on how interactive and immersive Virtual Reality simulations can be practically applied in new ways.


As an author or co-author, Skip is on more than 200 scholarly articles in peer-reviewed journals. He is also an editor on a number of scholarly journals, including The International Journal of Virtual Reality, and is the creator of the Virtual Reality Mental Health Email Listserver (VRPSYCH). 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.Skip earned his B.A. in Psychology (Magna Cum Laude) from the University of Hartford in 1977, his M.S. in Experimental Psychology from the University of New Orleans in 1982, and his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the State University of New York-Binghamton in 1991.

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