Research Director


Dr. Bertram Unger is the Research Director of the Clinical Learning and Simulation Facility, and Assistant Professor in the Section of Critical Care in the  Department of Internal Medicine,  at the University of Manitoba.  He is also a member of the Manitoba College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Manitoba and Canadian Medical Associations, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Society for Simulation in Healthcare.   

He graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Manitoba in 1990. While there, he obtained a BSc. (Med) for research in neurophysiology on the origin of intracranial pressure waves. He has practiced medicine since then in Critical Care at a number of different institutions.

 In 1999, Dr. Unger completed an undergraduate degree in Computer Engineering at the University of Manitoba.  He then pursued a PhD. in Robotics and Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, completing his dissertation in 2008. His doctoral research investigated haptics and the perception of touch, and included virtual texture synthesis and the design of bilateral force-feedback teleoperation systems. As a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Pittsburgh's Bioengineering department, he worked on in situ ultrasound and CT medical imaging.

Dr. Unger is currently engaged in a variety of research pursuits in addition to his clinical practice in Critical Care. His research interests and associated on-going projects in medical simulation include:

 Application of engineering solutions to problems in immersive medical simulations

Computer-controlled cyanosis modelling for robotic mannequins
Projected cues during central catheter placement
Virtual world environments for immersive medical simulation and rehearsal 

    Validation an evaluation of immersive medical simulations the following ongoing projects

        Does suspension of disbelief  influence learning in immersive simulations?
        Does delaying debriefing after immersive simulation affect educational outcomes?

      Evaluation of the psychomotor and cognitive aspects of laparoscopic skills training

          Investigating hand kinetics and kinematics during laparoscopic training
          Can we train laparoscopic surgeons with video games?

        Development and validation of haptic models for skills training

            Validation of a virtual reality haptic temporal bone dissection simulator - a collaboration with Ohio State University and the Department of Otolaryngology
            Mixed-reality haptic simulation for complex anatomical structure

          He also has an interest in robotics and engineering solutions to clinical problems in medicine, surgery and critical care. This includes an interest in virtual operative rehearsal, robot-assisted and remote teleoperated surgery, and telemedicine.

           Dr. Unger is currently the organizer of the Medicine, Engineering and Simulation Grand Rounds, held monthly on topics of interest at the intersection of these three fields. He is also working at establishing a CLSF research group to develop a strategic research plan for the CLSF and help interested simulation researchers access resources and share ideas with their colleagues.  Click here to view is curriculum vitae.