Biologic and Materials Sciences & Prosthodontics Faculty Research Researchers Technology & Innovation

U-M XR Initiative podcast features Dr. Alex DaSilva updating H.O.P.E. Lab research3 min read

November 9, 2020

U-M XR Initiative podcast features Dr. Alex DaSilva updating H.O.P.E. Lab research3 min read

Ann Arbor, Mich., Nov. 9, 2020 – The research of School of Dentistry faculty member Dr. Alexandre DaSilva was the subject of a recent podcast conducted by the director of the University of Michigan’s Extended Reality (XR) Initiative.

Jeremy Nelson interviewed DaSilva about his research as director of the Headache and Orofacial Pain Effort Lab, or H.O.P.E Lab. The MiXR Studios podcast is called “Visualizing Pain with Augmented Reality.”

Dr. Alexandre DaSilva

DaSilva’s research team uses a variety of neuro-imaging techniques, including 3D software and Augmented Reality devices, to examine pain centers in the brain in a clinical environment. Researchers are exploring how to visualize pain in real time to help with its treatment and management as it relates to dentistry. The lab is also researching Virtual Reality meditation as a method to help manage pain and anxiety for dental treatment.

DaSilva is Associate Professor in the Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences & Prosthodontics at the dental school, and is Director of the school’s Learning Health Systems (LHS) Initiative. 

The MiXR Studios podcast is a weekly interview by Nelson as part of U-M’s Center for Academic Innovation, which is leading the strategic XR Initiative. The podcast hosts innovators who discus subjects related to how XR is transforming the educational landscape. They share best practices and discuss how XR can play a role in extending academic excellence in teaching and learning. XR is an all-inclusive term to describe immersive technologies. It includes Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality(VR) and Mixed Reality (MR), plus ones still to be created.

In September 2019, the Office of the Provost announced the campus-wide XR Initiative to leverage emerging XR technologies to strengthen the quality of a Michigan education, cultivate an interdisciplinary scholarly community of practice at U-M, and enhance a nationwide network for academic innovation. The Center for Academic Innovation, which brings the U-M community together to extend academic excellence, expand public purpose, and discover new frontiers for teaching and learning, was charged with leading the initiative.

A transcript of the podcast and related videos can be found here.

The podcast audio is here.

More information on the H.O.P.E. lab is here.


The University of Michigan School of Dentistry is one of the nation’s leading dental schools engaged in oral health care education, research, patient care and community service.  General dental care clinics and specialty clinics providing advanced treatment enable the school to offer dental services and programs to patients throughout Michigan.  Classroom and clinic instruction prepare future dentists, dental specialists and dental hygienists for practice in private offices, hospitals, academia and public agencies.  Research seeks to discover and apply new knowledge that can help patients worldwide.  For more information about the School of Dentistry, visit us on the Web at:  Contact: Lynn Monson, associate director of communications, at, or (734) 615-1971.