Erik Viirre, M.D. Ph.D, is a Professor at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) in the Department of Neurosciences. Working in the UCSD Health System since 1997, he treats people with vertigo, balance problems and tinnitus. Dr. Viirre’s scientific interests include vision, hearing and the vestibular system and higher cognitive function where he is extensively published and cited in the scientific literature with numerous papers, textbook chapters and patents. He has made presentations around the world to universities, corporations and government agencies.
Dr. Viirre has carried out work in a broad range of areas including neurophysiology, military medicine, human space flight, laser technology and neuroethics. Since 2019, Dr. Viirre has been the Director of the Arthur C Clarke Center for Human Imagination, a center dedicated to the Neuroscience of Imagination, and themes of Cosmology, Science Fiction and the future of Humankind. He had the privilege of meeting Sir Arthur in Sri Lanka in 2002.
At the Clarke Center, Dr. Viirre directs Human Neuroscience research and has been the co-PI and PI on microgravity space projects bringing stem cell neurons in autonomous bioreactors to the International Space Station on SpaceX flights. Dr. Viirre has had research funding from and served as a consultant for: the National Institutes of Health, the United States Navy, DARPA, NASA, the National Academies of Science and other agencies. He has been a leading participant in a variety of start-up companies, including Zero G Corporation, 3E Corporation, Otosound and Cen Inc. As Chief Medical Officer of Zero G, Dr. Viirre led the medical team that explored gravity fields with Stephen Hawking.