A recently awarded grant from the Brain Foundation to Institute researchers was featured in their summer newsletter. Our research, in collaboration with clinician Dr Wes Thevathasan, is aimed at providing therapies for a debilitating symptom of Parkinson’s disease - freezing of gait - which often leads to falls and injury.
Annual Public Lecture set for April 20th -Save the Date-
February 26, 2016
“Entrepreneurs, business and research: can we get the right mix to drive innovation in Australia?”
The Bionics Institute Annual Lecture will be held at the Melbourne Museum on the 20th April 2016. Providing the keynote address will be Ms Catherine Livingstone AO, Chairman of Telstra Corporation Limited, President of the Business Council of Australia and previous CEO and Managing Director of Cochlear Limited.
Global Mentorship Pilot Program to assist researchers
February 4, 2016
Congratulations to Dr Mohit Shivdasani on recently being awarded a place in the Association for Research Vision and Ophthalmology(ARVO) global mentorship program. Mohit, who is a Research Fellow and Biomedical Engineer at the Institute, has said it will be a unique experience and he is excited to be chosen as one of 50 participants worldwide among only 25 outside the US.
As part of the program Mohit will be paired with a mentor to further his career development in vision and opthalmology research.
Knowledge Nation 2016
December 11, 2015
Knowledge Society and the Office of the Chief Scientist announced the Knowledge Nation 100. This gathering in Sydney on March 21 will convene with policymakers and key stakeholders to discuss common agenda and turn ambition into action. The Director of the Bionics Institute, Professor Rob Shepherd, has been selected as one of 100 leaders who create and apply knowledge.
He joins with Australia's best thinkers, researchers, knowledge creators, industry and university leaders and government for this critical national conversation. Read more...
A year at the Bionics Institute
November 28, 2015
The Bionic Institute's 2014-15 annual report is now available.
Click here to read about the year's highlights and the research and accomplishments of our scientists and engineers. Visit our publications page to view previous annual reports, supporter newsletters and more.
A philanthropic investment in bionic vision
October 23, 2015
The Bionics Institute congratulates Dr Matt Petoe (third from right) on receiving a 2015 Health Investment Grant from The Ramaciotti Foundations. This prestigious grant is awarded to promising early career scientists to support research with a potential path to clinical application. These funds will help Matt advance the quality of artificial vision in the second generation bionic eye. Read more…
A bionic approach to bowel disease
October 13, 2015
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA, USA) recently announced seven teams to work on their ‘Electrical Prescriptions’ (ElectRx) program. The aim of this program is to develop technologies that modulate the activity of peripheral nerves to restore healthy function to organs. The Bionics Institute is part of a team that includes the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, The University of Melbourne, and Austin Health, which will focus on a bionic solution to inflammatory bowel disease. Read more…
Open garden fundraiser
September 23, 2015
Next month enjoy a beautiful open garden and support the Bionics Institute’s hearing and neurobionics research.
WHEN: Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th October, 2015
WHERE: 23 Salmon Street, KOO WEE RUP
All proceeds will be donated to the Bionics Institute
See An Invitation to Open Garden for opening hours and directions.
Two guys, two bikes, four rides
September 18, 2015
Yesterday, the Bionics Institute was delighted to host a book launch for John Nelson, one of our incredibly supportive and inspirational Ambassadors. His book Help the Children Hear recounts his four bike rides around Australia and New Zealand with his fellow Rotarian Ted Lowe. A week before the start of his first fundraising ride John became very ill and needed to have both legs amputated, but this did not change his determination.
Between 2004 - 2011 and with the support of many Rotary clubs, John rode an astounding 18,000 km on a recumbent bike and raised $130,000 for our cochlear implant research. Read more…
A Walk in the Park
September 1, 2015
Our Institute team enjoyed a ‘Walk in the Park’ on August 30th to support Parkinson's Victoria's annual fundraising and awareness day. Thank you to everyone who donated to our team - your generosity contributed to the fantastic total of $197,430 raised by 3000 walkers and their supporters. These donations will greatly assist in the search for a cure and the delivery of vital support services to people living with Parkinson’s disease, their families, and carers.
Australian medical researchers celebrate
August 12, 2015
Bionics Institute Director Professor Rob Shepherd expressed his delight that the legislation for the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) was passed today in the Senate. “This news is cause for celebration, not only by Australian medical researchers but the beneficiaries of our work – those living with disabling or life-threatening illnesses who look to our sector for medical breakthroughs and innovation. We congratulate the Government and Parliament for their vision and commitment in establishing this Fund." Read more...
Medical Research Future Fund
August 11, 2015
Bionics Institute Director, Professor Rob Shepherd was recently invited to the Commonwealth Government’s Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee to inquire into and report on the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) Bills. Passage of the Bills, expected to be debated today, would pave the way for the appointment of the Advisory Board to develop the MRFF’s five year Strategy and two year Priorities, and enable the first disbursements of around $10 million to be made this financial year. Read more of Rob Shepherd’s statement.
10 of the best research projects
July 31, 2015
Each year the NH&MRC highlights 10 of the best projects funded. The recently published report for 2014 featured epilepsy research led by Prof Mark Cook (St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne) in collaboration with Prof Peter Blamey and A/Prof Chris Williams from the Bionics Institute and Profs David Grayden and Tony Burkitt from the University of Melbourne. This project developed ways to predict an impending seizure. To know more, click here.
Developing a new treatment for severe incontinence
July 20, 2015
The Bionics Institute is bringing its expertise in bionic device design to a new collaborative project aimed at developing a novel treatment for severe stress urinary incontinence. Led by the University of Melbourne (A/Prof Brock), and including the Institute, Charles Sturt University and Neosphincter Technologies Pty Ltd, this project was recently funded by the Australian Research Council and will develop a novel electrode as an integral component of a device that can regulate the bladder.
This research project represents an exciting expansion of our capabilities and collaborative networks, and an opportunity to apply our skills to a new area of clinical need.
MedTech’s got talent
June 23, 2015
The Institute congratulates PhD candidate Kyle Slater and his colleagues David Sly and Luke Campbell for winning the MiniFab MedTech’s Got Talent prize for their product nuraloop - personalised headphones that automatically compensate for hearing loss. In August they will compete against four other finalists for $40,000 seed funding.
Vale Dr Peter Freeman
June 22, 2015
It is with great sadness that the Institute learned of the recent passing of Dr Peter Freeman, Chairman of Trustees of the Garnett Passe and Rodney Williams Memorial Foundation from 1995-2011. Peter played a significant role in the formation of the Garnett Passe and Rodney Williams Memorial Foundation, guiding it to the great foundation it is today. In 2012 he was awarded the Foundation’s Gold Medal in recognition of his length of service at the Foundation and his dedication to the advancement of the medical specialty of otorhinolaryngology throughout his professional career.
Innovation in Australia: Are we losing the plot?
June 4, 2015
Last night, Mark Dodgson, Professor of Innovation Studies at the University of Queensland Business School and Visiting Professor at Imperial College London, delivered the keynote address at the Institute's 2015 annual public lecture. To listen to his informative and objective assessment of the state of innovation in Australia click here for audio of the event.
Lifetime of dedication
June 1, 2015
The Bionics Institute congratulates Adjunct Professor Jim Patrick AO FTSE on receiving an ATSE Clunies Ross Lifetime Achievement Award. As one of the original engineers who pioneered the development of Australia’s multichannel cochlear implant, this prestigious award honours his dedication to the creation and commercialisation of a device that has changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people world-wide. ATSE media release and video.
The Clunies Ross award is given to a select group of innovators in recognition of their outstanding application of science and technology that provides economic, social and/or environmental benefit to Australia.
Celebrating the cochlear implant
May 25, 2015
A premier international acoustics conference, held last week in Pittsburgh USA, included a day of presentations to celebrate the modern cochlear implant and some of the many individuals who made it possible. Prof Colette McKay, the Institute’s Translational Hearing Research leader, was the only scientist from Melbourne invited to speak at this special session. Read more…
Our 2015 public lecture
April 29, 2015
‘Innovation in Australia: are we losing the plot?’
On the 3rd of June the Bionics Institute will host its annual lecture and we are very pleased to have Professor Mark Dodgson (pictured) as our keynote speaker. Professor Dodgson advises companies on their innovation strategies, and has been a member of, and advisor to, numerous government agencies around the world. To know more about the lecture and find out how to attend, click here.
Victorian Parliamentary Secretary for Medical Research visits the Institute
April 10, 2015
Frank McGuire (MP for Broadmeadows) is passionate about harnessing Victoria’s innovative talents for the state's and country’s future prosperity. During a recent visit to the Institute he showed his strong interest in building on the solid foundation of medical research in Victoria to create the new high tech manufacturing industries and jobs of the future. This can be achieved by supporting translational research through the 'valley of death' and into clinical and commercial reality.
(L-R): The Hon Steve Bracks AC (Institute Board member), Ms Vanessa Maxim (technical assistant), The Hon Frank McGuire (MP), Mr Owen Burns (research engineer).
A year at the Bionics Institute
March 10, 2015
The Bionics Institute's 2014 research report is now available.
Click here to view the report and read about our recent research highlights. Our publications page also contains our annual reports, supporter newsletters and more.
Fulbright scholar visits the Institute
February 24, 2015
Professor Ruth Litovsky, a 2014 Fulbright Senior Scholar, is visiting the Institute for six months to work with Institute researchers on bilateral cochlear implant projects and imaging brain plasticity in cochlear implant users. Ruth's research focusses on the importance of binaural hearing - the ability to combine information from the two ears. more…
Inaugural Lions International Neurobionics Fellow appointed
February 6, 2015
The Bionics Institute is pleased to welcome Dr Wesley Thevathasan (Neurologist, Royal Melbourne Hospital) to our neurobionics team. As the Institute’s first Lions International Neurobionics Fellow he will work with our engineers and scientists to develop and evaluate advanced deep brain stimulation systems to treat movement disorders. As well as being a busy clinician he is an active researcher, receiving NHMRC funding to determine how deep brain stimulation may improve balance and posture in Parkinson’s disease patients.
Bionic ear developer honoured with an Order of Australia
January 27, 2015
Cochlear Ltd’s Chief Scientist and Bionics Institute Honorary Fellow, Professor Jim Patrick, was awarded an Order of Australia in the 2015 Australia Day Honours for his contribution to the development of the cochlear implant. Jim has devoted his entire career to developing and improving this life-changing technology and his impact on the field has been highly significant. The Institute congratulates Jim on this honour - it is a fitting recognition of his outstanding contributions to the technical and commercial development of the cochlear implant.
Bionic ear pioneer recognised with major bioengineering award
January 12, 2015
Professor Emeritus Graeme Clark AC, Director Emeritus of the Bionics Institute, was recently awarded the 2015 Russ prize by the US National Academy of Engineering. This prestigious award recognises a bioengineering achievement in widespread use that significantly improves the human condition, and celebrates collaboration between engineering, medicine and the biological sciences. The Institute congratulates Graeme on this well-deserved award, along with four co-recipients who contributed to the success of today’s multi-channel cochlear implant. Read more on the Ohio University website.
Bioelectronics innovation challenge
January 6, 2015
GSK set a challenge to researchers around the world to develop an implantable device that can record, stimulate and/or block the activation of visceral nerves. The first team that demonstrates a working prototype wins a $1m prize. A competitive application process resulted in funding for 10 teams: the Bionics Institute is part of a successful Australian application led by the Sydney engineering group EC and Associates, and in collaboration with the University of Melbourne.
The challenge is to produce a small, wireless implantable device that modulates the activity of nerves to restore healthy function to visceral organs, such as the bladder. Read more on the GSK website and blog.