A/Prof James Fallon
A/Prof James Fallon completed a Bachelor of Science (Physiology, 1997), a Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical and Computer Science, with honours, 1998) and a PhD in Biomedical Engineering (2002) from Monash University. He then undertook post-doctoral research at the Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute in Sydney. In 2004 James joined the (then) Bionic Ear Institute to work as a Research Fellow in the Auditory Neuroscience research program, and was the Lions International Hearing Research Fellow from 2008 to 2010. In 2016 he became a Principal Research Fellow and was appointed Research Director of the Bionics Institute in 2017.
James’ research strength is chronic stimulation and electrophysiology in pre-clinical models. Over his time at the institute he has broadened his expertise to become a recognised world-leader in the use of neuroanatomical, electrophysiological, and behavioural techniques to examine the functional changes that occur as a result of chronic electrical stimulation. He is particularly known for his work examining the changes in the central auditory pathway as a result of long-term deafness and cochlear implant use, and has extended his research to include visual prostheses. More recently, he is also using his unique skillset in projects aimed at improving outcomes with Deep Brain Stimulation, particularly for Parkinson’s Disease, and the development of a neuromodulation device to treat Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
James has authored 63 peer-reviewed scientific papers and seven book chapters, in addition to authoring over 180 conference presentations at national and international conferences, including 22 as an invited speaker. He has been the principal investigator on more than $1.5M of research funding and co-chief investigator on an additional $7M including grants from the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Australian Research Council. He continues to work closely with industry through research links with Cochlear Ltd and has undertaken over $3M of commercial research.
In addition to research activities, James has also supervised 60 research higher degree students (including 12 PhD candidates), has lectured in the Masters of Clinical Audiology, The University of Melbourne, the Masters of Biomedical Engineering, Monash University and the Masters of Biomedical Engineering, La Trobe University, and has been actively involved in the Bio21 Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.
Research fields of interest
Neurophysiological effects of long term sensory deficits and chronic electrical stimulation, with particular emphasis on hearing loss and central plasticity
Neural modulation of peripheral nerves
Development of improved electrode-tissue interfaces
- Understanding how the brain processes combined electrical and acoustic stimulation
- Hearing but not listening: Using behavioural training in preclinical studies to test the ability to listen to complex sounds
- Understanding changes in auditory processing from noise-induced hearing loss
- Optogenetics for precise neural stimulation
- Reversible silencing of the cochlea
- Closed-loop bioelectrical neuromodulation control over bladder function
- Using a novel biomarker for adaptive deep brain stimulation in Parkinson’s disease – preclinical studies
Sinclair, N. C., H. J. McDermott, K. J. Bulluss, J. B. Fallon, T. Perera, S. S. Xu, P. Brown, and W. Thevathasan. 2018. Subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation evokes resonant neural activity. Annals of neurology. 83(5): 1027-1031. doi: 10.1002/ana.25234. Full Text.
Shepherd, R. K., A. K. Wise, Y. L. Enke, P. M. Carter, and J. B. Fallon. 2017. Evaluation of focused multipolar stimulation for cochlear implants: a preclinical safety study. Journal of Neural Engineering. 14(4): 046020. doi: 10.1088/1741-2552/aa7586. Full Text.
Irving, S., A. K. Wise, R. E. Millard, R. K. Shepherd, and J. B. Fallon. 2014. A partial hearing animal model for chronic electro-acoustic stimulation. Journal of Neural Engineering. 11(4): 046008. doi: 10.1088/1741-2560/11/4/046008. Full Text.
Benovitski, Y. B., P. J. Blamey, G. D. Rathbone, and J. B. Fallon. 2014. An automated psychoacoustic testing apparatus for use in cats. Hearing Research. 309: 1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.heares.2013.11.002. Full Text.