Dr Julia Wunderlich
Dr Julia Wunderlich is a Senior Clinical Research Fellow at the Bionics Institute. She has a background in clinical audiology and auditory evoked potentials and is working with Prof. Colette McKay and Dr. Hamish Innes-Brown to develop new ways to measure hearing acuity and sound discrimination in babies and young children. Her current research involves the use of functional near infra-red spectroscopy (fNIRS), to measure oxygen use in the cortex of the brain in response to sound. This novel method of measuring cortical auditory activity can be used to provide a more comprehensive assessment of a baby’s hearing and guide clinical decision making in baby’s with hearing impairment.
Julia completed her PhD in 2003 at the University of Melbourne under the mentorship of Professors Rob Shepherd and Barbara Cone (now at University of Arizona in Tucson). Julia came to research after 12 years of clinical practice as an audiologist, having initially completed a Bachelor of Science (Honors) in psychology and a Post Graduate Diploma in Audiology, both at the University of Melbourne. As such, she brought a clinical focus to her research work, and developed the first norms for cortical auditory evoked potentials measured in newborn babies, toddlers and young children.
She has been Senior Audiologist in the Audiology Department at Monash Health since 1990, specializing in infant diagnostics and pediatric audiology generally. Prior to that, she worked as an audiologist at Frankston Hospital and St Thomas’ Hospital in London. From this clinical perspective she is always looking to take laboratory research into clinical practice, with the aim of improving patient outcomes and advancing the field of clinical audiology. Her current work as part of the Bionics Institute team developing the EarGenie, a clinical tool using fNIRS and auditory evoked potentials, has this goal firmly in mind.