Professor Robert Shepherd AM was the Director of the Bionics Institute from 2005 to 2017. In the 1980s Professor Shepherd led the preclinical team that demonstrated the safety and efficacy of Cochlear’s bionic ear and more recently his team developed a prototype bionic eye as part of an Australia-wide consortium, Bionic Vision Australia. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed papers, given 90 invited international keynote conference presentations, and received over $90M of research funding as a chief investigator.

During Professor Shepherd’s tenure as Director of the Bionics Institute, he broadened its research portfolio to include retinal prostheses and neurobionics – a platform technology addressing diseases such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and inflammatory bowel disease – and established a contract research organisation specialising in neural prostheses and drug delivery technologies. In 2014 he was awarded the Garnett Passe Medal at the Royal Society of Medicine, London for his contributions to otolaryngology. In 2015 he was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences and a member of Knowledge Nation 100.

E: [email protected]

Research projects

Safe and effective cochlear implants

Restoring hearing

Crohn's disease

Recent publications

  1. Dalrymple, A. N., M. Huynh, B. A. Nayagam, C. Lee, G. R. Weiland, A. Petrossians, J. J. Whalen Iii, J. B. Fallon, and R. K. Shepherd. 2020. Electrochemical and biological characterization of thin-film platinum-iridium alloy electrode coatings: a chronic in vivo study, Journal of Neural Engineering: [epub ahead of print].

  2. Dalrymple, A. N., U. A. Aregueta Robles, M. Huynh, B. A. Nayagam, R. Green, L. A. Poole-Warren, J. B. Fallon, and R. K. Shepherd. 2020. Electrochemical and biological performance of chronically stimulated conductive hydrogel electrodes, Journal of Neural Engineering: [epub ahead of print].

  3. Payne, Sophie C., Jack Alexandrovics, Ross Thomas, Robert K. Shepherd, John B. Furness, and James B. Fallon. 2020. Transmural impedance detects graded changes of inflammation in experimental colitis, Royal Society Open Science, 7(2): 191819. Fried, S. I., and M. N. Shivdasani. 2020. Selective activation of the visual cortex, Nature biomedical engineering: [epub ahead of print].

  4. Dalrymple, A. N., M. Huynh, U. A. Aregueta Robles, J. B. Marroquin, C. Lee, A. Petrossians, J. J. Whalen, D. Li, H. C. Parkington, J. S. Forsythe, R. Green, L. A. Poole-Warren, R. K. Shepherd, and J. B. Fallon. 2019. Electrochemical and mechanical performance of reduced graphene oxide, conductive hydrogel, and electrodeposited Pt-Ir coated electrodes: an active in vitro study, Journal of Neural Engineering: [epub ahead of print].

  5. Pinyon, J. L., G. von Jonquieres, E. N. Crawford, M. Duxbury, A. Al Abed, N. H. Lovell, M. Klugmann, A. K. Wise, J. B. Fallon, R. K. Shepherd, C. S. Birman, W. Lai, D. McAlpine, C. McMahon, P. M. Carter, Y. L. Enke, J. F. Patrick, A. G. M. Schilder, C. Marie, D. Scherman, and G. D. Housley. 2019. Neurotrophin gene augmentation by electrotransfer to improve cochlear implant hearing outcomes, Hearing Research, 380: 137-49.

  6. Payne, S. C., J. B. Furness, O. Burns, A. Sedo, T. Hyakumura, R. K. Shepherd, and J. B. Fallon. 2019. Anti-inflammatory Effects of Abdominal Vagus Nerve Stimulation on Experimental Intestinal Inflammation. Frontiers in Neuroscience. 13(418). doi: 3389/fnins.2019.00418.

  7. Payne, S. C., O. Burns, M. J. Stebbing, R. Thomas, A. C. de Silva, A. Sedo, F. Wiessenborn, T. Hyakumura, M. Huynh, C. N. May, R. A. Williams, J. Furness, J. Fallon, and R. Shepherd. 2019. Vagus nerve stimulation to treat inflammatory bowel disease: a chronic, preclinical safety study in sheep. Bioelectronics in Medicine. 1(4): 235-250. doi: https://doi.org/10.2217/bem-2018-0011

  8. Ma, Y., A. K. Wise, R. K. Shepherd, and R. T. Richardson. 2019. New molecular therapies for the treatment of hearing loss. Pharmacology & therapeutics: pii: S0163- 7528(0119)30077-30074. doi: 1016/j.pharmthera.2019.05.003.

  9. Dalrymple, A. N., M. Huynh, U. A. Aregueta Robles, J. B. Marroquin, C. Lee, A. Petrossians, J. J. Whalen, D. Li, H. C. Parkington, J. S. Forsythe, R. Green, L. A. Poole- Warren, R. K. Shepherd, and J. B. Fallon. 2019. Electrochemical and mechanical performance of reduced graphene oxide, conductive hydrogel, and electrodeposited Pt-Ir coated electrodes: an active in vitro study. Journal of Neural Engineering. 17(1): 016015. doi: 1088/1741-2552/ab5163.

  10. Shepherd, R. K., J. Villalobos, O. Burns, and D. Nayagam. 2018. The development of neural stimulators: a review of preclinical safety and efficacy studies. Journal of Neural Engineering: [epub ahead of print]. doi: 1088/1741-2552/aac43c.