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Dr Darren Mao

Dr Mao is a Development Engineer in the Translational Hearing Research team led by Prof Colette McKay. Darren started working casually with the Institute in Sept 2018 and switched to full time in Sept 2019.

After completing a Bachelor of Biomedicine and from Melbourne University, Darren was a student at the Bionics Institute from 2014 to 2019, whilst studying his Master of Engineering and his PhD, (co-supervised by the Bionics Institute and the Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Melbourne). Darren’s doctoral studies focused on the development of an objective measure of hearing by recording responses from individuals’ brains using electrodes placed on their scalp.

Dr Mao’s work in developing a novel method that can automatically set the electrical levels for cochlear implants with the push of a button has seen translation to a patent. It is Dr Mao’s hope that one day this technology will be implemented into a clinical device that benefits cochlear implant recipients.

Darren grew up loving maths and science, and the engineering aspect allowed him to apply his knowledge with a problem-solving mindset. It’s an area of work where the researchers’ thinking caps always need to be on.

When Darren started as a student, he saw it as an opportunity to gain experience outside of the university. Darren chose to continue working with the Institute after completing his studies as he really enjoys the multidisciplinary environment that the Bionics Institute has created; there is expertise in so many aspects that there is always something new to learn.

Whilst working at the Bionics Institute, Darren hopes to contribute to the development of medical devices that will ultimately improve the quality of life for those suffering from hearing loss. He also hopes to develop his own skills and learn from the people he is working with.

I am passionate about how different fields of knowledge come together. My work is a great example – how do we combine engineering and biological concepts to solve a clinical problem? The solution, of course, requires many of us to put our minds together. Dr Darren Mao

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