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 and head of the Medical Bionics Department, University of Melbourne in 2019.

James’ research strength is chronic stimulation and electrophysiology in pre-clinical models. Over his time at the Institute he has 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 82 peer-reviewed scientific papers and eight book chapters, in addition to authoring over 200 conference presentations at national and international conferences, including 22 as an invited speaker. He has been the principal investigator on more than $1.6M of research funding and co-chief investigator on an additional $8M including grants from the U.S. National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Defence, U.S. Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency, 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 $5M of commercial research.

In addition to research activities, James has also supervised 60 research higher degree students (including 13 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.

E: [email protected]

Research projects

Crohn's disease

Urinary incontinence

Understanding the hearing brain

Safe and effective cochlear implants

Restoring hearing


Pre-clinical validation (ERNA signal)

Adaptive Deep Brain Stimulation Device (ASTUTE system)

Improved positioning for DBS (ADEPT device)


Student projects

Hearing but not listening: Using behavioural training in preclinical studies to test the ability to listen to complex sounds

Reversible silencing of the cochlear

Understanding how the brain processes combined electrical and acoustic stimulation

Understanding changes in auditory processing from noise-induced hearing loss

Optogenetics for precise neural stimulation

Improving objectivity and accuracy of neuroimaging analysis for deep brain stimulation

Optimised closed-loop bioelectrical control over bladder function

Central Representation of Electroacoustic Stimuli

Nanostructured conformal multi-electrode arrays with antifouling properties for next-generation bionics devices

Recent publications

  1. Richardson, R. T., M. R. Ibbotson, A. C. Thompson, A. K. Wise, and J. B. Fallon. 2020. Optical stimulation of neural tissue. Healthcare Technology Letters. 7(3): 58-65. doi: 1049/htl.2019.0114. Full Text

  2. Payne, S. C., G. Ward, R. J. MacIsaac, T. Hyakumura, J. B. Fallon, and J. Villalobos. 2020. Differential effects of vagus nerve stimulation strategies on glycemia and pancreatic secretions. Physiological reports. 8(11): e14479. doi: 14814/phy2.14479. Full Text

  3. 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]. doi: 1088/1741-2552/ab933d.

  4. Dalrymple, A. N., U. A. Robles, M. Huynh, B. A. Nayagam, R. A. 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. 17(2): 026018. doi: 1088/1741-2552/ab7cfc.

  5. Villalobos, J., H. J. McDermott, P. McNeill, A. Golod, V. Rathi, S. Bauquier, and J. B. Fallon. 2020. Slim electrodes for improved targeting in deep brain stimulation. Journal of Neural Engineering. 17: 026008. doi: 1088/1741-2552/ab7a51 Payne, S. C., J. Alexandrovics, R. Thomas, R. K. Shepherd, J. Furness, and J. B. Fallon. 2020. Transmural impedance detects graded changes of inflammation in experimental colitis. Royal Society Open Science. 7(2): 191819. doi: 10.1098/rsos.191819. Full Text.

  6. Hart, W., R. Richardson, T. Kameneva, A. Thompson, A. K. Wise, J. B. Fallon, P. R. Stoddart, and K. Needham. 2020. Combined optogenetic and electrical stimulation of auditory neurons increases effective stimulation frequency - An in vitro study. Journal of Neural Engineering. 17(1): 016069. doi: 1088/1741-2552/ab6a68.

  7. 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.

  8. Sinclair, N. C., J. B. Fallon, K. Bulluss, W. Thevathasan, and H. J. McDermott. 2019. On the neural basis of deep brain stimulation evoked resonant activity. Biomedical Physics & Engineering Express. 5: 057001. doi: https://doi.org/10.1088/2057-1976/ab366e

  9. Sinclair, N. C., H. J. McDermott, J. B. Fallon, T. Perera, P. Brown, K. J. Bulluss, and W. Thevathasan. 2019. Deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease modulates high-frequency evoked and spontaneous neural activity. Neurobiology of disease. 130: 104522. doi: 1016/j.nbd.2019.104522.

  10. Sikder, M. K. U., M. N. Shivdasani, J. B. Fallon, P. Seligman, K. Ganesan, J. Villalobos, S. Prawer, and D. J. Garrett. 2019. Electrically conducting diamond films grown on platinum foil for neural stimulation. Journal of Neural Engineering. 16(6): 066002. doi: 1088/1741-2552/ab2e79.

Further information

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