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Passe & Williams Foundation Fellowship winners 2024

The Passe & Williams Foundation have continued their longstanding support of Bionics Institute hearing researchers with the two prestigious Fellowships.

The highly competitive Fellowships went to Dr Anu Sabu who was awarded the Early Career Researcher Fellowship and Demi Gao who was awarded the Mid-Career Research Fellowship.

Dr Anu Sabu
Anu is a Post-doctoral Research Fellow in the bionic auditory neuroscience group at the Bionics Institute and works with a multi-disciplinary team of researchers in the fields of neuroscience, biomedical engineering, and photonics.

Anu shares:
I am sincerely honoured to have been selected as a recipient of the Junior Fellowship award by the Passe and Williams Foundation. Thanks to their generosity, it has been possible for me to develop as a future research leader in auditory neuroscience and continue developing innovative solutions for common hearing issues.
The research will explore the range of physiological changes that enhance the speech comprehension and sound quality, especially in noisy environments. An understanding of how information is processed in the auditory brain of these patients will enable clinicians to make informed decisions on optimising the combined stimulation provided by the cochlear implants and hearing aids for people living with partial deafness.

The results from the research will shed light on the benefits of using a combination of cochlear implants and hearing aids for people with partial hearing loss. Dr Anu Sabu

Demi is a Senior Research Scientist at the Bionics Institute and Honorary Research Fellow in the Medical Bionics Department, University of Melbourne. 

Demi shares:
This is a fantastic opportunity to accelerates intervention in infants and children with hearing and language disorders using Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy, an emerging light-based brain imaging technology.
The developed technique will substantially reduce the uncertainties involved during clinical estimation of cochlear implant programs in younger infants. The completion of this project will lead to clinical change towards objective identification of implant parameters. This project will lead to clinical change towards improved infant implant programming, leading to prelingually deafened children to have a similar learning rate for speech and language compared to their normal hearing peers.


I’m thrilled to have received this prestigious fellowship to establish and expand my research program. Dr Demi Gao

Congratulations Demi and Anu on this amazing achievement which allows further investigation into how a combination of cochlear implants and hearing aids might give a more unified perception of sound for improved speech understanding.

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