Prof James Fallon is Chief Technology Officer and Head of Research Operations of the Bionics Institute and Head of the Medical Bionics Department, University of Melbourne. Prof Fallon’s mission is to develop devices that monitor or modulate neural activity for managing health conditions. He does this by forging expert teams of bioengineers, neuroscientists and clinicians who translate research into clinically meaningful outcomes.

Prof Fallon has two decades of internationally recognized experience with in vivo electrical stimulation and recording, supported by grants totalling over $25M and commercial research totalling over $5M. His work has generated over 100 research publications and more than 10 patent families / applications, including several granted patents under license to medical technology companies. Most importantly, his research has led to the development of devices / technologies in several clinical trials including for cochlear implants, bionic eyes, deep brain stimulation and inflammatory bowel disease.

Prof Fallon is actively engaged in mentoring and supervisor of both students and staff, with a particular emphasis on enabling early- to mid-career researchers to rapidly translate research findings, align with industry standards of device development under the Institute’s ISO 9001 certification, to facilitate progression to first-in-human clinical trials.

E: [email protected]


ORCID: 0000-0003-2686-3886

Google Scholar: James Fallon


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

Top 5 Publications

  • Richardson, R.T., Thompson, A.C., Wise, A.K., Ajay, E.A., Gunewardene, N., O’Leary, S.J., Stoddart, P.R., Fallon, J.B. 2021. Viral-mediated transduction of auditory neurons with opsins for optical and hybrid activation. Scientific reports: 11, 11229.
  • Payne, SC, Furness, JB, Burns, O, Sedo, A, Hyakumura, T, Shepherd, R & Fallon, JB. 2019. Anti-inflammatory effects of abdominal vagus nerve stimulation on experimental intestinal inflammation. Frontiers in Neuroscience 13, 418.
  • Halpern, M., Fallon, J.B. 2010. Current waveforms for neural stimulation charge delivery with reduced maximum electrode voltage. IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering: 57, 2304-12.
  • Fallon, J.B., Irvine, D.R.F., Shepherd, R.K. 2009. Cochlear implant use following neonatal deafness influences the cochleotopic organization of the primary auditory cortex in cats. Journal of Comparative Neurology: 512, 101-114.
  • Fallon, J.B., Macefield, V.G. 2007. Vibration sensitivity of human muscle spindles and Golgi tendon organs. Muscle and Nerve: 36, 21-9.