A/Prof Chris Williams – Bionics Institute

A/Prof Chris Williams

Senior Research Fellow, Bionics Institute MScHons (University of Waikato), PhD (University of Auckland)

A/Prof Chris Williams

Associate Professor Chris William’s research is currently focussed on the development of an epilepsy monitoring device. This minimally-invasive implant will be capable of monitoring the brain’s electrical activity over extended periods of time and greatly assist clinicians with diagnosis and drug therapy management.

Chris was awarded the Hamilton prize from the New Zealand Royal Society for Brain Rescue Research undertaken at the Liggins Institute. He has contributed to over 90 primary scientific papers and has had 18 patents awarded.

His track record includes many years of innovative research and a number of vitally important inventions resulting in medical products currently in use or undergoing clinical trials.

These include:

  •  A non-invasive brain rescue monitor (BRM™) for ICU monitoring for cerebral injuries and seizures. The monitor picks up normal and abnormal function on each side of a baby’s brain, revealing not only when injury occurs, but where.
  • The initial concept of prolonged mild cerebral hypothermia (CoolCap™) as a neuronal rescue therapy for the developing brain. This work ultimately led to the successful development of an FDA approved cerebral cooling cap for infants suffering from asphyxial encephalopathies.
  • Discovery of the tripeptide fragment of  IGF-1 (Glypromate™)  that can rescue injured neurons. This is the lead compound for a pharmaceutical company. This drug has completed phase II trials safely as a rescue therapy for those with brain injuries and an analog is in phase Ill trials with the US army for head injuries.
  • Co-inventor of choroid plexus cell capsule (Neurotrophincell™) based neurorestorative therapy that is currently under assessment for an IND (application to conduct a clinical trial in the USA) for stroke and Huntington’s.

Research Projects

Additional information


  • Brain rescue workstation
  • The use of TGF beta for rescue in  neurological disease
  • Noninvasive cerebral edema monitor for ICU
  • Brain Rescue Instrument and method
  • Brain damage monitor
  • The use of GPE for treatment of neurological disease
  • Methods to improve neural outcome
  • The use of Activin for treatment neurological disease
  • GH  for the treatment of neurological disease
  • Monitor for detection of white matter injuries
  • Treatment for improving function Parkinsons
  • Method for increasing GAD
  • Method for raising neural Chat
  • Regulation of neural enzymes
  • Processing to detect brain damage
  • Detection of injury in preterm infants

 CE/FDA regulatory approvals

  • Brain rescue monitor

  • Disposable brain monitoring sensors

  • Seizure monitor for neonates

Selected Publications

  1. Benovitski, Y. B., A. Lai, C. C. McGowan, O. Burns, V. Maxim, D. A. X. Nayagam, R. Millard, G. D. Rathbone, M. A. le Chevoir, R. A. Williams, D. B. Grayden, C. N. May, M. Murphy, W. J. D’Souza, M. J. Cook, and C. E. Williams. 2017. Ring and peg electrodes for minimally-Invasive and long-term sub-scalp EEG recordings. Epilepsy Research. 135: 29-37.
  2. Leung, R. T., D. A. Nayagam, R. A. Williams, P. J. Allen, C. M. Salinas-La Rosa, C. D. Luu, M. N. Shivdasani, L. N. Ayton, M. Basa, J. Yeoh, A. L. Saunders, R. K. Shepherd, and C. E. Williams. 2015. Safety and efficacy of explanting or replacing suprachoroidal electrode arrays in a feline model. Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology. 43(3): 247-58. doi: 10.1111/ceo.12428. Full Text
  3. Villalobos, J., J. B. Fallon, D. A. Nayagam, M. N. Shivdasani, C. D. Luu, P. J. Allen, R. K. Shepherd, and C. E. Williams. 2014. Cortical activation following chronic passive implantation of a wide-field suprachoroidal retinal prosthesis. Journal of Neural Engineering. 11(4): 046017.
  4. Saunders, A. L., C. E. Williams, W. Heriot, R. Briggs, J. Yeoh, D. A. Nayagam, M. McCombe, J. Villalobos, O. Burns, C. D. Luu, L. N. Ayton, M. McPhedran, N. L. Opie, C. McGowan, R. K. Shepherd, R. Guymer, and P. J. Allen. 2014. Development of a surgical procedure for implantation of a prototype suprachoroidal retinal prosthesis. Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology. 42(7): 665-74. doi: 10.1111/ceo.12287. Full Text
  5. Nayagam, D. A., R. A. Williams, P. J. Allen, M. N. Shivdasani, C. D. Luu, C. M. Salinas-LaRosa, S. Finch, L. N. Ayton, A. L. Saunders, M. McPhedran, C. McGowan, J. Villalobos, J. B. Fallon, A. K. Wise, J. Yeoh, J. Xu, H. Feng, R. Millard, M. McWade, P. C. Thien, C. E. Williams, and R. K. Shepherd. 2014. Chronic electrical stimulation with a suprachoroidal retinal prosthesis: a preclinical safety and efficacy study. PLoS ONE. 9(5): e97182. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0097182. Full Text
  6. Dumm, G., J. B. Fallon, C. E. Williams, and M. N. Shivdasani. 2014. Virtual electrodes by current steering in retinal prostheses. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. 55(12): 8077-85. doi: 10.1167/iovs.14-15391. Full Text
  7. Cicione, R., J. B. Fallon, G. D. Rathbone, C. E. Williams, and M. N. Shivdasani. 2014. Spatiotemporal interactions in the visual cortex following paired electrical stimulation of the retina. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. 55(12): 7726-38. doi: 10.1167/iovs.14-14754. Full Text
  8. Ayton, L. N., P. J. Blamey, R. H. Guymer, C. D. Luu, D. A. Nayagam, N. C. Sinclair, M. N. Shivdasani, J. Yeoh, M. F. McCombe, R. J. Briggs, N. L. Opie, J. Villalobos, P. N. Dimitrov, M. Varsamidis, M. A. Petoe, C. D. McCarthy, J. G. Walker, N. Barnes, A. N. Burkitt, C. E. Williams, R. K. Shepherd, and P. J. Allen. 2014. First-in-human trial of a novel suprachoroidal retinal prosthesis. PLoS ONE. 9(12): e115239. Full Text
  9. Villalobos, J., D. A. Nayagam, P. J. Allen, P. McKelvie, C. D. Luu, L. N. Ayton, A. L. Freemantle, M. McPhedran, M. Basa, C. C. McGowan, R. K. Shepherd, and C. E. Williams. 2013. A wide-field suprachoroidal retinal prosthesis is stable and well tolerated following chronic implantation. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. 54(5): 3751-62. doi: 10.1167/iovs.12-10843. Full Text
  10. Shepherd, R. K., M. N. Shivdasani, D. A. Nayagam, C. E. Williams, and P. J. Blamey. 2013. Visual prostheses for the blind. Trends in biotechnology. 31(10): 562-71. doi: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2013.07.001.
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