Ms Stephanie Epp – Bionics Institute

Ms Stephanie Epp

BSc (Hon), BNursSc, GDipN (Paed)

Ms Stephanie Epp

Stephanie Epp is a Senior Research Assistant at the Bionics Institute. She received a BSc (Hons in Physiology) degree from Monash University (2001) and then commenced her career in the medical research of prosthetic devices. She has been a research assistant at the University of Melbourne’s Department of Otolaryngology based at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital working on new advances for the Cochlear Implant (2002-2005) under the supervision of Prof Rob Shepherd.

Stephanie then returned to study and obtained a BNursSc degree from University of Melbourne (2006) and GDipN (Paed) degree from Monash University (2012).  She has 8 years of nursing experience, 7 of which were in Paediatrics and Paediatric Oncology at Monash Medical Centre, Clayton.

In 2015, she returned to medical research as a research assistant at the Bionics Institute, this time helping to develop a second generation retinal implant for blind people affected by Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) under the supervision of Dr David Nayagam.  The Clinical Trial of the second generation device commenced in 2018 with 4 patients implanted.

She is currently working on another exciting Research Project in the field of Bionic Vision: “Minimally Invasive Retinal-degeneration Arrestor” (MIRA) in the hopes that low-level electrical stimulation can help delay retinal degeneration and prolong vision in patients with RP and other degenerative eye conditions.

Research fields of interest

  • Retinal prostheses
  • Preventing blindness
  • Restoring sight to the blind.

Research Projects

  • Bionic Ear
  • Bionic Eye
  • “Minimally Invasive Retinal-degeneration Arrestor” (MIRA)

Selected Publications

  • Spencer, T.C, Fallon, J.B, Abbott, C.J, Allen, P.J, Brandli, A, Luu, C.D, Epp, S.B, Shivdasani, M.N. Electrical Field Shaping Techniques in a Feline Model of Retinal Degeneration. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2018 Jul;2018:1222-1225. doi: 10.1109/EMBC.2018.8512473.
  • Abbott, Carla J., David A. X. Nayagam, Chi D. Luu, Stephanie B. Epp, Richard A. Williams, Cesar M. Salinas-LaRosa, Joel Villalobos, Ceara McGowan, Mohit N. Shivdasani, Owen Burns, Jason Leavens, Jonathan Yeoh, Alice A. Brandli, Patrick C. Thien, Jenny Zhou, Helen Feng, Chris E. Williams, Robert K. Shepherd, and Penelope J. Allen. 2018. Safety Studies for a 44-Channel Suprachoroidal Retinal Prosthesis: A Chronic Passive Study. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. 59(3): 1410-1424. doi: 10.1167/iovs.17-23086. Full Text
  • Thien, P. C., R. Millard, S. B. Epp, and D. A .X. Nayagam. 2018. A Flexible Wireless System for Preclinical Evaluation of Retinal Prosthesis. Sensors and Materials. 30(2): 269 – 86. Full Text
  • Shepherd, R.K., Coco, A. & Epp, S.B. (2008). Neurotrophins and electrical stimulation for protection and repair of spiral ganglion neurons following sensorineural hearing loss. Hearing Research, 242 (1), 100-109. Full text
  • Coco, A., Epp, S.B., Fallon, J.B., Xu, J., Millard, R.E. and Shepherd, R.K. (2007). Does cochlear implantation affect residual hair cell and spiral ganglion neurons following a sensorineural hearing loss? Hearing Research, 225, 60-70. Full text
  • Coleman, B., Hardman, J., Coco, A., Epp, S., de Silva, M., Crook, J. and Shepherd, R.K. (2006). Fate of embryonic stem cells transplanted into the deafened mammalian cochlea. Cell Transplantation, 15 (5), 369-380. Full text
  • Shepherd, R.K., Coco, A., Epp, S.B. and Crook, J.M. (2005). Chronic depolarization enhances the trophic effects of brain-derived neurotrophic factor in rescuing auditory neurons following a sensorineural hearing loss. Journal of Comparative Neurology, 486 (2), 145-158. Full text
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