Prof Robert K Shepherd AM – Bionics Institute
Robert K. Shepherd

Prof Robert K Shepherd AM

Senior Research Advisor, Bionics Institute B.Sc, Dip. Ed, Ph.D.

Prof Robert K Shepherd AM

Professor Robert Shepherd AM was the Director of the Bionics Institute from 2005 to 2017. In the 1980s Professor Shepherd led the preclinical team that demonstrated the safety and efficacy of Cochlear’s bionic ear and more recently his team developed a prototype bionic eye as part of an Australia-wide consortium, Bionic Vision Australia. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed papers, given 90 invited international keynote conference presentations, and received over $90M of research funding as a chief investigator.

During Professor Shepherd’s tenure as Director of the Bionics Institute, he broadened its research portfolio to include retinal prostheses and neurobionics – a platform technology addressing diseases such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and inflammatory bowel disease – and established a contract research organisation specialising in neural prostheses and drug delivery technologies. In 2014 he was awarded the Garnett Passe Medal at the Royal Society of Medicine, London for his contributions to otolaryngology. In 2015 he was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences and a member of Knowledge Nation 100.

Selected Publications

  1. Ayton, L. N., Blamey, P. J., Guymer, R. H., Luu, C. D., Nayagam, D. A. X., Sinclair, N. C., Shivdasani, M. N., Yeoh, J., McCombe, M. F., Briggs, R. J., Opie, N. L., Villalobos, J., Dimitrov, P. N., Varsamidis, M., Petoe, M. A., McCarthy, C. D., Burkitt, A. N., Williams, C. E., Shepherd, R. K. & Allen, P. J.  First-in-human trial of a novel suprachoroidal retinal prosthesis. PLoS One 9(12), e115239, 2015.

    Wise, A.K., Pujol, R., Landry, T.G., Fallon, J.B. & Shepherd, R. K. Structural and ultrastructural changes to Type I spiral ganglion neurons and Schwann cells in the deafened guinea pig cochlea. JARO, 18: 751-769, 2017.


    Shepherd, R. K., Villalobos, J., Burns, O., Nayagam, D. A. X. The development of neural stimulators: a review of preclinical safety and efficacy studies. J Neural Eng 15, 041004, 2018.


    Payne, S.C., Furness, J.B., Burns, O., Sedo, A., Hyakumura, T., Shepherd, R.K. and Fallon, J. B. Anti-inflammatory effects of abdominal vagus nerve stimulation on experimental intestinal inflammation. Frontiers in Neuroscience (section Neural Technology). 13: 418, 2019


    Shepherd, R.K., Carter, P.M., Enke, Y.L., Wise, A.K., Fallon, J.B. Chronic intracochlear electrical stimulation at high charge densities results in platinum dissolution but not neural loss or functional changes in vivo. J Neural Eng, 16: 026009, 2019.

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