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A/Prof Chris Williams, Associate Professor

A/Prof 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.

E: CWilliams@bionicsinstitute.org

Research projects

Epilepsy

Bionic Eye

Stroke

Recent publications

1. 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

2. 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. doi: 10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2017.06.003.

3. 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. doi: 10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2017.06.003.

4. 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 & C. E. Williams (2015). Safety and efficacy of explanting or replacing suprachoroidal electrode arrays in a feline model. Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology 43(3): 247-258.

5. Villalobos, J., J. B. Fallon, D. A. X. 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.

6. Saunders, A. L., C. E. Williams, W. Herlot, R. J. Briggs, J. Yeoh, D. A. X. Nayagam, M. McCombe, J. Villalobos, O. Burns, C. D. Luu, L. Ayton, M. McPhedran, N. L. Opie, C. McGowan, R. Shepherd, R. Guymer and P. J. Allen (2014). Development of a surgical procedure for implantation of a prototype suprachoroidal retinal prosthesis. Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology, 42: 665-674.

7. 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.

8. Leung, R. T., D. A. X. Nayagam, R. A. Williams, P. J. Allen, C. M. Salina-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 (in press). Safety and efficacy of explanting or replacing suprachoroidal electrode arrays in a feline model. Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology.

9. 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): 8077-8085.

10. 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): 7726-7738.

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