The Department of Otolaryngology undertakes basic and translational research to improve the function of the cochlear implant, with a particular emphasis on the protection of residual hearing and balance function during implant surgery. This work benefits from our close collaboration with Cochlear Corporation. We have a broader interest in drug delivery for therapeutic intervention of the inner ear, where our findings are redefining the preferred routes of administration for clinical application.
The Department is a world leader in regenerative medicine for the inner ear, with strong stem cell and gene therapy programs aiming to reverse the effects of deafness.
In the field of virtual reality surgical simulation, the Department collaborates with the Faculty of Engineering. We have developed simulations for ear surgery and cochlear implantation, initially with CSIRO, and then the medical start-up Medic Vision. With Cochlear Corporation, we plan to develop a specific application to train cochlear implant surgeons.
The Department has recently established research projects investigating the treatment of otitis media in young indigenous children living in remote communities.