Thursday, December 1, 2011

Implant inventor Honored

Australian Graeme Clark, the man who pioneered the cochlear implant, has won the 2011 CSL Florey Medal for biomedical research - which includes a $50,000 prize. As student at the University of Sydney and with his father suffering from hearing problems, in 1967 Clark began looking into whether electrical stimulation of the inner ear could help people with significant deafness. Most scientists rejected his idea, some even referring to him as "that clown Clark." Undeterred, he moved to the University of Melbourne in 1970 and performed the first cochlear implant surgery in 1978 on Rod Saunders.