University of Melbourne scientist Professor Graeme Clark has received the 2007 Klaus Joachim Zulch prize for his research into neuroscience and the Cochlear implant, giving hearing to deaf people.
Professor Clark was awarded the prize for outstanding achievements in basic neurological research for developing the multi-channel Cochlear implant (Bionic Ear). He shares the prize with Dr John Donoghue who leads the brain science program at Brown University in the US.
The Zulch prize is Germany?s highest award in neuroscience, and is made by the Max Planck Institute which is ranked by the Times Education Supplement in 2006 as the top research institute in the world.
Over 80, 000 people in more than 70 countries around the world now use Cochlear implants to hear.
Professor Clark?s research in the Cochlear implant was first undertaken at the University of Sydney from 1967-1970, and then it flourished at the University of Melbourne when Clarke was appointed as Foundation Professor of ear, nose and throat surgery in 1970 till he retired from this position in 2004.
His research also received considerable support from the Bionic Ear Institute which Clark founded in the late 1980s and continued until his retirement in 2006.
The Cochlear implant would not have achieved such success if it were not for the excellent industrial development by the Australian firm Cochlear Limited and the crucial work at the Eye and Ear Hospital in Melbourne.
Professor Clark will be awarded the prize at a ceremony in Cologne in August 2007.