Professor Graeme Clark AC FRS
Graeme Clark is a medical doctor who was a key figure in the development of the cochlear implant. This device was the first sensory neural prosthetic to bring electronic technology into contact with the central nervous system. Graeme’s work resulted in the first clinically approved cochlear implant, bringing speech perception and language to profoundly deaf people.
He commenced his research into the cochlear implant by hypothesising that hearing might be reproduced in deafness if the defective ear was bypassed and the auditory nerve stimulated. This led to the creation of the first successful implant in 1978. The implant was subsequently FDA-approved for adults over the age of 18 in 1985 and for children over 2 in 1990.
Since then, the Graeme Clark Charitable Foundation has been established to assist individuals with deafness in developing their potential. Graeme has won many prestigious awards for his important research, including the Companion of the Order of Australia in 1999, the 2011 Florey Medal and the Lasker–DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award in 2013.
Interests and expertise