New Cochlear Chair in Hearing and Health appointed at Macquarie University

14 August, 2020

Macquarie University and Cochlear Ltd today announce the appointment of the Cochlear Chair in Hearing and Health. This co-funded role strengthens the existing partnership between the two organisations, enhancing the University's position as a global leader in hearing research and practice, and supporting Cochlear's goals to improve understanding of, and support access to, hearing health. The role is intended to develop a leading platform for further impactful public health research in hearing in Australia.

Professor Bamini Gopinath, an epidemiologist and a public health researcher, will take up the Cochlear Chair in Hearing and Health position at Macquarie University on 6 October. Professor Gopinath’s previous work has attracted substantial research funding to support important population health studies around health determinants and health outcomes associated with sensory loss and disability. Her internationally unique research has demonstrated the broad implications of vision and hearing loss for the health and functioning of older adults, as well as advancing knowledge of novel risk factors for age-related hearing loss.

"I am delighted to accept this role as inaugural Cochlear Chair in Hearing and Health, which I view as an exciting opportunity to work at Macquarie University Hearing and with a number of hearing health sector leaders like Cochlear as part of strategic industry-academic engagement," said Professor Gopinath.

"My vision is to create a national and international focus on hearing loss, and I hope to achieve this by bringing a different lens to hearing research with my public health expertise."

Macquarie University Vice-Chancellor, Professor S. Bruce Dowton said the appointment demonstrates the strength of the partnership in driving real innovation that has the capacity to change lives. "We are delighted to support this initiative and welcome pioneering research that continues to positively impact hearing health around the globe."

Cochlear CEO, Dig Howitt, said, “Hearing loss is one of the most prevalent medical conditions globally and one of the least treated. It is often overlooked in the public eye, getting little mention in political debate or the news. As the new Cochlear Chair, we believe that Professor Gopinath can help to uncover the true global impact of hearing loss and support policymakers to make decisions that underline the value of prevention and of effective treatments for hearing healthcare. We’re delighted to welcome Professor Gopinath.”

Professor Patrick McNeil, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Medicine and Health, who oversees Macquarie University Hearing, said the Cochlear Chair in Hearing and Health will lead the Public Health and Policy Research Centre at the University.

"Macquarie University Hearing brings together capabilities from across the University to further enhance Macquarie's reputation as a global centre for communication sciences research. Work within Macquarie University Hearing will be arranged into four pillars dedicated to Discovery, Hearing Innovation & Translation, Education & Practice and Public Health & Policy, the last of which we are delighted to say will be led by Professor Gopinath as the Cochlear Chair in Hearing and Health. We welcome her and look forward to her contribution."

The Academic Director of Macquarie University Hearing, Professor David McAlpine, said that, "Bamini's outstanding record in public health research, including hearing and vision loss, will ensure Macquarie University capitalises on its significant expertise, and that of its partners at Macquarie's Australian Hearing Hub, in developing solutions to deafness and other hearing problems, including reducing the incidence of hearing loss over the life-course, much of which is preventable."

About Macquarie University

Founded more than 50 years ago to offer students, staff and partners a more flexible alternative to the prevailing university model, Macquarie University is now reaping the rewards of its innovative, interdisciplinary approach. Macquarie is widely regarded as a progressive institution, both locally and internationally. Ranked among the top one per cent of universities in the world, and with a 5-star QS rating, the University is considered one of the world's best, producing highly sought-after graduates. With a strong tradition in pioneering thinking, ingenuity and exploration, Macquarie University continues to break new ground as it works to solve some of the world’s most pressing issues to build a positive future for all.

About Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH)

Cochlear is the global leader in implantable hearing solutions. The company has a global workforce of more than 4,000 people and invests more than AUD$180 million each year in research and development. Products include cochlear implants, bone conduction implants and acoustic implants, which healthcare professionals use to treat a range of moderate to profound types of hearing loss. Since 1981, Cochlear has provided more than 600,000 implantable devices, helping people of all ages, in more than 180 countries, to hear.


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