New $140m home for hearing research partners

17 April 2013

The Government estimates that ten million Australians will suffer some kind of hearing loss by 2050 – almost one quarter of the population. In order to help reduce the impact this will have on our society and its economy, Australia’s leading hearing researchers and service providers are working together to improve outcomes for those affected.

The Australian Hearing Hub officially opens today, and will provide a ‘one-stop shop’ for the diagnosis, study and treatment of hearing loss and related disorders.

Whilst sufferers and their families will be able to receive diagnoses and treatment at the Hub, staff and researchers will also be able to work on real-life conditions and use each others facilities and expertise to find new treatments or develop new technologies to help remediate hearing loss. Already some of the joint research projects underway are providing new insights into hearing impairments, including:

  • a study with the National Acoustic Laboratories into universal newborn hearing screening programs and whether they improve long-term outcomes for children with hearing impairments.
  • the development of a novel MEG system for cochlear implants to better understand the neurophysiological changes that occur after cochlear implantation.
  • investigation of the neurophysiological changes in the brain in individuals who have tinnitus throughout a remediation program. This project will help to better differentiate between neurophysiological and psychological impacts of tinnitus and its relief.

“We’re working closely with partners to provide a central point for clinical and educational services for people who need support with hearing loss, and a hotbed for research and innovation in new technologies and the delivery of services,” said Professor Janet Greeley, Dean of Macquarie University’s Faculty of Human Sciences.

“The Hub is also building links with other research groups, here and across Australia, as all its members are part of the Hearing CRC. We’re also building up links with international groups, some of whom will be attending the launch and inaugural conference.”

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