Who Is Graeme Clarke?

Graeme Milbourne Clarke was born in Camden, NSW on the 6th of August 1935. He attended Camden Primary School, Sydney Boys High and Scots College. After he finished school he studied medicine at The University of Sydney. He graduated in 1957 as a Bachelor of Medicine (MB) and a Bachelor of Surgery (MS).

He continued his studies in general surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh in 1962 and specialized in throat, nose and ear surgery at the Royal Nose, Throat, Ear Hospital. He obtained a fellowship for the Royal College of Surgeons in London in 1964, and returned to Australia again and became a fellow of The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. He Completed his PhD in The University of Sydney on the "Middle Ear and Neural Mechanisms in Hearing and in the Management of Deafness" in 1969. He then completed a Master of Surgery Thesis on "The Principles of Structural Support of the Nasal and Septal Surgery". He then returned to England again to study at the University of Keele to learn more about speech science.

Clarke then discovered in 1978 that speech could be understood by deaf people through coded electrical stimulation of the auditory nerve, and in the same year the the first Cochlear Implant was implanted. Cochlear Implants started getting developed industrially in 1979. He also discovered that the brain can code speech information through multi-channel stimulation of the auditory pathways in 1980.He then made  another  discovery that deaf children can develop speech perception, speech production and language with multi-channel stimulation of the central auditory brain pathways in 1985. In recognition if his contributions a foundation named after him, The Clarke Foundation, now helps in the funding of Cochlear Implants.

SOURCES: BOOK: Craft, Dr. Naomi. The Little Book of Medical Breakthroughs. Ed. Giselle Osbourne, Julia Shone, and Arune Vesudeven. London: New Holland (UK) Ltd, 2008. Print.

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