• Neurophysiology
  • Neuroscience
  • Otolaryngology
  • Patch-Clamp Electrophysiology
  • Sensory Systems



  • I am a Senior Research Fellow, Senior Wagstaff Fellow and head of the Hearing Neurosciences lab in the Department of Otolaryngology, based at the Royal Victorian Eye & Ear Hospital in East Melbourne. My research interests include plasticity and regeneration in neural and sensory systems, and the role of ion channels in controlling neural firing. The techniques used in this work include patch-clamp electrophysiology, micro-dissection, cell culture and immunohistochemistry.

    Enquiries from students interested in undertaking research in auditory neuroscience or neurophysiology are always welcome.   


Member of

  • Association for Research in Otolaryngology. Member 2011 -
  • Australian Neuroscience Society. Member 2001 -


Selected publications


Investigator on

Additional Grant Information

  • Fellowships:  

    Senior Wagstaff Fellowship (Royal Victorian Eye & Ear Hospital) 2013-2016; 

    Research Training Fellowship (Garnett Passe and Rodney Williams Memorial Foundation) 2009-2011; 

    Other grants:  

    ORIA/RANZCO Eye Foundation Grant (Ophthalmic Research Institute of Australia) 2013; PIs - Dr Alice Pébay (CI), Prof Ian Trounce, Dr Karina Needham 

    Travel Award (CASS Foundation) 2013; PI - Dr Karina Needham

    Travel Award (Association for Research in Otolaryngology) 2013; PI - Dr Karina Needham

    ARC Linkage Grant (Australian Research Council) 2012-2015; PIs - A/Prof Paul Stoddart, Prof Rob Shepherd, Dr James Fallon, Dr Natalie James; RFs - Dr Karina Needham, Dr Andrew Wise 

    Research Grant (Royal Victorian Eye & Ear Hospital) 2011-2012; PI - Dr Karina Needham

    Early Career Researcher Grant (University of Melbourne) 2009; PI - Dr Karina Needham

    Research Grant (Royal Victorian Eye & Ear Hospital) 2009; PI - Dr Karina Needham   


Education and training

  • PhD, University of Melbourne 2006
  • BSc (Hons), University of Melbourne 2001

Awards and honors

  • Travel Grant, CASS Foundation, 2013
  • Senior Otolaryngology/Allied Specialties Wagstaff Fellow, Royal Victorian Eye & Ear Hospital, 2013
  • Early Career Researcher Grant Scheme, University of Melbourne, 2009
  • Melbourne Research Scholarship, University of Melbourne, 2002
  • Dean's Honours List (BSc Honours), University of Melbourne, 2001


Available for supervision

  • Y

Supervision Statement

  • Research interests of the lab include: sensory systems, neurophysiology, ion channel modulation, and novel methods of neural stimulation. 

    Techniques used include tissue dissection, cell culture, brain slicing, immunohistochemistry, and patch-clamp electrophysiology. 

    Student projects suit those in any of the following disciplines: physiology, neuroscience, pathology, anatomy, biotechnology, biophysics, or biochemistry and molecular biology.

    For details of current projects please visit the following page: http://medicine.unimelb.edu.au/ehac/otolaryngology/research/hearing_neurosciences