DR Thushara Perera

DR Thushara Perera

Positions

Overview

OverviewText1

  • With expertise in electronic engineering and software development, Dr Thushara Perera develops clinical tools to help optimise and guide treatments for those afflicted with chronic neurological disorders. Much of Thushara’s work is focussed on developing precise instruments to quantify and track patient health. Movement disorder symptoms such as tremor, rigidity, postural instability, and bradykinesia worsen over time and can fluctuate from day-to-day. A clinic visit only allows us to take a snapshot of the patient condition and makes it difficult to determine the best course of treatment. Additionally, clinical trials seeking to establish new therapies often lack monitoring tools to determine efficacy. Thushara is bridging the gap with his healthcare technology which could lead to in-home symptom assessments, similar to monitoring your blood pressure or glucose levels. This technology is currently being used in clinics across Melbourne to trial new therapies for Parkinson’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis. At the Bionics Institute, his instruments are used to inform the development of a next generation deep brain stimulator that can automatically adjust therapy to suit patient needs. Thushara has also contributed to the Bionic Vision project, developing the Institute’s bionic eye software platform allowing clinicians to send information to the retinal implant. He was part of the team that designed, manufactured and implanted a state-of-the-art bionic eye in Australia’s first human clinical trial. Witnessing the first bionic eye being successfully switched on and restoring rudimentary vision to a blind participant was one of the most memorable moments in Thushara’s career thus far. Prior to joining the Bionics Institute, Thushara completed his PhD at La Trobe University investigating a novel technique to monitor depth of anaesthesia in young children. He also worked part time as a Biomedical Engineer at the Royal Children’s Hospital redesigning a unique audiometer    

Publications

Selected publications

Awards

Education and training

  • MBio(Hons), La Trobe University
  • PhD,
  • BEng, La Trobe University

Awards and honors

  • Leadership in Innovation & Research Translation, Sri Lankan Study Centre for the Advancement of Technology & Social Welfare, 2017
  • 2017 Emerging Health Researcher Finalist, Bupa Health Foundation, 2017
  • Victoria Fellowship in Life Sciences, veski (State Government of Victoria), 2016
  • Harold Mitchell Travelling Fellowship, Harold Mitchell Foundation, 2015

Supervision

Available for supervision

  • Y