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Lasker award for MED-EL founder Ingeborg Hochmair

1 December 2013

The USA's most important science award for clinical medical research goes to Ingeborg Hochmair.

In New York on 20 September 2013, Ingeborg Hochmair, founder and CEO of MED-EL , Graeme Clark (University of Melbourne, Australia) and Blake Wilson (Duke University, USA), were presented with the renowned Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award for developing the modern cochlear implant.

Cochlear implants apply electronic stimulation to the auditory nerve to restore hearing to people with severe to profound deafness. Ingeborg Hochmair played a pioneering role in the development of this cutting-edge apparatus. In 1977 she inserted the first micro-electronic cochlear implant in Vienna, laying the foundations for developing the device. This step was followed by numerous other innovations.

Ingeborg and Erwin Hochmair founded their company MED-EL in Innsbruck in 1990. Today the firm is a leading international provider of hearing implant systems with 28 offices worldwide and a 1500-strong workforce.

The Lasker Awards have been presented since 1946 and are popularly known as “America’s Nobels”.