UCL Ear Institute


Nick Lesica is awarded Senior Fellowship by the Wellcome Trust

14 April 2016

Congratulations to Dr Nick Lesica from UCL Ear Institute who has been awarded a Senior Fellowship in Basic Biomedical Science by the Wellcome Trust which will last for five years.

Nick's research investigates how the brain is able to understand speech in a noisy environment with the aim of developing therapies to improve rehabilitation for hearing impaired people.

Nick explains his work in more detail:

In our research, we investigate the brain circuitry that underlies our ability to understand speech in a noisy environment. We have designed a series of experiments to investigate how two different parts of the brain, the cortex and the thalamus, work together to enhance brain activity related to sounds that are relevant for behaviour.

Our experiments are designed to measure brain activity at a very high level of detail, which will allow us to examine exactly which aspects of the activity change when attention is focused on different sounds.

We can then examine how these attentional changes depend on the activity of different types of brain cells.

At the end of these studies, we should be able to use what we have learned to help improve assistive listening devices. For example, if we can learn which sound features are most important for attention, and exactly how the brain uses those features to separate speech from noise, we should be able to take advantage of that to improve the design of hearing aids.

" Our Senior Research Fellowships in Basic Biomedical Science fund the most outstanding postdoctoral scientists based within academic institutions across the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Wellcome Trust Website 2016.