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Ingeborg J. Hochmair-Desoyer started her career in 1976 as a research assistant and in 1977, together with Erwin Hochmair, developed the first microelectronic multichannel cochlear implant (CI). After a research stay at the Institute for Electronics in Medicine at Stanford University and numerous publications and patents, Hochmair-Desoyer worked as a consultant for the 3M Company in St. Paul on neuroprostheses. From 1982 to 1989 she worked as a postdoctoral research scientist at the Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, and earned the venia legendi for medical technology at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Technical University of Vienna. Since 1990 she has, as CEO and CTO, built up the company MED-EL, which she had cofounded with her husband.
Hochmair-Desoyer has been honored as a pioneer of the modern CI by receiving the Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award 2013 together with Graeme Clark and Blake Wilson. For her scientific achievements she has received a number of prizes, such as the Holzer Award (1979), Leonardo da Vinci Award (1980), and Sandoz Award (1984). In 1995 she won the Business Woman of the Year Award (Prix Veuve Clicquot), and the following year the Wilhelm Exner Medal. She has honorary doctorates from the faculty of medicine at the Munich University of Technology (2004) and Innsbruck University of Medicine (2010).
Hochmair-Desoyer is the author or coauthor of more than 100 papers and inventor or coinventor on over 40 patents. She holds a PhD in electrical engineering from the Technical University of Vienna.