ABOUT DR RAJ SINGH SHEKHAWAT
Section of Health Systems/Audiology
An endless source of inspiration
Raj, born in India, is no stranger to travel, both as a child with his Indian Army father, and more latterly to further his healthcare career. His academic sights were set high at the start, with a double master in audiology and speech language pathology from Ali Yavar Jung National Institute for the Hearing Handicapped in Mumbai, where he topped the university with the highest ever marks since the course started.
He worked in Mumbai as an Audiologist for 18 months before moving to Houston, Texas as a speech language pathologist.
An offer from Tan Tock Seng Hospital in Singapore drew him to a position as clinical audiologist there for two years, where his interest in tinnitus evolved, shaping his future career.
“My aha moment came to me as a clinician in a Singapore hospital, my interest in tinnitus evolved and shaping my career”
Raj came to New Zealand to undertake a PhD in the therapeutic effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (TDCS) as a potential treatment to cure or mitigate the condition of tinnitus. A degree he completed in just over two years.
He currently has a teaching position in Health Systems in the School of Population Health, which as a 0.8 FTE gives him time to teach final year BHSc students undertaking the POPLHLTH 302 course and also pursue his research passions. He was the postgraduate co-supervisor for three MAuD students investigating neuromodulation for tinnitus relief as well as 10 medical students from Sweden and USA during studentships in the Section of Audiology for tinnitus research. He is also happy to be able to combine his passions for acting and research, in a YouTube channel for students.
Raj has had considerable success in gaining travel grants and awards, including the 2017 Maurice & Phyllis Paykel trust travel grant, 2016 MRC Institute of Hearing Research Early Career Award, UK; the 2015 Auckland Medical Research Foundation Jean Cathie Research Fund Fellowship; and AMRF Travel Grants (2015 and 2017). He is an Associate Fellow of HERDSA (Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia), a society committed to the advancement of higher and tertiary education.
He is particularly excited about his most recent appointment as Public Relations Manager for Tinnitus Research initiative (TRI), Germany, which is a non-profit foundation dedicated to the development of effective treatments for all types of tinnitus so that relief can be obtained by everyone who suffers from it.
He values his networks, gained through an active programme of work in Mumbai, Singapore and the USA, as well as independently established international research collaborations with the University of Nottingham, University of Regensburg and the University of Texas at Dallas to name a few.
He believes his appointment to the Tinnitus Research Initiative will open even more doors as researchers continue to collaborate on finding solutions to one of the world’s most prevalent conditions. With hearing loss and tinnitus interwoven, global statistics indicate the number of people with hearing loss is more than those living with Parkinson’s, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s and diabetes combined.