Professor Laura Viani is Consultant Otolaryngologist and Neuro-Otologist to Beaumont Hospital and Temple Street University Children’s Hospital.
A graduate of Trinity College Dublin, she pursued her otolaryngology training in Dublin, Manchester and Liverpool and was appointed as consultant to Beaumont Hospital in 1993.
Recognising the absence of a service for profoundly deaf children and adults in the Irish State she undertook Fellowships in skull base surgery in Cambridge, UK and in neuro-otology in Zurich, Switzerland before returning to Ireland in 1995 to perform Ireland’s first cochlear implant. To date, she – and laterally with her colleagues Peter Walsh and Fergal Glynn – has carried out over 2,000 cochlear implants in profoundly deaf children and adults.
From modest beginnings she established the Republic of Ireland’s first and only cochlear implant programme in 1995, which has grown to become the National Hearing Implant and Research Centre. It has secured an annual ring-fenced budget of €6.8 million and has raised an administrative budget of over €90m since inception. Prof. Viani is Director of this stand-alone department at Beaumont Hospital, with a multidisciplinary team of over 30 professionals, caring for children and adults with severe to profound hearing loss from all over Ireland.
With its unique and comprehensive database, she established the multi-institutional Hearing Research Centre comprising of a network of professionals from Beaumont and Temple Street Hospitals, RCSI and Trinity College Dublin. She also established research collaborations with Vanderbilt University, in the United States. She has supervised many PhD and MSc theses for students of TCD and RCSI.
As a popular trainer and mentor, Prof. Viani has recognised the need for hands-on training, not just for Fellows and Specialist Registrars but all training and service grades rotating through her unit. She is a member of the Court of Examiners of RCSI and was convener of Otolaryngology Section at the Charter Day meetings for over 15 years.
She has been a Council Member of RCSI since 2000 and is past president of the otolaryngology section of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland and past president of the Student Surgical Society in RCSI. She is also an Honorary Associate Professor of Surgery in RCSI and an Honorary Adjunct Professor in the School of Medicine at Trinity College Dublin.
Her commitment to research, teaching and service is recognised through the numerous awards including the RAMI Registrar Prize (1986), Research Fellowship of the RCSI (1986), Augustine Mehigan Scholarship (1992), TWJ Scholarship (1993), Angel James Prize London (2000), the Graves Lecturer (2012), The Philip Stell Award (2019) and Outstanding Teaching Award from Bahrain and Middle East Otolaryngology (2019). She was awarded the Inaugural CPL Global World Class Talent Award (2019). Prof. Viani presented The Joseph Toynbee Lecture at the Royal Society of Medicine London (2021).
She has been a visiting Professor in the Cochlear Institutes of Sydney, Melbourne and Bahrain and she has been advisor on cochlear implantation to training centres worldwide.