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Dr Santa Maria was born and raised in Perth Western Australia. He attended medical school at The University of Western Australia before undertaking his advanced training / residency in Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery. He was the Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery fellow at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital (2012), Western Australia before undertaking a three year instructorship at Stanford University in Otology, Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery (2012-2015). He then returned as faculty at The University of Western Australia, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and The Ear Science Institute Australia.

Dr Santa Maria specializes in adult and pediatric surgery for complex hearing, balance and facial nerve disorders. He has a special interest in the management of cholesteatoma, acoustic neuroma and glomus tumor surgery as well as hearing implants, including cochlear implants. Dr Santa Maria has authored book chapters and published papers and continues his clinical research in these areas, particularly with a focus on hearing preservation. He is currently serving on the Skull Base Surgery, Implantable Devices and the Hearing Committees for the American Academy or Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery.

Dr Santa Maria is a surgeon scientist having completed his PhD in the molecular biology of wound healing of the tympanic membrane at The University of Western Australia. His inventions include a novel treatment for chronic ear drum perforations and a novel medical device to keep patients warms during surgery. His inventions won the Excellence in Stanford SPARK 2014 and Robert Howard New Step Award in Medical Technology Innovation 2014 awards. In his role as director of the Western Australian Medical Innovation Institute he works closely with other medical researchers in bringing their discoveries to patients. He is the Chief of the Scientific Advisory Board for Auration Biotech and the Chief Medical Officer for Flotherm and a consultant for a number of medical device companies.