Dr Sonu Bhaskar

My Expertise

Stroke, Neurology, Leadership in Medicine, Diversity, Inclusion, Patient Outcomes, Research Collaboration, Biobanking, Biomarkers, Clinical Trials, Neuroimaging


Field of Research (FoR)

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Dr Sonu Bhaskar is an award-winning clinician-scientist, academic neurologist and healthcare executive with a specialisation in vascular neurology and neuroradiology and a researcher with a strong focus on neurovascular imaging, (neuro)-epidemiology and health-systems. Dr Bhaskar is the Founding Director and Chief Investigator of NSW Brain Clot Bank – a flagship world’s first initiative established with the funding from the NSW Ministry of...view more

Dr Sonu Bhaskar is an award-winning clinician-scientist, academic neurologist and healthcare executive with a specialisation in vascular neurology and neuroradiology and a researcher with a strong focus on neurovascular imaging, (neuro)-epidemiology and health-systems. Dr Bhaskar is the Founding Director and Chief Investigator of NSW Brain Clot Bank – a flagship world’s first initiative established with the funding from the NSW Ministry of Health in partnership with NSW Health Pathology, local health districts (LHDs), comprehensive stroke centres, NSW State-wide Biobank and medical research institutes in NSW.

He is the Chief Investigator of Thrombolysis and Endovascular FLow Network (TEFLON) trial – a health systems improvement study to reduce stroke treatment delays in delivery of reperfusion therapy.

Dr Bhaskar also holds an executive leadership role with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Enterprise (DVC-E)/SPHERE Alliance at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney – an NHMRC recognised Advanced Health Research and Translation Centre (AHRTC).

Dr Bhaskar leads the Neurovascular Imaging Laboratory and holds conjoint affiliations at the Department of Neurology & Neurophysiology, Liverpool Hospital, South Western Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD), Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, Australia.

Liverpool Hospital is the largest hospital in the state of New South Wales (NSW), one of the leading trauma and comprehensive stroke centres in Australia, and is also a teaching hospital affiliated to South West Sydney Clinical School of Western Sydney University and the University of New South Wales (UNSW).

Leadership in Medicine

Dr Bhaskar is on a mission to reduce the global burden of neurological diseases in general and stroke, in particular, intending to bring translational change in clinical practice, and, hopefully, improve the quality of life of patients.

Dr Bhaskar has successfully led notable novel initiatives with broader policy implications. Dr Bhaskar has been involved in leading national and international clinical trials and consortiums - have developed strong collaborative linkages in Australia, Europe and Asia. Dr Bhaskar has attracted substantial funding through national and international fellowships and project grants. He has been the recipient of reputed national and international awards for his translational focus including European Academy of Neurology 2019 Investigator Award, EU Marie Curie fellowship, Spanish Ministry of Health fellowship, Dutch Ministry Top Talent Award in Biomedical Sciences and Medical Innovation and Prof AR Rao Young Scientist Award.

He is a member of prestigious societies including American Neurological Association (ANA), European Academy of Neurology, Stroke Society of Australasia, Spanish Society of Neurophysiology, Dutch Neuroscience Federation/FENS, Indian Academy of Neurosciences, Australian Neuroscience Society (ANS), Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness (ASSC), European Society for Hybrid Medical Imaging (ESHMI) and International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism (ISCBFM).

Prior to moving to South Western Sydney, Dr Bhaskar has had worked at world's leading university hospitals and research institutes in Australia, Europe and Asia - including Sydney Medical School (University of Sydney), John Hunter Hospital/Hunter Medical Research Institute (Newcastle), St Radboud University Medical Centre (Nijmegen, Netherlands), Helmholtz Centre (University of Munich, Germany), All India Institute of Medical Sciences (India), and Hospital Miguel Servet (Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain).

Dr Bhaskar also holds conjoint appointments at Department of Neurology, John Hunter Hospital & Priority Stroke Research Centre for Stroke & Brain Injury (PRCSBI), and at Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI), The University of Newcastle. He is an honorary research fellow at Stroke & Neurology Research Group, Ingham Institute of Applied Medical Research & South West Sydney Research Australia, South West Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD).

Trained under renowned stroke neurologist, Prof Christopher Levi, Dr Bhaskar pursued doctoral research under Prof Levi, A/Prof Peter Stanwell, Prof John Attia and Prof Michael Nilsson at Department of Neurology, John Hunter Hospital, the University of Newcastle on CT/MRI based imaging markers in acute ischemic stroke. He found a novel cortical venous flow-based imaging biomarker which has the potential to be used as a prognostic tool in stroke.

Dr Bhaskar's work has been published in several prestigious journals including Nature Scientific Reports, Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology, BMC Neurology, Clinical Science and Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism.

He is the Convenor, Chair of the Scientific Committee and Chair of the Young and Emerging Leaders for Health Partnerships of the Health Partnerships for Better Health International Symposium (ICC Darling Harbour, Sydney; 29-30 August 2019). 

Dr Bhaskar founded Neurology Talkies – a novel program dedicated to improving awareness of neurological diseases through community engagement. In 2019, Dr Bhaskar was selected to deliver two Neurology Talkies talks at Liverpool and Carnes Hill Library, for Inspiring Australia’s Talking Science Series, as part of Sydney Science Festival in National Science Week.

Dr Bhaskar is passionate about compassionate & inclusive healthcare leadership, humane and ethical innovation and patient-centred care. He is committed to collaborative research and medical care with compassionate outreach. Besides medicine, he takes a keen interest in science communication for global health & equity, medical volunteering, poetry, and humanitarian initiatives. He is the past Ambassador for eLife in Australia and an active member of the Rotary Club of Sydney & EMCR forum (supported by Australian Academy of Sciences). He credits his learning to his humble upbringing, parents and mentors. 

My Qualifications

MD PhD PD (Stroke/Neurology)


  1. American Neurological Association (ANA)
  2. European Academy of Neurology (EAN)
  3. Marie Curie Alumni Association (MCAA)
  4. European Society of Radiology (ESR)
  5. Stroke Society of Australasia (SSA)
  6. International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism (ISCBFM)
  7. Dutch Neuroscience Federation/Federation of European Neuroscience Society (FENS)
  8. Spanish Society of Neurophysiology
  9. Indian Academy of Neurosciences
  10. Cerebrovascular Society of India
  11. European Society for Hybrid Medical Imaging (ESHMI)

My Awards


  1. European Academy of Neurology Investigator Award 2019 - Two-time winner
  2. First Prize, Battle of the Mentors, Health Beyond Showcase, Liverpool, 2018.
  3. Nominated for “Young Investigator Awards oral paper category” at Brain Ischemia Conference, Rome, Italy (2014).
  4. Nominated for Best Thesis Award at Health Services & Policy Research Conference, 2017.
  5. EU Marie Curie Fellowship, St Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, Netherlands.
  6. Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) & Centre for Translational Neuroscience & Mental Health (CTNMH) Top-Up Scholarship.
  7. Doctoral Scholarship, School of Public Health & Medicine, University of Newcastle (2013-2016).
  8. Travel Grant, Hunter New England (HNE) Health, Newcastle.
  9. International Talent Program in Medicine & Life Sciences, Dutch Ministry of Health, The Netherlands (One among top 50 top clinician and biomedical scientists selected from all over the world), Netherlands, 2010.
  10. Travel Bursary & Visiting Scholarship, Max Planck Institute, Gottingen, Germany, 2009.
  11. Visiting Fellowship, Helmholtz Institute, Helmholtz Institute Munich, Germany, 2009.
  12. Spanish Ministry of Health Award Fellowship, Gobierno de Espana, Spain
  13. Li Ka Shing Foundation Fellowship, China, 2012.  
  14. Prof AR Rao Young Scientist Award for outstanding contributions to translational medicine, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).

My Research Activities

Dr Sonu Bhaskar is the Founding Director and Chief Investigator of Australia’s first NSW Brain Clot Bank (with A/Prof Murray Killingsworth) and Thrombolysis and Endovascular FLow Network (TEFLON) trial. His preliminary work on TEFLON received recognition in the form of First Prize in the Battle of the Mentors at the SWSLHD Health Beyond Research & Innovation Showcase 2018. TEFLON was one of the finalists in the SWSLHD Clinical Quality Awards 2018. His collaborative work has gained further traction with oral platform presentation in the category of “Knowledge Translation in Practice” at the 7th Annual NHMRC Symposium on Research Translation held on 27-28 November 2018 at The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.

NSW Brain Clot Bank has been recently successful in securing 4-year substantial funding from the NSW Ministry of Health. This grant will enable the establishment of an NSW collection for thrombectomy samples to be housed at the NSW State-wide Biobank Facility.


  1. Founding Director and Chief Investigator, NSW Brain Clot Bank. Funded by Office of Health and Medical Research (OHMR), Ministry of Health, NSW (2019-). NSW wide biospecimen biobank for clots retrieved after endovascular thrombectomy following an acute ischemic stroke. Development of a streamlined clot collection, storage and processing workflow across NSW Health Pathology network including an automated digital pathology platform for histopathological/morphological analyses of brain clots.
  2. Chief Investigator, Thrombolysis and Endovascular Network Trial (TEFLON) [2017-2019] TEFLON is a system intervention pre- and post- controlled randomized controlled trial for reducing treatment delays in acute ischemic stroke across two major hospitals, Liverpool and Prince of Wales Hospitals in Sydney. UNSW SPHERE MINDGARDENS Funding: AU $ 40000
  3. Principal Investigator, Factors Associated with Delayed Presentation to the Emergency Department in Stroke Patients [2018-2019]
  4. Chief Investigator, Infective Endocarditis and Stroke - A Retrospective Epidemiological Study from a Tertiary Hospital in Australia [2018-2019]
  5. Team lead, Neuronavigator© App, A mobile app to facilitate easy and streamlined access to stroke neuroimaging data; 2018.

My Research Supervision

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My Engagement

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Department of Neurophysiology, Liverpool Hospital
Level 1, Clinical Sciences Building
Elizabeth St
Liverpool NSW 2170

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+61 (02) 8738 3648


by Dr Sonu Bhaskar