Humble beginnings: Award-winning stroke researcher recalls kerosene lamp studies in India

  • The Australian Global Talent Award recognizes Dr. Sonu Bhaskar’s contributions to medicine and his efforts to discover the causes of stroke.
  • The Global Australian Awards 2022 received over 400 nominations.
  • dr Sonu Bhaskar, a medical entrepreneur and world-leading public health expert, established the world’s first blood clot biobank in Sydney.
  • The Australian Government-backed award recognizes Australians who make exceptional contributions to a range of industries important to the country.
This award is a new category of and will be piloted for the first time in 2022.

dr Bhaskar was recognized for his contributions to medicine and his efforts to uncover the causes of stroke, which is now Australia’s third leading cause of death.

dr Sonu Bhaskar receives the Rotary Youth Leadership Award. Recognition: Delivered by Dr. Sonu Bhaskar

dr Bhaskar, a medical entrepreneur and global health leader also known for establishing the world’s first blood clot biobank in Sydney, said he was very honored.

“In the past, the award has been given to some very well-known figures such as Professor Barry Marshall, a doctor and Nobel laureate, and Dr. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, founder of Biocon, so I consider it a great honor and privilege,” he said.


dr Sonu Bhaskar speaks at an event. Recognition: Delivered by Dr. Sonu Bhaskar

A native of Muzaffarpur in the eastern Indian state of Bihar, Dr. Bhaskar said his grandfather and parents inspired him to work hard and pursue higher education.

He said that as a child he studied under a kerosene lamp because electricity was scarce and walked several kilometers to school every day.
“My family had very limited resources and kerosene oil was a cheaper option for us… Those humble experiences made me who I am today,” recalled Dr. Bhaskar.
meet dr  Vinay Lakra, the first Indian president of Australia's top psychiatry body image

dr Bhaskar was able to study medicine and neuroscience on a scholarship at the University of Zaragoza (Spain) and began his research in neuroradiology, neurophysiology and neuroimaging techniques with a particular focus on stroke patients.

“Stroke is a leading cause of death worldwide, but we know very little about clots that occur as a result of stroke.

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“That’s why I decided to focus my efforts on this issue and I’ve now helped establish a blood clot bank in Sydney, the first of its kind in the world,” he claimed.

dr Bhaskar is the winner of multiple awards including the 2019 European Academy of Neurology (EAN) Investigator Award, 2020 Rotary Vocational Excellence Award, 2021 Paul Harris Fellow Recognition, European Union Marie Curie Fellowship and Prof AR Rao Young Scientist Award.

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It was in 2013 when Dr. Bhaskar emigrated to Australia. He received his doctorate in medicine from Newcastle University, followed by post-doctoral research at Western Sydney University and Sydney University.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Bhaskar also founded a nonprofit think tank called the Pandemic Health System Resilience Program, which developed guidelines for citizen preparedness and response to a global pandemic.
“Science and innovation must be encouraged at all levels as I believe only this flow can create an ecosystem that is good for Australia and the world to move forward in these difficult times,” he added.
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