Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability and the second most common cause of death in adults in the developed world.

Clinicians usually distinguish two different types of stroke, ischemic and hemorrhagic. Ischemic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain is blocked. This causes part of the brain that is supplied by that vessel to stop functioning, as the brain depends on adequate supply of blood and oxygen in order for it to function normally. Depending on the part of the brain that is involved, this may cause different symptoms such as weakness, loss of sensation, loss of balance, loss of vision, or speech difficulty. If blood flow is not restored urgently, the part of the brain that is threatened may be permanently damaged, a process known as infarction. In a hemorrhagic stroke, the wall of a blood vessel in the brain becomes fragile and leaky allowing blood to escape from the circulation and into the brain tissue. This causes damage to the surrounding brain.

The stroke research group works to improve acute stroke management and secondary stroke prevention through a variety of research projects, as well as improving the rehabilitation and recovery from stroke. This includes developing new methods for brain imaging, comparing old and new treatment methods and addressing basic questions concerning recanalization (reopening the blocked blood vessel) and reperfusion (restoring bloodflow) in ischemic stroke.


Professor Bruce Campbell

Professor Bruce Campbell


Professor Bruce Campbell is a consultant neurologist, as well as Interim Head of Neurology and Head of Stroke at Royal Melbourne Hospital. He is a principal research fellow in the MBC-RMH. His research interests are focused on the imaging and treatment of acute stroke and he was co-principal investigator and medical coordinator of the EXTEND-IA and EXTEND-IA TNK multi-centre randomised trials published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2015 and 2018.


He is Chair of Clinical Council and a director of the Stroke Foundation and co-chaired the 2017 Australian stroke guidelines working group. He was an inaugural member of the Victorian stroke telemedicine project and is the co-ordinator of the National Brainschool training program for neurologists in training.

Professor Stephen Davis

Professor Stephen Davis


Professor Stephen Davis AM is a Professor of Translational Neuroscience at the University of Melbourne, the Director of the Melbourne Brain Centre at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Immediate Past-President of the World Stroke Organization.


His research is focused on acute therapy for both ischemic stroke and intracerebral hemorrhage, particularly the use of advanced imaging in selection of therapy. He is the Principal Investigator of the Centre’s NHMRC stroke program 2017-2021 and Co- Chair of the Melbourne Mobile Stroke Unit program at the MBC-RMH.

Professor Geoffrey Donnan

Professor Geoffrey Donnan


Professor Geoffrey Donnan AO is the immediate Past-Director of the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, and Professor of Neurology, University of Melbourne. His research interest is clinical stroke management and he was co-founder of the Australian Stroke Trials Network. He is a Past-President of the World Stroke Organization.


Professor Donnan has a major research interest in ischemic stroke. He  conducted the first ever clinical trials of clot dissolving agents (thrombolysis) in Australia and has been a leader in acute stroke trials internationally. He is a lead investigator of the Centre’s NHMRC funded stroke program and Co-Chair of the Melbourne Mobile Stroke Unit program at the MBC-RMH.

Professor Bernard Yan

Professor Bernard Yan


Professor Bernard Yan is both Neurologist and Endovascular Neurointerventionist in Royal Melbourne Hospital, Australia. His clinical expertise is in stroke intervention and aneurysms. Since employment in 2005 at the Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, Bernard Yan has pursued an academic interest in cerebrovascular disease research. He has published 194 academic papers in peer-reviewed medical journals (SCI) achieving an h-index of 33 with > 8000 citations. He supervises together with the Engineering Department PhD research students with focus on medical devices.

He is the principal investigator of several international studies in cerebrovascular diseases including DIRECT-SAFE in which he is the co-principal together with Professor Peter Mitchell. He is the awardee of academic grants by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). His other key research interests include the development of portable mobile wireless sensors for the intensive monitoring of patients with neurological diseases. He is actively involved in the development of novel microcatheters for the treatment of cerebrovascular diseases. He is also the co-inventor and holder of patent of the Neuroglide micronavigational system.

His administrative responsibilities include Treasurer (2014 onwards) of the World Stroke Organization (WSO) and Vice-President of the Stroke Society of Australasia. He is the founding organizer of the Australia and China Training Initiative of Neurology (ACTION) programme. The programme is in its 10th year of operations and has successfully trained over 300 young neurologists from China.

MBC Website - Mark Parsons.jpg

Professor Mark Parsons


Professor Mark Parsons joined the MBC-RMH team in 2017. He is an internationally recognised leader in stroke research and is a national leader in stroke and neurology clinical service and education.


He holds the Royal Melbourne Hospital Professorial Chair of Neurology, Melbourne Medical School, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne, and is the Deputy-Director of the MBC-RMH. He is an Honorary Professorial Fellow, The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health.  He is also an Honorary Professor at Fudan University, Shanghai.


Extend-IA TNK II trial
MOSES study



It is with great pride that we can announce Dr Henry Zhao has been nominated as one of twelve finalists for the Premier's Awards for Health and Medical Research, run by the Victorian Department of Health & Human Services.

These awards recognise "the exceptional contributions and capabilities of Victoria's emerging early career researchers in their PhD studies". This is fantastic recognition of Henry's work which explores new and more rapid ways of identifying and treating the most severe types of stroke on the Mobile Stroke Unit. Good luck, Henry!

Henry Zhao_Fotor.jpg


We are proud to celebrate two years of the successful Stroke Ambulance service in Melbourne and look forward to future developments, and possibly more stroke ambulances, to help us treat more people faster and more effectively. Thanks to 7NEWS Melbourne for the below feature!


At the 29th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Stroke Society of Australasia, we're proud to announce that the MBC-RMH’s senior neuroimaging scientist, Dr Andrew Bivard, was awarded a $40k Innovation Grant by our friends at Boehringer-Ingelheim. We look forward to reporting the outcomes of the research generously supported by this grant.