Microsurgery research commenced in the mid 1960’s on small blood vessels and nerves. This was an exciting time in research especially for the late Bernard O’Brien, who had trained in science and medicine at the University of Melbourne, graduating in the late 1950s. The Microsurgery Research Unit (later Centre) at St Vincent’s Hospital, was formally created in 1972.


Bernard O’Brien AC OMB (1924-1993)

The Microsurgery Foundation was established under the Chairmanship of the late Sir William Kilpatrick and the leadership of Bernard O’Brien. It brought together an independent board made up of business and professional people who worked tirelessly for the appointed director. Today the Institute is still recognised internationally for its contribution to microsurgical techniques used to transfer and rebuild body parts and tissues.

The Institute established an internationally recognised fellowship program for young surgical fellows wishing to learn about microsurgery.

The O’Brien Institute Department, St Vincent’s Institute continues to research its core projects with all grants and donations raised by the independent O’Brien Foundation used solely to support the research work envisaged by Bernard O’Brien.