Bernhard is the Director of the Department of Anesthesia, Perioperative and Pain Medicine at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, with an honorary academic appointment at the University of Melbourne.
Previous academic and clinical appointments included: Professor and Deputy Chair in Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Centre; Professor in Cardiac Anaesthesia at Vanderbilt University (USA); and Consultant Anaesthetist, Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Trust, London. UK.
Bernhard’s academic interests focus on improving surgical outcomes, especially following cancer surgery—with strategies for enhanced risk stratification (including measuring functional capacity with cardiopulmonary exercise testing, assessing underlying endothelial dysfunction) and preoperative optimization (including prehabilitation with exercise therapy and haematinic optimization) to reduce complications after surgery. Specific to the field of onco-anaesthesia, Bernhard’s research collaborative investigates the interaction of perioperative adrenergic-inflammatory response and anaesthetic technique on tumor-progression signaling on the potential long-term postoperative complication—cancer recurrence. Bernhard’s collaborative research program to date has resulted in more than 30 research grants, more than 100 peer-reviewed / invited articles, 3 edited books (including ‘Acute Care of the Cancer Patient’), and 13 awards presented to him and his team for education, research and clinical quality improvement initiatives.
2007 - Association of University Anesthesiologists - Elected Member based on Research and Leadership Contributions (USA)
2009 - Volker I. Striepe Teaching Award - Vanderbilt University (USA)
2010 - Golden Apple Excellence in Teaching Award - Vanderbilt University (USA)
2014 - Department of Health Secretary Award (Top 3 Finalist) – Victorian Public Health Care 2014 Awards.
2015 - Minister of Health Award for Excellence in Cancer Care: Victorian Public Health Care Awards.