Dr Tom Lillicrap

Tom Lillicrap
Research Program:
Research Topics:

What are your research interests?

  1. Early stroke treatment; developing new imaging techniques and blood tests to speed up access to acute stroke treatments.

  2. Stroke recovery; improving long-term recovery and quality of life for stroke survivors.

My research at HMRI has both a long-term and short-term focus. In the short-term I’m looking at the options to minimise the amount of initial brain damage caused by a stroke, and opening up the treatment options that already exist in major cities to patients in rural areas.  From a long-term perspective, I’m exploring treatments for severe fatigue, which often plagues stroke survivors for years after they’ve left the hospital.

Why did you get into research?

After witnessing the sense of helplessness amongst the doctors and nurses treating two of my grandparents with (at the time) untreatable illnesses (including stroke), I wanted to help provide treatment options for such illnesses.

What would be the ultimate goal for your research?

The dream goal would be to eliminate disability amongst the forty-thousand patients who survive a stroke every year in Australia with a combination of early treatment and effective rehab.  A more realistic goal is to reduce this disability as much as possible.


Tom was born in Alice Springs and lived there until the end of year 12. After completing a Bachelor of Science and PhD at ANU he came to HMRI as a post-doctoral fellow.  His research at HMRI has focussed on both acute stroke research, developing blood tests and new imaging techniques that can enhance access to effective therapy in the first 24 hours after a stroke, and stroke recovery, with a particular emphasis on post-stroke fatigue.

Future Focus

Tom’s future research will continue to focus on maximising the long-term quality of life for stroke survivors, by means of both effective acute treatments and effective rehabilitation.

Specialised/Technical Skills

  • Phlebotomy and cannulation
  • Biobanking
  • Neuroimaging including multi-modal CT and MRI