Professor Vink is a neuroscientist who specialises in acute brain injury research. After completing his BSc (Hons) and PhD at Griffith University in Brisbane, he was awarded a Sandoz Postdoctoral Neuroscience Fellowship in the Neurology Department at the University of California, San Francisco where at the end of that fellowship he was appointed as an Assistant Research Professor. He was then awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Fellowship which allowed him to return to Australia and undertake research at James Cook University in Townsville, North Queensland, focusing on magnetic resonance studies of traumatic brain injury.

At the conclusion of his Fellowship, he was appointed as an academic staff member and over time became an Associate Professor and Head of Department of Physiology and Pharmacology. A period of sabbatical research as an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University, Washington DC, inspired him to move to the University of Adelaide in 2001 where he again focused on research in the Department of Pathology. He was subsequently appointed to be the Neurosurgical Research Foundation’s Chair of Neurosurgical Research and the Head of the School of Medical Sciences. In 2012, the University of Adelaide awarded him a DSc for his international contributions to neurotrauma research. Later that year, he was inducted as a fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences. In 2014 he took the opportunity to join the University of South Australia as the Pro Vice-Chancellor of Health Sciences and in 2018 was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).