Sucharit Bhakdi was born in Washington, DC, and educated at schools in Switzerland, Egypt, and Thailand.
He studied medicine at the University of Bonn in Germany, where he received his MD in 1970. He was a post-doctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics in Freiburg from 1972 to 1976, and at The Protein Laboratory in Copenhagen from 1976 to 1977.
He joined the Institute of Medical Microbiology at Giessen University in 1977 and was appointed associate professor in 1982. He was named chair of Medical Microbiology at the University of Mainz in 1990, where he remained until his retirement in 2012.
Dr. Bhakdi has published over three hundred articles in the fields of immunology, bacteriology, virology, and parasitology, for which he has received numerous awards and the Order of Merit of Rhineland-Palatinate.
Sucharit Bhakdi and his wife, Karina Reiss, live with their three-year-old son, Jonathan Atsadjan, in a small village near the city of Kiel.