The purpose of the Research Advisory Council is to provide advice to the Psychosis Australia Trustees on matters relating to research into schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and related disorders. Functions of the Research Advisory Council include:
I. Assessing the merits of particular research programs and activities being conducted in Australia;
II. Monitoring the progress of any research related activities funded or partially funded by the Trust;
III. Making recommendations to the Trustees in relation to providing funding for particular research-related activities or programmes;
IV. Reporting to the Trustees on the activities and the findings of the Research Advisory Council.
Professor of Psychiatry and NHMRC Principal Research Fellow at the Centre for Youth Mental Health, The University of Melbourne; and Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Manchester. She has held positions as Professor and Consultant Psychiatrist at Orygen Research Centre and the Centre for Youth Mental Health. In 2012 she moved to take up a Professorship at the University of Manchester, UK. She returned to Melbourne in late 2018 to and now holds an NHMRC Principal Research Fellowship.
Alison has been researching the early stages of psychotic disorder since 1994. She established a specialized research-clinical service, the PACE Clinic, that manages young people at risk of developing a psychotic illness. The instrument she created to assess risk for psychosis, the Comprehensive Assessment of At Risk Mental States (CAARMS) has been translated into 18 languages and is used throughout the world, both for clinical and research purposes. She is also interested in exercise as an intervention for mental illnesses and in improving the physical health of people with mental disorders.
Alison received the Lilly Oration Award for prominence in psychiatric research in 2009, and the Richard J Wyatt Award in 2010, for exceptional contributions to the area of early intervention in psychosis. In 2014 and 2016 and she was named as one of the “world’s most influential scientific minds” by Thomson Reuters. She has over 350 publications and from 2016 to 2019 she was named as a “highly cited Researcher” by Clarivate Analytics.
In 2019 she was awarded the Founders’ Medal by the Society for Mental Health Research, recognising her career achievements in research.
Patrick D. McGorry is Professor of Youth Mental Health at the University of Melbourne and Director of Orygen Youth Health and Orygen Youth Health Research Centre in Victoria, Australia. Prof McGorry received his medical degree from the University of Sydney and his doctorates from Monash University and the University of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia. He is a world-leading clinician, researcher, and reformer in the areas of early psychosis, early intervention and youth mental health. Prof McGorry’s work has played an integral role in the development of safe, effective treatments and innovative research involving the needs of young people with emerging mental disorders, notably psychotic and severe mood disorders. The result has been the creation, evaluation and upscaling of stigma-free, holistic and recovery oriented models of care for young people and their families. The work of Prof McGorry and key research colleagues at EPPIC and Orygen has influenced health policy in Australia and many other countries and he has advised governments and health systems in many jurisdictions.
Prof. McGorry has published over 400 peer-reviewed papers and reviews, over 50 book chapters, and has edited 6 books. He is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Australian Government Centenary Medal in 2003, the Founders’ Medal of the Australian Society for Psychiatric Research in 2001 and he was the 2010 Australian of the Year. Prof McGorry serves as Editor-in-Chief of Early Intervention in Psychiatry and is a founding board member of the Australian National Youth Mental Health Foundation: headspace, of Headstrong; the National Youth Mental Health Foundation of Ireland, and past-president and treasurer of the International Early Psychosis Association. He has been a member of the National Advisory Group on Mental Health Reform for the Federal Government and of the Victorian Mental Health Reform Council.
As well as his contributions to the field of early psychosis and youth mental health, Professor McGorry has interests in refugee mental health, youth suicide, youth substance use and the treatment of emerging personality disorder.
Professor Christos Pantelis is an NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow, Foundation Professor of Neuropsychiatry and Scientific Director of the Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre at The University of Melbourne and Melbourne Health. Prof Pantelis holds an Honorary Professorial Fellow position at the Florey Institute for Neuroscience & Mental Health and heads the Adult Mental Health Rehabilitation Unit at Sunshine Hospital. He leads a team of over 80 staff, researchers and students that have been undertaking neuroimaging and neuropsychological work in schizophrenia and psychosis, and other psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders since 1993 in Australia. His work has focused on brain structural and functional changes during the transition to psychosis. His group was the first to describe progressive brain structural changes at psychosis onset, with a seminal paper published in The Lancet in 2003. He has published over 380 papers and chapters, including papers in high-profile international psychiatry, neurology, radiology and medical journals. He published one of the first books on the neuropsychology of schizophrenia, a recently published book on “Olfaction and the Brain” and a book on “The Neuropsychology of Mental Illness”. He has established a unique resource of over 5,000 multimodal brain scans in patients with schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric disorders, including longitudinal imaging. Recent work focuses on early developmental disorders, including children with schizotypal features and autism.
A University of Melbourne graduate, Professor Pantelis undertook psychiatric and research training in London. He won Travelling Fellowships from the UK and undertook imaging research at the National Institute of Mental Health in Washington in 1992. After returning to Australia in 1992 he established a research unit at the Mental Health Research Institute. He was subsequently appointed to Associate Professor with The University of Melbourne and established an active research and clinical facility (Cognitive Neuropsychiatry Research & Academic Unit) at Sunshine Hospital in 2000. His neurobiological work in schizophrenia formed the basis of his doctoral (MD) thesis, which was awarded in 2005.
Professor Pantelis was appointed to the Foundation Chair in Neuropsychiatry in 2004 and has established the Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre. He has won a number of NHMRC grants, including recent international collaborative EU-NHMRC grants and is a CI on a national NHMRC Enabling Grant to establish the Australian Schizophrenia Research Bank (ASRB). He was co-Chief Investigator on a NHMRC Program Grant, which commenced in 2005 (2005-2009: $7.4 million) and focuses on the neurobiology of emerging severe mental illness during late brain development. This grant was refunded for a further 5 years commencing (2009-2013: >$10 million). He is an investigator on a $23 million CRC grant examining biomarkers in neurodegenerative and psychotic disorders. In 2003 he won the Selwyn-Smith Medical Research Prize of The University of Melbourne for his work on progressive brain changes in early psychosis and, most recently, he was highly commended in the 2009 Victorian Minister of Health Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Mental Health. He was awarded an NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellowship, which commenced in 2010. He was awarded a 2011 NARSAD Distinguished Investigator Grant from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation (US). He was awarded the international 2012 Robert-Sommer Award from the Justus Liebig University School of Medicine, Germany.
He was a Board Member Board Member of the NSW Schizophrenia Research Institute (2004-2010) and past Board Member of the Mental Illness Fellowship of Victoria (2004-2008), and member of the Scientific Advisory Councils of Neurosciences Victoria (since 2006) and the Illawarra Institute for Mental Health (since 2010). He is also a member of various national and international advisory boards and committees on cognition in psychosis, neuroimaging in psychiatry, and drug treatments in schizophrenia. He is on the Editorial Boards of Australian & NZ Journal of Psychiatry, Journal of Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, International Review of Psychiatry, Acta Neuropsychiatrica, Early Intervention in Psychiatry, Schizophrenia Research, Schizophrenia Bulletin, Biological Psychiatry, Neuroimage Clinical, Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry, and Psychiatriki.
Michael Berk is currently appointed as Alfred Deakin Professor of Psychiatry in the School of Medicine, Deakin University, is Director of the IMPACT Strategic Research Centre at Deakin University, and is also a Professorial Research fellow at the University of Melbourne in the Department of Psychiatry, the Centre for Youth Mental Health, Orygen Research Centre and the Florey Institute for Neuroscience and Mental Health. His predominant interests include risk factors for and prevention of mood disorders, and the discovery and implementation of novel therapies. He is past President of the International Society of Bipolar Disorders and the Australasian Society of Bipolar Disorders.
Professor Berk has published over 400 papers on a range of topics. His research interests include mood and psychotic disorders, particularly bipolar disorder and depression. He has published over 20 self-initiated, non-industry randomised controlled trials, predominantly in bipolar disorder. He is a past committee member of both the Collegium.
Internationale Psychopharmacologicum and World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry, and is a member of a number of international advisory boards. He was the founding editor of The Journal of Depression and Anxiety, is associate editor of both the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry and Early Intervention in Psychiatry, and has served as guest editor or is on the editorial board of 12 other journals as well as being a reviewer of 30 journals.
Professor Berk is the recipient of a number of grants, including a USA National Institutes of Health R34, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Centres of Clinical Research Excellence grant, NHMRC project beyondblue and Stanley Medical Research Institute awards, and is a lead investigator on the Centres of Research Excellence grant for Mental Health. He is regularly invited as a speaker at international meetings.
Professor Vera Morgan is Head of the Neuropsychiatric Epidemiology Research Unit in the School of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences at The University of Western Australia and Deputy Director/Operational Epidemiologist of its Centre for Clinical Research in Neuropsychiatry. She is a psychiatric epidemiologist with a special interest in the epidemiology and aetiology of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, using both record-linkage methodology and survey methods. She was Convenor: Technical Advisory Group for the Australian Government National Survey of High Impact Psychosis and the National Project Director. Her professional roles have included President: Australasian Society for Psychiatric Research, Vice-President: Australasian Epidemiological Association, Chair: Research Committee of the Mental Health Council of Australia and Member: The University of Western Australia Senate.
Use of functional and structural brain imaging to investigate schizophrenia and first episode psychosis, including risk factors such as cannabis use. Research using MRI, ERPs and neuropsychological testing to study auditory sensory memory function in young people at increased risk for the development of psychosis. Collaborative research with colleragues at KU Leuven (Belgium), Kings College London (UK), Universidade Federale de Santa Maria (Brazil), Kyambogo University (Uganda) and University of Sydney. Recent research interests include brain plasticity in neuropsychiatry, efficacy of computerised cognitive remediation training in schizophrenia, and lifestyle interventions to improve physical and mental health outcomes in first episode psychosis and established severe mental illness.
Dr Stanley Catts is Professor of Psychiatry at the Royal Brisbane Clinical School, The University of Queensland. He played a formative role in the establishment of the Schizophrenia Research Institute in NSW, was Foundation Director of the Schizophrenia Research Unit at Liverpool Hospital, initiated a number of early psychosis programs, and currently chairs the Australian Psychosis Research Network which aims to develop a national program of priority-driven strategic research into schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Professor Stephen Wood is Associate Director, Research and also leads the Clinical Neuroscience research area at Orygen. He holds honorary positions at the School of Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne and the School of Psychology, University of Birmingham (UK).
Stephen’s research is focused on identifying neurobiological markers of mental illness, from predictors of poor outcome to markers of treatment response. He is also interested at understanding the way in which normal brain development can affect and be affected by the development of mental illnesses.
Stephen is a vice president of IEPA Early Intervention in Mental Health and a past recipient of the Australasian Society for Psychiatric Research’s Schering-Plough Organon Prize.
Professor Nagel has 30 years’ experience in the Northern Territory as clinician, educator, researcher and leader of the Aboriginal and Islander Mental health initiative (AIMhi). A collaboration with local Indigenous service providers and researchers, the AIMhi program develops and evaluates mental health resources.
The AIMhi research and training program has resulted in changes to guidelines and routine care in Indigenous mental health and rural and remote mental health care across Australia. The team delivers training workshops to diverse primary care and specialist settings in the NT, and across Australia focusing on the Stay Strong App and related culturally responsive e-mental health resources.
Professor Anthony Harris is a consultant psychiatrist with a special interest in early intervention and psychosis. He is the head of the specialty of Psychiatry in the Sydney Medical School. His clinical and research interests include psychophysiology, neuroimaging, and the treatment of psychotic and mood disorders. Professor Harris has a special interest in medical education. He is a member of the editorial board of ‘Therapeutic Guidelines, Psychotropic’, and developed a series of continuing professional development programs in psychiatry for health professionals and the community. He is the chair of One Door Mental Health and chair of its Research Trust Fund.
Ashleigh Lin completed Master of Clinical Neuropsychology and PhD degrees at The University of Melbourne. Ashleigh held postdoctoral research positions at Orygen The National Centre for Youth Mental Health and The University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom before taking up her current role at the Telethon Kids Institute in 2014 as a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Early Career Fellow. She is currently a NHMRC Career Development Research Fellow and Program Head of Mental Health and Youth at the Institute.
Ashleigh’s research is focused on early detection and intervention for mental health problems in adolescents and young adults. She is particularly interested the mental health of vulnerable groups, such as gender diverse and Aboriginal young people. Ashleigh works closely with youth mental health service providers across Perth and is an active contributor to reference groups and committees in youth mental health in the state.
Professor Cherrie Galletly is a consultant psychiatrist working across the University, public mental health and private sectors. She takes a collaborative approach to research, with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of care for people with severe mental illness. Her research interests include schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders; she was Northern Adelaide site director for the Second National Survey of Psychosis (2010) a landmark study of more than 1800 people with psychoses. She heads up one of the leading national centres on neurostimulation treatments for psychiatric disorders. Her teaching responsibilities include the role of Course Convenor for Year 6 MBBS. She has 3 current and 6 completed PhD higher students. She is a Regional Director of postgraduate psychiatry training (Northern Area Local Health Network).
She led the writing of the RANZCP Clinical Practise Guidelines for Schizophrenia and Related Disorders. She is an Associate Editor for the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry and a member of the Editorial Executive for Australian Prescriber.She is a member of the NHMRC Mental Health Research Advisory Committee (2018).
She has published more than 200 papers in the peer reviewed literature, one book and 3 book chapters, and over 50 other articles and abstracts. Her total collaborative research funding exceeds $7m.
Prof Siskind trained as a psychiatrist in Australia and the United States. He graduated from medicine at the University of Queensland in 1998. After working with Doctors Without Borders in Chechnya in 2000, he became interested in psychiatry. He moved to Boston in 2002, where he did his psychiatry residency at Boston University and a Master of Public Health at Harvard University. He returned to Brisbane in June 2008 as a clinical academic psychiatrist at the Metro South Addiction and Mental Health Service. He completed his Ph.D in Feb 2014. His research interests include clozapine and treatment refractory schizophrenia, the physical health of people with severe and persistent mental illness, supported accommodation, assertive community treatment and mental health services research. He has been awared an NHMRC Investigator Grant as an Emerging Leadership Fellow (2021-2025) abnd held an NHMRC Early Career Fellowship (2016-2019). He has over 170 peer reviewed publications, including first author in the highly ranked Lancet, BJPsych, The Lancet Psychiatry, ANZJP, & EPS, as well as a Lancet Commission and publications in The BMJ, World Psychiatry and Lancet Psychiatry and has over $30 million in research grants.
Professor Eóin Killackey is director, research and head of the functional recovery research program at Orygen. He has worked as a clinical psychologist in adolescent and adult public mental health settings and in private practice.
Eóin’s research is primarily in functional recovery. Functional recovery is about finding better ways to help young people with mental illness around issues like getting back to and succeeding in their education, employment and looking after their physical health. He is also interested in global models of youth mental health care as well as evidence-based interventions in mental health and barriers to their implementation.
Eóin is a founder of the International First Episode Vocational Recovery group and is currently President of IEPA: Early Intervention in Mental Health.
Melissa uses research methods from epidemiology, neuroscience, and genetics to understand life-course risk for mental disorders. She is particularly interested in how stress and other social determinants of health increase risk for psychosis, via biological or other mechanisms that may be observable in early life. Melissa is the lead scientific investigator of the NSW Child Development Study (http://nsw-cds.com.au/), a longitudinal investigation of over 90,000 children in NSW, being conducted via repeated waves of linkage of health and human services data. Her current research projects are conducted in collaboration with NSW government partners and colleagues at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), the UNSW School of Psychology, and UNSW Data Science Hub. Her team works with other national collaborators at the University of Newcastle, Flinders University, the University of Melbourne, and Deakin University and with the international Psychiatric Genomics and ENIGMA (Enhancing Neuro-Imaging Genetics via Meta Analyses) Consortia.