Gene-Environment Neuropsychiatry (GENe)

Research Overview

The group objective is to advance personalised psychiatry via discovery, development and evaluation of gene by environment interactions relevant to psychiatry practice.

Our studies are based on a framework that suggests both genetic and environmental factors contribute to psychiatric disorders. We primarily focus on psychotic (e.g. schizophrenia) and mood (e.g. depression) disorders with an emphasis on:

  1. Discovery of distinct variation and environmental interaction with genotypic, transcriptomic, and/or proteomic networks/pathways associated with illness onset, course, and treatment response.
  2. Development of ‘omic’-based clinical decision-making tools for use in screening, diagnosis, staging, prognosis, and/or treatment of mental illness.
  3. Evaluation of the efficacy/utility of ‘omic’-based decision-making tools in clinical practice.

Our research approach involves integration of theory, knowledge, and techniques from multiple disciplines. This approach is based on our experience that one particular discipline may be necessary but is rarely sufficient to address complex questions. As such, we use and adapt methods from the genomic sciences, epidemiology, biostatistics, bioinformatics, pharmaceutical sciences, and neuroscience.




  • Centre for Neural Engineering, University of Melbourne,
  • Primary Care Research Unit, University of Melbourne
  • Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Melbourne
  • Centre for Human Psychopharmacology, Swinburne University of Technology
  • The Melbourne Clinic
  • Albert Road Clinic
  • Turning Point Alcohol & Drug Centre
  • Murdoch Childrens Research Institute


  • Neuroscience Research Australia
  • Brain & Mind Research Institute, University of Sydney
  • Black Dog Institute


  • Psychiatric Genetic Epidemiology & Neurobiology Laboratory,


  • CRC For Mental Health PhD Student Support Grant : 'Biomarkers of clozapine response in schizophrenia'
  • University of Melbourne International Research and Research Training Fund:  'Melbourne-Peking Joint Centre for Psychiatric Research and Training'
  • Brain & Behavior Research Foundation (NARSAD ) Young Investigator Award: 'Development of a gene-based classifier for the diagnosis of schizophrenia'
  • University of Melbourne Ronald Phillip Griffith Fellowship: 'Identifying Clinical Biomarkers of Psychotic Disorder Onset, Course, and Treatment'
  • National Health and Medical Research Council. Australia Cooperative Research Center in Mental Health, Psychosis: 'Investigating biomarkers of treatment resistant psychosis'
  • University of Melbourne Early Career Research Grant: 'Antipsychotic medication effects on gene expression biomarkers for psychosis'
  • L.E.W. Carty Charitable Fund: 'Development of a prediction tool for persistent depression using genetic analysis'

Research Publications

Bousman CA and Hopwood M. Commercial pharmacogenetic-based decision support tools in psychiatry. The Lancet Psychiatry 2016, in press