Advanced Interventions for Mood Disorders

Research Overview

Mood disorders are one of the greatest causes of disability in the community. Both major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder usually start during adolescence and early adulthood, and frequently recur, causing suffering and disability over a large part of the lifespan. Our firstline treatments for mood disorders – psychotherapy and medication – are helpful for many patients, but many do not get the help from them they need.

Our research seeks to find new treatments, and new treatment approaches, for mood disorders. We are studying new treatments in clinical trials, and using functional MRI to understand how they work, and which patients they help. We are also using functional MRI to help us better understand the disorders themselves.



  • NHMRC Project Grant – A randomised controlled trial of low-dose ketamine in youth with severe depression and elevated suicide risk – 2018-2021
  • NHMRC Career Development Fellowship – Examining new treatments and developing new treatment biomarkers for youth with severe depression – 2018-2021
  • Wellcome Trust Innovations Grant – The vulnerable self: A neurophenomenological model of the onset of schizophrenia spectrum disorders (PI Prof. Barnaby Nelson) – 2020-2025
  • NMHRC Project Grant – A neural systems model of fear dysregulation in anxiety disorders (PI Prof. Ben Harrison) – 2019-2022

Research Publications

TOP 5 publications

Davey, C. G., Chanen, A. M., Hetrick, S., Cotton, S. M., Ratheesh, A., Amminger, G. P. et al. (2019). The addition of fluoxetine to cognitive behavioural therapy for youth depression (YoDA-C): a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicentre clinical trial. The Lancet Psychiatry, 6(9), 735-744. PubMed

Davey, C. G. & McGorry, P. D. (2019). Early intervention for depression in young people: a blind spot in mental health care. The Lancet Psychiatry, 6(3), 267-272. PubMed

Davey, C. G., Breakspear, M., Pujol, J., & Harrison, B. J. (2017). A brain model of disturbed self-appraisal in depression. American Journal of Psychiatry, 174(9), 895-903. PubMed

Davey, C. G. & Chanen, A. M. (2016). The unfulfilled promise of the antidepressant medications. Medical Journal of Australia, 204(9), 348-350. PubMed

Davey, C. G., Pujol, J., & Harrison, B. J. (2016). Mapping the self in the brain’s default mode network. NeuroImage, 132, 390-397. PubMed

Research Projects

This Research Group doesn't currently have any projects

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Psychiatry

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact Head of Department, Professor Christopher Davey

Department / Centre


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