Therapeutic Innovations in Affective Disorders

  • Healthscope Chair of Psychiatry Professor Chee Ng

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    +61 3 9420 9350

  • Project Details

    The group based at the Melbourne Clinic is focussed on research in treatments for affective disorders in the areas of psychopharmacology, pharmacogenomics, lifestyle interventions, integrative mental health models, nutraceuticals, and brain stimulation. The clinical research areas include major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, treatment resistant mood disorder, anxiety disorders and related disorders.

    Currently the research unit is conducting several double-blind randomised control trials (RCTs) using conventional and novel pharmacotherapies for affective and anxiety disorders. Interventions studied include both pharmaceutical psychopharmacological agents and nutraceuticals.  A major  focus of the unit's research includes the study of pharmacogenomics, to examine potential genetic markers of treatment response and the prediction of efficacy and tolerability. Of note, one of the key focus is  nutraceutical and lifestyle medicine mental health research, and the unit is involved in several NHMRC-funded multi-centre projects testing novel nutraceutical compounds to improve mood or reduce anxiety in people with psychiatric disorders (see Arcadia research group).

    The Melbourne Clinic Professorial Unit is involved in a number of collaborations in Victoria, nationally and internationally in Asia, Europe, and the USA.


    Healthscope Professor of Psychiatry Professor Chee Ng

    Honorary Principal Research Fellow, A/Prof Jerome Sarris,

    Senior Lecturer, Dr Joel King
    Research Coordinator, Nathan Dowling
    Clinical Trials Co-ordinator, Dr Jenifer Murphy

    Research Assistants and Students

    Ms Gina Oliver
    Ms Samantha Galea
    Mr Lachlan Cribb
    Ms Melanie Aston
    Ms Karen Savage
    Ms Tanya Freijy
    Ms Rosie Arnold
    Ms Alison Cullen

    Clinical Associates and Research Staff

    Dr Richard Bonwick
    Dr Scott Blair West
    Dr Chia Huang
    Dr Ranjit Menon
    Dr Perry Short
    Dr Lev Botvinik
    A/Prof Amgad Tanaghow



    Deakin University/Barwon Health
    Monash University (Brain and Mental Health Laboratory)
    Australian Catholic University
    Swinburne University
    UNSW & Black Dog Institute
    University of Queensland
    University of Western Australia


    Peking University Institute of Mental Health
    National University Singapore
    College of Medicine, Korea University
    Chinese University of Hong Kong
    University of Macau
    University of Rochester


      NHMRC Project Grant APP 1121510 (2017) Efficacy of Garcinia mangostana Linn pericarp for bipolar depression
      NHMRC Project Grant APP 1104460 (2016): N-acetyl cysteine for the treatment of OCD: 24 double-blind RCT
      NHMRC Project Grant APP1063383 (2014): Kava in the Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder: A 16 week RCT
      NHMRC Project Grant APP1048222 (2012): The Efficacy of S-Adenosyl Methionine (SAMe) in Depression

    Research Outcomes

    The Melbourne Clinic Professorial Unit has collaboratively produced over 100 publications in past five years. See below for a list of selected publications.

    Research Publications

    Bousman CA, Sarris J, Won ES, Chang HS, Singh AB, Ng CH. Escitalopram efficacy: A cross-ethnic examination of the serotonin transporter promoter polymorphism. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology 2014; 34(5): 645-8.

    Ng CH, Bousman C, Smith DJ, Dowling N, Byron K, King J, Sarris J. Prospective Study of serotonin and norepinephrine transporter genes and the Response to Desvenlafaxine over 8 Weeks in Major Depressive Disorder. Pharmacopsychiatry 2016;49(5):210-212.

    Sarris J, Murphy J, Mischoulon D, Papakostas GI, Fava M, Berk M, Ng CH. Adjunctive Nutrient Nutraceuticals for Depression: A Systematic Review and Meta-analyses. American Journal of Psychiatry 2016;173(6):575-87.

    Zhang L, Zhang QE, Zhao Q, Wang G, Ungvari GS, Ng CH, Chiu HFK, Yu X, Fan YR, Li HC, Yang HC, Tan QR, Xu XF, Xiang YT (2017). Duration of untreated bipolar disorder: a multicenter study. Scientific Reports;7:44811. doi: 10.1038/srep44811

    Bousman CA, Forbes M, Jayaram M, Eyre H, Reynolds C, Berk M, Hopwood M, Ng CH (2017). Antidepressant prescribing in the precision medicine era: A prescriber’s primer on pharmacogenetic tools. BMC Psychiatry;17(1):60. doi: 10.1186/s12888-017-1230-5

    Research Group

    Melbourne Clinic Research

    Faculty Research Themes


    School Research Themes

    Neuroscience & Psychiatry

    Key Contact

    For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

    Department / Centre


    Unit / Centre

    Melbourne Clinic Research

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