ARCADIA: Nutraceutical and Lifestyle Medicine Mental Health Research Group

Project Details

ARCADIA is a specialised nutraceutical and lifestyle medicine mental health research group within The Professorial Unit based at The Melbourne Clinic. ARCADIA holds collaborations with The University of Melbourne, Swinburne University and the National Institute of Complementary Medicine (NICM) at Western Sydney University. Our vision is to enhance the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders by leading the research of nutraceuticals (pharmaceutical-grade standardised nutrient or plant-based medicines) and lifestyle medicine in the field of psychiatry. The group is part of the broader research unit focusing on the key areas of psychopharmacology, pharmacogenomics, and brain stimulation.

The  group is conducting several NHMRC-funded double-blind randomised control trials using nutraceuticals in the treatment of mental disorders such as unipolar depression, generalised anxiety disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder. A major  focus of this research includes the study of pharmacogenomics, to examine genetic markers of treatment response and the prediction of efficacy and tolerability of these agents. We are also passionate about researching the emerging area of lifestyle medicine, and the application of diet, exercise etc. to enhance both physical and mental health.

Results of our ongoing NHMRC and collaborative industry-funded clinical studies continues to advance the treatment of depressive and anxiety disorders. This research is aimed at enhancing the education and clinical treatment of mental disorders, as well as growing public knowledge of these approaches.

Details of our current research studies can be found here:


Professorial Unit Head & Healthscope Professor of Psychiatry, Professor Chee Ng
Group Head and Honorary Principal Research Fellow, Prof Jerome Sarris
Acting Group Manager, Georgina Oliver
Trials Co-ordinator, Nathan Dowling

Medical Supervisors

Prof Chee Ng
Dr Scott Blair-West
Dr Ranjit Menon
Dr Stuart Thomas
Dr Edward Ogden

Research Assistants and Students

Rosie Arnold
Lachlan Cribb
Tanya Freijy
Samantha Galea
Oliver Homes
Emma Jennings
Patricia McDonald
Sonia Nazareth
Karen Savage



Professor David Castle (University of Melbourne)
Dr Chad Bousman (University of Melbourne)
Professor Michael Berk (Deakin University)
Professor Gerard Byrne (University of Queensland)
Professor Felice Jacka (Deakin University)
Professor Jon Adams (UTS)
Dr Jon Wardle (UTS)
Dr David Camfield (University of Wollongong)
Dr Chao Suo (Monash University)
Erica McInyre (Charles Sturt University)
Ashley Dowell (Southern Cross University)
Peter Mouatt (Southern Cross University)
Professor Susan Rossel (Swinburne University)
Professor Con Stough (Swinburne University)
Professor Andrew Scholey (Swinburne University)
Prof Greg Murray (Swinburne University)
Associate Professor Andrew Pipingas (Swinburne University)
Dr Amie Steel (UTS)


Professor David Mischoulon (Harvard Medical School; USA) 
Professor Maurizio Fava (Harvard Medical School, USA)
Dr James Lake (Stanford University; USA)
Professor Rolf Teschke (Goethe University, Germany)
Professor Julia Rucklidge (University of Canterbury; New Zealand)
Dr Daisuke Nishi (National Centre of Neurology and Psychiatry; Japan)
Professor Kuan-Pin Su (China Medical University; Taiwan)


International Society of Nutritional Psychiatric Research
International Network of International Mental Health


Notable collaborative NHMRC-funded grants totalling $6.3m in collaborative competitive and industry funding:

    NHMRC Project Grant APP1098442 (2016): N-acetyl cysteine In Schizophrenia Resistant To Clozapine: A Double-Blind Randomised Placebo-Controlled Trial Targeting Negative Symptoms
    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) and a Combination

Research Publications

Sarris J, Murphy J, Mischoulon D, Papakostas GI, Fava M, Berk M, Ng C (2016). Adjunctive Nutraceuticals in the Treatment of Depression: A Systematic Review and Meta-analyses. American Journal of Psychiatry 173(6): 575-587.
Sarris J, Logan, A, Akbaraly T, Amminger GP, Balanzá-Martínez V, Freeman MP, Hibbeln J, Matsuoka Y, Mischoulon, D, Mizoue T, Nanri A, Nishi D, Ramsey D, Rucklidge JJ, Sanchez-Villegas A, Scholey A, Su KP, Jacka FN (2015). Nutritional Medicine as Mainstream in Psychiatry. The Lancet Psychiatry 2(3): 271-274.
Sarris J, Oliver G, Camfield D, Dean O, Dowling N, Smith D, Murphy J, Menon R, Berk M, Blair-West S, Ng C (2015). N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) in the Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A 16-week Double-blind, Randomised, Placebo-Controlled Study. CNS Drugs 29(9): 801-809.
Sarris J, Stough C, Bousman CA, Wahid ZT, Murray G, Teschke R, Savage KM, Dowell A, Ng C, Schweitzer I (2013) Kava in the Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder:  A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology 33(5): 643-648.
Ng C, Bousman C, Smith DJ, Dowling N, Byron K, King J, Sarris J (2016). Prospective Study of serotonin and norepinephrine transporter genes and the Response to Desvenlafaxine over 8 Weeks in Major Depressive Disorder. Pharmacopsychiatry 49.05: 210-212.
Sarris J, O'Neil A, Coulson CE, Schweitzer I, Berk M (2014). Lifestyle medicine for depression." BMC Psychiatry 14: 107.

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


MDHS Research library
Explore by researcher, school, project or topic.