Psychiatry Overview

The Department  comprises various various internationally recognised centres and units active in biological and translational psychiatry research.


The Department  comprises various internationally recognised centres and units active in biological and translational psychiatry research. A significant feature of our research is that many activities are integrated, for example, translational and biological research occur within the same interdisciplinary teams. This offers unique research training opportunities for students and junior researchers. The research environment is further strengthened by our involvement in mental health policy and practice. Significant international engagement in the Asia-Pacific region provides a highly stimulating environment for learning, training and research programs. Our research includes pure and applied science aimed at improving the lives of people with mental health problems that require cross-disciplinary approaches and partnerships with diverse community organisations.

Main research strengths

The Department has significant research expertise in a very broad range of areas including:

  • imaging of brain changes during the development of psychosis and other major mental health problems
  • molecular and cellular brain changes in psychosis and major depressive disorder
  • assessing the quality of life of individuals living with major mental health problems
  • identifying and treating trauma
  • family-based interventions in which a family member has mental health problems
  • identifying very early life events that affect the risk of or resilience to the emergence of later mental health problems
  • Alzheimer's disease and other dementias
  • eating disorders
  • body dysmorphophobia.

These research programs are supported by an array of methodologies and platform technologies from biostatistics and epidemiology to genomics, proteomics and other cutting-edge neuroscience technologies.

Our Research Groups


Funding sources include the National Health and Medical Research Council, the Australian Research Council, the Victorian Government and numerous philanthropic bodies such as Beyond Blue and the Rebecca L Cooper Medical Research Foundation. The Department is a partner in the Collaborative Research Centre for Mental Health, which has received funding ($23 million) from the Australian Government. The Financial Markets Foundation for Children has donated $5 million for the establishment of the Chair in Developmental Mental Health jointly with the Department of Paediatrics.


We have close collaborative links with other departments within The University of Melbourne, and with other universities, institutes and organisations, both nationally and internationally, across Europe, North America and Asia. Collaboration with the Peking University Institute of Mental Health has resulted in the establishment of the Melbourne–Peking Centre for Psychiatric Research Training which will enhance joint PhDs from both institutions and allow the development of bilingual educational resources including on-line materials.

Our Research Groups