Professor Chris Davey joins MMS as Head of Psychiatry

Melbourne Medical School welcomes Professor Chris Davey (MBBS(Hons) MPsychiatry PhD, FRANZCP) as the new Head of the Department of Psychiatry, commencing on 16 March. Chris joins us from Orygen and the Centre for Youth Mental Health, where he has been a psychiatrist and researcher for the past 15 years.

Chris has led the mood and anxiety research program at Orygen, and has had clinical leadership roles as the Associate Director of Clinical Services and as the head of a clinic for young people with severe and complex mood disorders.

Professor Chris Davey
Professor Chris Davey

Chris completed his medical degree (with honours) at the University of Western Australia. After training in psychiatry in Sydney and Melbourne, he completed his PhD at the University of Melbourne in the Department of Psychiatry.

Chris's research has focused on effective treatments for depression, and he has led large NHMRC-funded multicentre clinical trials. He has had an interest in using brain imaging to examine depression and social-affective processes. He has had a particular interest in integrating clinical trials of antidepressant treatments with neuroscientifically informed investigation of their mechanisms of action.

Chris is the current chair of the Australasian Society for Bipolar and Depressive Disorders and of the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry Task Force on Child and Youth Psychiatry. He is on the editorial boards of BMC Psychiatry and Bipolar Disorders.

Chris will bring to the role leadership experience, research acumen, and a desire to closely integrate research with clinical programs. He is passionate about using neuroscience to develop more effective treatments for psychiatric disorders, and to determine how they can be targeted at the patients who are most likely to benefit from them.

As communicated last October, the Cato Chair, which is traditionally linked with this role, will remain vacant for the next three years. It is anticipated that it will be advertised as that period comes to a close.

MMS would like to extend sincere thanks to Professor Nicola Lautenschlager, who as interim Head of Department provided calm, rational leadership and stability, supported by Department Manager Lina Pepe and Department Coordinator Jan Mariani.