Hormones in Psychiatry Laboratory
This group focuses on understanding the neural mechanisms underlying the action of sex steroid hormones in psychiatric disorders. Sex hormones such as estrogen, progesterone and testosterone are increasingly being implicated in psychiatric disorders. There are marked sex differences in the risk, symptom severity and functional outcome in schizophrenia, depression and bipolar disorder; the strongest candidate to explain these differences is estrogen.
The laboratory specialises in using neuropsychopharmacological approaches to examine sex steroid regulation of the brain and behaviour in disease. We use multi-disciplinary methods, combining various behaviours, cognitive testing and molecular studies.
By identifying the mechanisms underlying the effects of sex hormones in psychiatric disorders, this research aims to enhance our understanding of the complex aetiology of these disorders and highlight the importance of recognising sex differences in symptoms and treatment of psychiatric disorders. Ultimately, this research aims to define novel therapeutic strategies.
A glimpse at our researchEstrogen and the CNS: Implications for schizophrenia
The Biological Psychiatry and Mental Health division encompasses research into the causes of psychoses (including schizophrenia and mood disorders). Research also extends into discovering biomarkers using longitudinal cohorts of volunteers who are prepared to be followed up over many years. This creates an infrastructure which is then amenable for drug discovery and development.