Professor Michael Berk

Professor Michael Berk


Alfred Deakin Professor of Psychiatry, Deakin University and Barwon Health; Director, Institute for Mental and Physical Health and Clinical Translation (IMPACT)
Deakin University
Elected in 2015
Citation on election

Michael Berk’s primary career focus is a novel therapy discovery program. His earlier work repurposed existing medications for novel indications, but more recently he has been developing therapies targeting novel mechanisms of action. The significance of this can be seen in the broader context. Not only are these entirely new therapies for psychiatric disorders, but by extension, they cement our understanding of the role of these mechanisms, principally oxidative and inflammatory pathways in the pathogenesis of these disorders. This understanding opens leads to other agents working on related pathways being discovered. As agents under study are largely already available, off patent and cheap, barriers to implementation and translation are minimal, facilitating clinical utilisation. Importantly, findings from most of the highlighted studies appear in leading global treatment guidelines, impacting treatment worldwide.

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