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SMHR ECR Awardees 2015

SMHR award winners are asked to submit a progress report at the mid point (6-months) from commencement of their fellowship.

A template for this report can be found HERE.

Please submit your report to

Thank you, and we look forward to hearing about your progress!


In support of Mental Health Week (5-12 October 2014), the ABC went Mental As... resulting in the largest, concentrated effort across TV, radio and online media to challenge the stigma associated with mental illness, and to start a national conversation about mental health. During the Mental As campaign, Australians also generously donated funds to support mental health research and together, we raised $1,467,181.

The Society for Mental Health Research, in partnership with the ABC, are pleased to announce that 13 new mental health researchers have been selected for funding supported by the donations from the Australian community in response to the 2014 Mental As… campaign.

Over the past few months, leading researchers and experts in mental health research in Australia have deliberated over applications submitted to the Society by Australia’s brightest young minds hoping to receive much needed fellowship funding to continue their important work.

“The successful applicants represent our next generation of research leaders and are working on cutting edge innovation in mental health research and treatment,” said Professor Patrick McGorry, President of the Society for Mental Health Research (SMHR).  “These grants enable these talented younger researchers to establish their career pathways and to conduct  crucial new projects ranging from suicide prevention, the value of exercise in mental illness, anxiety and alcohol use, preventing substance use and mental health problems in young people, pathways to autism, and understanding the links between genetics and schizophrenia.”

The successful fellowship awardees are:

  • Manreena Kaur (Sydney University): Neurobiological and neuropsychological correlates of improvements with depression with repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation.
  • Mark Larsen (Black Dog Institute, UNSW): RAFT: Reconnecting after a suicide attempt.
  • Chai (Edwin) Lim (Macquarie University): Profiling of the kynurenine pathway metabolism and quinolinic acid production in in autism: defining the role of 16p11.2 mutation in abnormal glutamatergic neurotransmission in autism pathogenesis. 
  • Christina Marel (NHMRC CRE in Mental Health and Substance Use, NDARC, UNSW): Trajectories of heroin dependence: improving service responses among people with complex needs.
  • Nina McCarthy (University of Western Australia): Genetic Analysis of Endophenotypes for Schizophrenia.
  • Allison Milner (Deakin University): Suicide in at risk occupational groups: the role of access to lethal means.
  • Nicola Newton (NHMRC CRE in Mental Health and Substance Use, NDARC, UNSW): An innovative response to improving the prevention of substance use and mental health problems among young Australians.
  • Bridianne O’Dea (Black Dog Institute, UNSW): Understanding suicide risk in Twitter: Applying the Interpersonal Theory of Suicidal Behaviour to a new frontier.
  • Christina Perry (The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health): The effect of chronic intermittent alcohol consumption on the precipitation of dementia.
  • Simon Rice (Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health): Population-level implementation of youth e-mental health moderated online social therapy: Improving accessibility, treatment and peer support.
  • Simon Rosenbaum (Black Dog Institute, UNSW): Muscling up on Mental illness (MuMi): investigating the role of strength training in the treatment of mental illness.
  • Kiley Seymour (Macquarie University): Are you looking at me? Investigating the perceptual basis of distorted eye-gaze processing in Schizophrenia.
  • Lexine Stapinksi (NHMRC CRE in Mental Health and Substance Use, NDARC, UNSW): Making INROADs: Interrupting the cycle of Anxiety and Drinking.

Why is research so critical?

Research is the key to better knowledge, detection and treatment for mental ill-health, just as in all forms of potentially serious illness” said Professor McGorry, President of SMHR, “Thanks to medical research, mortality and recovery rates in cancer and cardiovascular disease have significantly improved, there are earlier and improved diagnostics and safer, more personalised treatments which have transformed the lives of people living with cancer and cardiovascular disease.  These gains are yet to be won in mental illness, which is the last frontier in medical research.  With a similar focus and investment in mental health research, and translation of new knowledge into the frontline of care we will begin to see the same benefits in better survival and recovery in schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, substance use disorders, and other major mental illnesses.  Australia is showing the way in this global challenge.”

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