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Psychosis Research Group

Our research group approaches the challenges of schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders—using a range of different perspectives.

People living with psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia often struggle with symptoms like hallucinations and delusions, poor physical health and social disadvantage. These disorders frequently start during adolescence and can cause lifelong disability, so it is essential to learn more about the causes and find better interventions. 

By working collaboratively with other experts, we have investigated the biological foundations of these diseases through genetic studies and work on inflammation and auto-immunity. Our research on physical health has drawn on our participation in a large national survey of people with psychosis. In this survey we looked at problems with obesity, metabolic disorders such as diabetes, and social determinants of smoking. 

Our work includes a world-first study of obstructive sleep apnoea in people with schizophrenia and a completed large study of access to appropriate services in Northern Adelaide for people with psychotic disorders (who tend to have high rates of drug and alcohol abuse). We have found that the ability to understand technology and health-related information is essential, and we are currently assessing health literacy and technology literacy in people attending community mental health clinic. 

We work with innovative new treatments, including psychological therapies such as meta-cognitive therapy for delusions and cognitive remediation. We have trialled raloxifene (a drug acting on oestrogen receptors) and canakinumab (a monoclonal antibody) to find out whether these drugs can help people with schizophrenia. We are also assessing the effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in reducing auditory hallucinations.

Lead researcher: Professor Cherrie Galletly

Research team

Researchers
  • Associate Professor Dennis Liu
  • Dr Ryan Balzan 
Research support
  • Imelda Cairney
  • Lisa Hahn
  • Bev Hisee
Students
  • Dr Hannah Myles (PhD candidate)
  • Dr Sumana Thomson (PhD candidate)

Partnerships

Interested in undertaking a postgraduate research degree with us?

We offer exciting opportunities for researchers at the honours, masters and PhD levels. Our research degrees are open to students from a broad range of backgrounds, and range from basic sciences to clinical research. If you are interested in human health, consider furthering your research career with us.

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