Professor Ian Hickie is a current NHMRC Senior Principlel Research Fellow, a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia, Professor of Psychiatry at the Sydney Medical School and Executive Director of the Brain and Mind Research Institute. He is also one of Australia’s first National Mental Health Commissioners. Prof Hickie’s career achievements are highlighted in his capacity to integrate clinical and neurobiological research, contribute to health policy and facilitate real health services reform. He is recognised nationally for his role over the last two decades in using clinical, health services and population health data to drive innovations in health services, particularly enhanced primary care services and increased access to psychological treatments. In recent years, in partnership with Professor Patrick McGorry, he has been at the forefront of development and evaluation of the new primary-care based youth mental health service (headspace: the national youth mental health foundation). He has also been a critical voice in the advocacy for enhanced social as well as better health services for those with persistent mental illness and increased accountability for delivery of those services.
Professor Hickie’s research has focused on using new technologies (structural and functional neuroimaging, immune markers, circadian measurements) to assist with the delineation of novel pathways to depression and other mood disorders. This work has emphasised the role of genetic (stress-sensitivity, disturbed circadian systems) and environmental factors (e.g. alcohol and other substance misuse, dysfunctional relationships, infective illness and disturbed sleep patterns) and vascular disease in older persons. Internationally, Professor Hickie is recognised for his novel work in the post-infective neuropsychiatric disorders (persistent fatigue states), the delineation of the relevance of sub-cortical vascular disease to onset and course of depression in the elderly, his leadership of population-based approaches to changing attitudes to mental health (particularly depression) and his role in increasing investments in new services (particularly youth services and new e-mental health structures).
T: +61 2 9351 0810
Optymise Research Themes
- Clinical efficacy or stepped-care trials of available treatments
- Phase II behavioural and medical therapy clinical trials
- Clinical and population-based longitudinal and family studies
- Long-term engagement of young people in their own care