Our vision is to build communities free from the burden of disorders of the brain for better health and better lives.

Our researchers and collaborators focus on the prevention, treatment, cure and care of neurological, mental health and addictive disorders. We improve the lives of patients by including and drawing upon our solid relationships with communities. Together, we work towards the common goal of better health and better lives. 

Objective 

Our researchers seek to prevent, treat, cure and care for a broad range of neurological, mental health and addiction disorders. Our strength lies in building effective networks of collaborative research. By working with and alongside patient communities we can better translate our research outcomes into real-world solutions that improve their quality of life. 

Solution 

The UNSW Medicine & Health Neuroscience, Mental Health and Addiction research theme addresses the burdens imposed by neurological, mental health, and drug and alcohol disorders. We're a network of internationally recognised researchers and clinicians leading the understanding and treatment of complex clinical conditions with physical, behavioural, mental and social dimensions across the lifespan.  

Impact 

Our research spans the following subthemes: 

  • Children and adolescent wellbeing 
  • Complex and difficult to treat diseases 
  • Healthy ageing 
  • Brain sciences and translational neuroscience. 

Each area is led by world-renowned researchers who partner with other UNSW Faculties as well as centres and institutes working directly within and alongside patient communities for prevention and treatment. These include the Black Dog Institute, Centre for Big Data Research in Health (CBDRH), National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) and the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA). We investigate suicide, depression and anxiety, trauma related conditions, alcohol and drug addictions, cognitive ageing, stroke, neural coding, therapeutics and prosthetics—and much more.  

Dr Michelle Torok (nèe Tye) works on suicide prevention. She addresses the current major gaps in the availability, implementation, and accessibility of interventions to prevent suicidal thoughts and behaviours. 

  • We aim to address the burdens imposed by neurological, mental health and drug and alcohol disorders. Our network of internationally recognised researchers and clinicians lead in the understanding and treatment of complex clinical conditions with physical, behavioural, mental and social dimensions across the lifespan.

    Neuroscience, Mental Health and Addiction consists of four sub-themes:

    • Children and Adolescent Wellbeing
    • Complex and Difficult to Treat Diseases
    • Healthy Ageing
    • Brain Sciences and Translational Neuroscience
    Contact Us

    If you have any questions, please contact

    Dr Lise Mellor, Executive Officer 

    UNSW Medicine Neuroscience, Mental Health and Addiction Theme and SPHERE Clinical Academic Group 

    E: l.mellor@unsw.edu.au

  • UNSW Medicine & Health Neuroscience, Mental Health and Addiction theme closely aligns with the SPHERE Clinical Academic Group (CAG) of the same name. This creates a formal partnership between UNSW Sydney, University of Technology Sydney, Western Sydney University, local health districts, medical research institutes and other industry partners.

    Together, we support the initiation and development of collaborative groups that bring together research, education and clinical partners to address the burdens imposed by neurological, mental health, and drug and alcohol disorders.

    Theme Principal
    • Professor Michael Farrell - National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW Sydney
    CAG Co-Leads
    • Professor Michael Farrell - National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW Sydney
    • Dr Gary Flynn - SWSLHD Mental Health Services
    Children & Adolescent Wellbeing Sub-Theme Co-Leads 
    • Scientia Professor Helen Christensen - Black Dog Institute
    • Dr Julia Lappin - School of Psychiatry and National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW Sydney
    • Associate Professor Nadine Kasparian - School of Women’s and Children’s Health, UNSW Sydney
    Complex & Difficult to Tread Diseases Sub-Theme Co-Leads
    • Professor Philip Ward - School of Psychiatry, UNSW Sydney
    • Professor Peter Schofield - Neuroscience Research Australia
    Healthy Ageing Sub-Theme Co-Leads
    • Scientia Professor Henry Brodaty - Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing
    • Professor Meera Agar - Improving Palliative, Aged and Chronic Care through Clinical Research and Translation (IMPACCT), University of Technology Sydney
    Brain Sciences & Translational Neuroscience Sub-Theme Co-Leads
    • Scientia Professor Bernard Balleine - School of Psychology, UNSW Sydney
    • Scientia Professor Nigel Lovell - Biomedical Engineering, UNSW Sydney
    • Professor Gary Housley - School of Biomedical Sciences, UNSW Sydney
    Neuroscience, Mental Health & Addiction Theme & SPHERE CAG Collaborating Partners
    • UNSW Sydney
      • Including the School of Psychiatry (Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing and Dementia Collaborative Research Centre), School of Biomedical Sciences, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Rural Clinical School, Centre for Big Data Research in Health, Brain Sciences UNSW, UNSW Psychology and UNSW Engineering
    • South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD)
      • Including Prince of Wales Hospital, Royal Hospital for Women, SESLHD Mental Health Service, and SESLHD Drug and Alcohol Service
    • South Western Sydney Local Health District
    • St Vincent's Hospital Sydney
    • Sydney Children's Hospitals Network
    • Central and Eastern Sydney Primary Health Network
    • Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network
    • Neuroscience Research Australia
    • Black Dog Institute
    • Garvan Institute of Medical Research
    • Improving Palliative, Aged and Chronic Care through Clinical Research and Translation (IMPACCT), University of Technology Sydney
    • Western Sydney University
      • Including the MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development
    Related Research Units
    • UNSW School of Psychiatry
    • National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre
    • Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing
    • Dementia Collaborative Research Centre
    • Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety and Depression (CRUfAD)
    • Neuroscience Research Australia
    • Black Dog Institute
    • Centre of Research Excellence in Suicide Prevention
    • Brain Sciences UNSW
    • School of Biomedical Sciences
    • School of Public Health and Community Medicine
    • Rural Clinical School
    • Centre for Big Data Research in Health
    • UNSW Psychology
    • UNSW Engineering
    Contact Us

    For all enquires, contact our team

    E: neuro.mentalhealth.addiction@unsw.edu.au