Clinical Trials and Interventions

Our Clinical Interventions theme encompasses research to discover new treatments and understand biological pathways in mental illness and physical health conditions.

Theme Leader Associate Professor Olivia Dean and Deputy Theme Leader Dr Alyna Turner lead a team of passionate researchers, students, volunteers and research assistants. The continuous development of new collaborations and programs keeps our team on the frontline of discovering and evaluating new treatments and responses for a range of mental and physical conditions.

Our dynamic projects focus on repurposing existing pharmacological agents and enhancing service provision with innovative interventions, allowing us to fast-track the translation of research into practice.

The Clinical Interventions team has strong national and international collaborations. The theme includes two groups; TRIALS led by A/Prof Dean and Online Digital Interventions, led by Dr Lesley Berk. Their current programs include:

  • clinical trials to investigate new add-on pharmacological treatments for mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and substance use
  • analysis of biological factors from blood samples and response to treatment, led by Dr Adam Walker
  • developing psychological and service-based interventions for stroke survivors returning to work and enhancing the wellbeing of people with bipolar disorder
  • the Online and Digital Interventions team, headed by Dr Lesley Berk, creates online programs for family and friends who provide support for people with mental health conditions

The Clinical Interventions theme embraces inclusive designs to ensure all activities are relevant and beneficial to the people it’s aiming to support. Our team is continuously responsive to community needs through data sharing, membership of professional boards and guideline development. Our research has led to changes in service provision and inclusion on the 2019 Highly Cited Researcher list.

The group have a continued focus on local community engagement and works directly with people who benefit from the research. The Community and Research Network (CARN) serves as the Institute’s consumer liaison group, providing direct links between research and community. Their work with grassroots organisations including the Geelong Music Community Collective has raised over $10,000 in travel awards for students. Philanthropic investments, such as the Trisno Family Fellowship, to support new research affective disorders, allow the team to bring together community and academia to advance research.

World Bipolar Day

We proudly support the annual World Bipolar Day on March 30th, the birthday of Vincent Van Gogh, who was posthumously diagnosed as having bipolar disorder. If you were unable to attend this insightful Q&A session in 2022 or would like to revisit this very important and interesting session, click here to watch the panel recording on the Deakin Research YouTube channel.