Executive Team

The small executive team of MAPrc comprises Professor Jayashri Kulkarni, Director, Professor Paul Fitzgerald, Deputy Director and Anthony de Castella, Research Manager. The group has been working together since 1994 and has functioned as a close knit “engine” for originally the Dandenong Psychiatry Research Centre and now the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre, MAPrc.

 
The MAPrc executive meets very frequently to plan, brainstorm and action the current and future research directions plus strategies. Also known as the three musketeers – this group continues to be energetic, cohesive and above all dedicated to driving MAPrc to achieving our goals.

Professor Jayashri Kulkarni

Professor Jayashri KULKARNI MBBS MPM PhD FRANZCP FAHMS
Director, Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre (MAPrc) Melbourne, Victoria AUSTRALIA

Jayashri Kulkarni was appointed Professor of Psychiatry at The Alfred and Monash University in 2002. She founded and directs a large psychiatric research group, the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre (MAPrc), which expanded from 25 personnel in 2002 to over 160 staff and students in 2017, covering seven different research streams, and conducting over 100 clinical trials.

Professor Kulkarni graduated from Monash Medical School in Melbourne Australia. She initially worked in emergency medicine and then decided to become a psychiatrist. She became a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists in 1989 and was awarded a PhD from Monash University in 1997 for her thesis Women and Psychosis. Professor Kulkarni became a Fellow of the prestigious Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences in 2016.

She has won numerous awards and accolades for her work with mental health patients. Of note, Women’s Mental Health is Professor Kulkarni’s major area of interest and research. She is the current President of the International Association for Women’s Mental Health. In 2015, she founded the Australian Consortium for Women’s Mental Health. She has worked in the field of women’s mental health for 25 years and has improved the quality of care for women with mental illnesses by developing specific treatments that are tailored to suit women’s needs biologically, socially and psychologically. Her work has been published in many national and international peer-reviewed publications. To date, Professor Kulkarni has authored in excess of 200 papers, 23 book chapters and 40 other publications.

As a psychiatrist, Professor Kulkarni has extensive clinical experience in many broad areas of practice. She has also trained in many research areas including psychoneuroendocrinology, clinical trials, psychopharmacology and is currently working in the area of the neuroscience impacts of early life trauma.

Professor Kulkarni is a well-known public speaker and has a great deal of experience with the media. She has been a regular presenter on ABC radio and has contributed to many other talkback radio programs as well as appearing on television programs such as the Insight series on SBS, and ABC 7.30 report. She is also a highly sought-after presenter having been invited to deliver keynote addresses at many international meetings and conferences in Australia and around the world.

 

Professor Paul Fitzgerald

 

Professor Paul Fitzgerald

MBBS, MPM,
PhD
, FRANZCP

 

Professor Paul Fitzgerald is Deputy Director of MAPrc and Professor of Psychiatry at the Epworth Clinic / Epworth Health Care in Camberwell. He is a qualified psychiatrist, has a Masters of Psychological Medicine and research PhD.

Professor Fitzgerald runs a substantive research program across both MAPrc and Epworth Clinic with a team of over 40 researchers. We use brain stimulation and neuroimaging techniques including transcranial magnetic stimulation, functional and structural MRI, EEG and near infrared spectroscopy.

The primary focus of this program is on the development of new brain stimulation based treatments for psychiatric disorders. There is a special focus on severe or treatment resistant depression but treatments are also being investigated in other disorders including schizophrenia, obsessive- compulsive disorder, chronic pain, PTSD, Alzheimer’s disease and autism spectrum disorders. Researchers within the team have conducted over 15 clinical trials.

Treatments which have been developed or investigated within our research group include repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS), magnetic seizure therapy (MST) and deep brain stimulation (DBS).  This program of research includes developing and improving methods of treatment application and the conduct of clinical trials.

In support of the development of new treatments, our research is also focused on the conduct of investigative studies of brain function & dysfunction in these disorders. These studies aim to better characterise brain changes underlying the symptoms of psychiatric disorders to directly improve the application of novel therapies. These studies will hopefully also lead to the identification of biological markers or predictors of response to treatment.

In addition, our research group aims to develop and improve the devices used for characterising brain abnormalities or used in the application of brain stimulation. We work with a number of commercial partners and have developed designs for novel brain stimulation related devices which are currently under development.

Professor Fitzgerald has published over 380 papers in a range of peer reviewed journals. He has received project grant funding from the NHMRC, ARC as well as a number of US based and local funding organisations. He has been supported by three consecutive NHMRC Practitioner Fellowship awards.

Professor Fitzgerald is currently psychiatric deputy editor for the journal ‘Brain Stimulation’ and is on the Editorial Board of the ‘Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry’. He is currently a committee member for the Electroconvulsive Therapy and Neurostimulation Section with The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, and serves on the board of directors for Neurosciences Victoria. He is also a founder and the Medical Director of TMS Australia (www.tmsaustralia.com.au).  

Mr Anthony de Castella

 

Anthony de Castella
Dip App Sci, BA, M App Sci

Anthony de Castella is Research Manager and a Research Fellow at MAPrc. Anthony commenced work with MAPrc in 1994 when the group was based at Dandenong hospital. Anthony originally trained as a general registered nurse, before completing a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology and Psychophysiology. Subsequently, he completed a Masters of Applied Science by research in Psychophysiology at SwinburneUniversity. His thesis examined variations in resting EEG across the menstrual cycle in women with schizophrenia.

Anthony’s research interests include women’s mental health, psychopharmacology, problem gambling and mental illness, and healthy lifestyles for people with schizophrenia.