Psychiatry Research Programme

A major focus for the academic discipline of psychiatry has been the development of research programmes in neuroscience, clinical psychiatry and health services research.

Neuroscience Research

Neuroscience research is highlighted in both the Strategic Plan for NUI Galway and the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Strategic Plan for Research. The neurosciences research programme focuses upon detecting neurobiological abnormalities associated with the major psychotic illnesses of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in order to illuminate the pathophysiological processes underlying these major mental illnesses and pave the way for the identification of biomarkers and development of future more effective treatments. A key component of the programme has been the development of the Clinical Neuroimaging Laboratory with the application of novel neuroimaging technology to psychotic illness. Close collaborative links have been established with disciplines of Psychology, Pharmacology, Anatomy, Physiology, Radiology and with external partners in Trinity College Dublin and the Institute of Psychiatry, London, to advance the research programme.

Recently the laboratory has combined with collaborative research programmes in Psychology and Biochemistry to form the Centre for Neuroimaging and Cognitive Genomics (NICOG)

Health Services and Clinical Psychiatry

Research into health services and clinical psychiatry has incorporated numerous projects on topics such as quality of life in first episode psychosis and the early years of psychotic illness, use of Omega 3 fatty acids in early psychosis and in bipolar disorder, rehabilitation of patients with psychosis and intellectual disability, quality of medication prescribing, pathways to care of frequent users of mental health services, risks of antipsychotic medication usage, characteristics of completed suicides in the HSE west area, the implementation of the Mental Health Act 2001 upon service users and their families. The goal of these projects is to quantify and assess current quality of health service delivery and patient care and to propose and implement quality improvements.

Competitive funding for the research programme has been received from the Health Research Board, Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, EU Framework Programme 7, the Mental Health Commission, the Genio Trust Fund, the Stanley Medical Research Institute.

For more information please see the Clinical Neuroimaging Laboratorwebsite. 

Recent Publications

For a full list of publications by psychiatry academic staff, please see the Clinical Neuroimaging Laboratory website