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Professor Paul Fitzgerald
Professor Paul Fitzgerald
MBBS, MPM, PhD, FRANZCP
Professor Paul Fitzgerald is Deputy Director of MAPrc, Professor of Psychiatry, and Consultant Psychiatrist at Alfred Psychiatry. He also runs an academic program at The Victoria Clinic, a private psychiatric hospital in Prahran. He is a qualified psychiatrist, has a Masters of Psychological Medicine and research PhD.
Professor Fitzgerald runs a substantive research program utilising 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 and autism spectrum disorders. Treatments which have been developed or investigated within our research group include repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), 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 270 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 is supported by a NHMRC Practitioner Fellowship award.
Professor Fitzgerald was an elected board Member of the International Society for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (ISTS) and was an invited member of the World Federation of Biological Psychiatry Taskforce on Brain Stimulation (2006-2009). He is currently a committee member for the Electroconvulsive Therapy and Neurostimulation Special Interest Group with The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, and serves on the board of directors for Neurosciences Victoria. He is Psychiatric deputy editor for the journal ‘Brain Stimulation’ and is on the Editorial Boards of ‘Psychiatry Research’ and the ‘Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry’. He was awarded a National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD) Young Investigator Award in 2003 and 2005 and the Australasian Society for Psychiatric Research Eli Lily Oration in 2012.