Professor Berk leads a multidisciplinary institute developing innovative psychiatric medications and therapies. Recognising biochemical evidence for reduced oxidative defenses in psychiatric disorders, Berk and others predicted treatment potential for oxidative modulators. His team led the first RCTs demonstrating that N-acetyl cysteine, an inexpensive, safe antioxidant supplement, improved depression and negative symptoms of schizophrenia. This is now recommended in global treatment guidelines.
Michael Berk is an NHMRC senior principal research fellow at Deakin University, where he heads the IMPACT institute. Listed by Thompson Reuters as amongst the world’s most influential scientific minds, he was awarded the Brain & Behaviour (NARSAD) Colvin Award for Mood Disorders in 2015, and the Victoria Prize for life sciences in 2019. He is former president of the International Society for Bipolar Disorders and the Australasian Society for Bipolar and Depressive Disorders. His interests lie in the discovery and implementation of novel therapies.