Youth Mood Research

Youth Mood Research


Dr Christopher Davey


Prof. Michael Berk, A/Prof. Andrew Chanen, A/Prof. Sue Cotton, Dr Olivia Dean, Dr Seetal Dodd, Dr Debra Foley, Ms Susy Harrigan, Dr Ben Harrison, Dr Sarah Hetrick, Dr Rebecca Kerestes, Ms Melissa Kerr, Dr John Koutsogiannis, Prof. Andrew Mackinnon, Prof. Patrick McGorry, Dr Alexandra Parker, Dr Mark Phelan, Dr Danijela Piskulic, Ms Katerina Stephanou

Key Achievements

The research team has successfully obtained NHMRC funding to commence two large treatment trials, investigating whether antidepressant medications provide additional benefits to CBT; and whether augmentation with anti-inflammatory agents is a useful strategy. We are also undertaking functional brain imaging studies to examine brain processes underlying depression and its treatment.


The research team’s focus is on improving treatments for young people with depression. The team works closely with clinicians at Orygen Youth Health and associated headspace centres.

Current Research Projects

  • Youth Depression Alleviation: A Randomised Controlled Trial of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with Fluoxetine or Placebo (YoDA-C)

There is mounting evidence that depression is accompanied by systemic inflammatory changes. This RCT is examining whether the addition of anti-inflamatory agent (rosuvastatin or aspirin) to treatment-as-usual provides additional benfits in the treatment of young people with moderate-to-sever depression.

  • A neuroimaging study of anxiety and mood regulation in healthy and depressed youth

This functional MRI study wil investigate brain processes that are important for affective processing in healthy participants, and examine how they are affected in depression. An additional aim is to determine whether imaging biomarkers can help to predict who is likely to benefit from different treatments for depression.