|Dr Rachel Hill|
The School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health (SCS) welcomes NHMRC Career Development Fellow Dr Rachel Hill, who has recently joined the Department of Psychiatry.
A former laboratory head and senior research officer at the Florey Institute, Dr Hill is head of the Behavioural Neuroscience laboratory, Department of Psychiatry.
“I moved to the Monash Health Translation Precinct (MHTP) because of the unique opportunity to merge our preclinical animal model work with clinical work from Professor Suresh Sundram's laboratory—all in the one translational facility,” said Dr Hill.
“This new molecular psychiatry division developed by Professor Sundram will see discovery neuroscientists working together with psychiatrists to develop effective treatment strategies for mental health disorders.”
Psychiatric disorders are thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental disturbances or ‘risk-factors’.
“Our laboratory models these risk factors in mice to understand at the molecular, physiological and behavioural level how these disturbances contribute to mental health. We use a number of different techniques, including genetic manipulation, mouse behavioural testing, molecular biology, in vivo electrophysiology and human clinical studies.”
Dr Hill said her collaborative research team endeavours to provide the most optimal treatment strategy for people with a mental illness.
As well as utilising the state-of-the-art core facilities located at MHTP, the behavioural neuroscience laboratory are developing a new behavioural facility at Monash Health with highly innovative touchscreen based cognitive testing units for mice. This facility will also be available for other MHTP researchers.
“As new researchers to MHTP with interests in neuroinflammation, prenatal brain development, and genetic contributions to mental health disorders, we are eager to collaborate and welcome any aligning interests in our research,” said Dr Hill.