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Academic Chairs

High-level research in psychiatry

The Dalhousie Department of Psychiatry is home to four academic chairs: The Killam Chair in Mood Disorders, the Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolecent Mental Health, the Dr. Paul Janssen Chair in Psychotic Disorders, and the Canada Research Chair in Early Intervention.

The Killam Chair in Mood Disorders

Martin Alda, MD, FRCPC

The Killam Chair in Mood Disorders was established in 2007 for the purpose of integrating research into the basic mechanisms of mood disorders and their treatment with excellent clinical care.

The focus of Dr. Alda’s group is on primary mood disorders. Bipolar disorder and depression are highly heritable, affect young people, lead to high morbidity and mortality, and can be more or less successfully treated. Three lines of enquiry - mapping genes for these conditions, examining how the genetic risk translates into behavioural and clinical features of the illness, and linking the risk factors with the treatment response, brain structure and function - are at the core of his research program. To this end, we use clinical, molecular-genetic, biochemical, brain‑imaging, and neuropsychological methods in studies of patients and their family members. The research has been funded by the CIHR since 1997 as well as by Genome Quebec, NARSAD, NSHRF, and Stanley Foundation.

Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health

Stan Kutcher, MD, FRCPC

The Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health Team, lead by Dr. Stan Kutcher, is a knowledge translation team focused on providing best evidence based materials pertaining to youth mental health, for health care providers, parents, educators and teens.

The materials created are provided in various mediums including animations, in-person training programs, web-based training programs etc. Knowledge dissemination takes a variety of forms from media interviews, to junior high parent chats, partnership with NGO’s, institutions, government and work with partners in mental health and the arts.

Dr. Paul Janssen Chair in Psychotic Disorders

Phil Tibbo, MD, FRCPC

The Dr. Paul Janssen Chair in Psychotic Disorders, named for the late Dr. Paul Janssen, one of the 20th century’s most innovative and inspiring pharmaceutical researchers, was created to lead an internationally recognized program of research into the causes and treatments of psychotic disorders. Dr Tibbo became the first Dr Paul Janssen Chair in 2008.

The responsibilities of the Chair include expanding the department’s research and research capacity  in psychotic disorders. Biological and psychosocial research in early detection and intervention is a focus as well as improving public awareness and knowledge of psychotic disorders.

In addition to having its own funding and infrastructure, the position offers opportunities to link with regionally and nationally based funding programs to facilitate additional recruitment and infrastructure to support the Chair’s research activities.

Canada Research Chair in Early Intervention

Rudolf Uher, MD, PhD, MRCPsych

Dr. Rudolf Uher joined the department early in 2012 and is our first Canada Research Chair. Dr. Uher’s research focuses on early intervention to prevent severe mental illness.

Dr. Uher works with young people and families with the aim of promoting mental health and preventing severe mental illness. He leads the Families Overcoming Risks and Building Opportunities for Well-being (FORBOW) study (link: www.forbow.org). The long-term aim of this work is to reduce the burden of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression. Dr. Uher is also interested to find out which treatment works for which patients with depression.