The McGill Department of Psychiatry is home to some of the top researchers, research institutes, and research facilities in mental health in the world.
Over the past seven decades, the Department has been at the root of countless breakthroughs in psychiatric research.
Heinz Lehmann, a key figure in the history of the Department, acted as a member of the McGill Department of Psychiatry for many years and served as its Chair from 1971 to 1975. Lehmann was responsible for several important contributions to the field of Psychiatry through his research, some of which include his ground-breaking work on the use of chlorpromazine for the treatment of schizophrenia and impramine for the treatment of depression.
Ted Sourkes’ work has also been very influential in the field. Some of his main accomplishments include, alongside Louis Poirier, mapping the nigro-striatal pathway in detail, and alongside Andre Barbeau, demonstrating the decrease in symptoms of Parkinson’s disease after a single oral dose of DOPA (dioxyphenylalanin).
Remarkable research achievements also came from Murray Safran and his graduate student Andrew Schally who were the first to demonstrate the existence of hypothalamic releasing factors by isolating CRH. After obtaining his PhD, Schally continued his career in the United States and eventually won the Nobel Prize.
From the time of Lehmann to this day, the Department continues to produce ground-breaking discoveries thanks to many dedicated and hardworking researchers that are determined to uncover the multiple determinants of mental illnesses and improve the quality of life of our population.
Our research investigates mental health, focusing on different dimensions that include cultural, biological, developmental, and psychological perspectives, among others.
Our main areas of interest include the following:
- illness prevention and intervention,
- health services and policy,
- high-risk populations,
- diseases of ageing, and
- neurodevelopmental models and
- mechanisms of gene-environment interactions.
Equipped with state-of-the-art research facilities and unique research infrastructures, Molecular and Brain Imaging centres, a unique Brain Bank, the Immigrant and Refugee Children’s Mental Health Research Unit, several third line and highly specialized clinical research programs, a neurophenotyping animal facility, and a state-of-the-art Center for Translational Psychiatry, our faculty—consisting of more than 100 researchers—contributes significantly to the world’s advancement of mental health.
The Department is composed of:
- 350 Faculty Members
- 21 Research Chairs
- and over 300 Research Trainees