Professor Brian Dean
HND Appl.Biol., MSc., PhD, FRSB, CI Biol.

Professorial Research Fellow

Parkville Campus
30 Royal Parade
Parkville Victoria 3052

Brian Dean researcher profile


Professor Brian Dean is biochemist committed to understanding the causes and improving the treatment of schizophrenia, major depressive disorders and bipolar disorder. Professor Dean’s research to understand the breakdown in biochemical homeostasis underlying psychiatric disorders is holistic in that it utilises molecular neuroimaging, postmortem brain tissue, blood, animal models and cellular models.  In using such an approach Professor Dean has been able to show that abnormalities in cholinergic neurotransmission, neurodevelopment and neuroinflammation have critical roles in the generation of the symptoms associated with schizophrenia, major depressive disorders and bipolar disorder. Some of my research is now moving into the clinic, particularly focusing on developing blood-based diagnostic tests for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Professor Dean’s current research focuses are:

  • Develop blood tests to aid in the clinical management of subjects with psychiatric disorders at the level of diagnostics, theranostics and clinical course.
  • Using high-throughput screening of the transcriptome and proteome to gain an increased understanding of the causes of psychiatric disorders as a first step in identifying new drug targets that can be used to control the symptoms of people with psychiatric disorders.
  • Combining genetics, epigenetics, gene expression and neuroimaging to better understand how genes and the environment can affect brain function to cause the changes in function that brings about the symptoms of psychiatric disorders.


Key collaborators:

  • Richard Kannan – University of Melbourne Department of Psychiatry
  • Christopher Rowe – Austin Hospital
  • Susan Rossell – Swinburne University
  • Jeremy Crook – Wollongong University
  • Caroline Gurvich – Monash University
  • Elisabeth Binder – Max Planck Institute, Munich
  • Nikola Müller – Max Planck Institute, Munich
  • Natalie Matosin – Wollongong University
  • Takeo Yoshikawa – The RIKEN, Tokyo
  • Atsushi Takata – The RIKEN, Tokyo
  • James Duce – Alzheimer’s Research UK Drug Discovery Institute, Cambridge
  • Edwin van den Oord – Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond
  • Karolina Aberg – Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond
  • Jeff Conn – Vanderbilt University
  • Konstantin Khodosevich – University of Copenhagen

Career highlights

Current roles

  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology
  • Fellow of the CINP
  • Deputy Editor – Psychiatry Research
  • Associate Editor – Comprehensive Psychiatry

Past roles

  • Founder and President – Biological Psychiatry Australia
  • Treasurer– The World Psychopharmacology Society, The CINP
  • President – Melbourne Chapter, Society of Neuroscience
  • Secretary – Asian College of Neuropsychopharmacology

Awards and achievements

  • 2020 – Australian Neuroscience Society Medal of Appreciation
  • 2019 – The Isaac Schweitzer Lecture, Biological Psychiatry Australia
  • 2019 – Lundbeck Outstanding Basic Research Award, Asian College of Neuropsychopharmacology
  • 2019 – Outstanding Basic Research Scientist Award, Schizophrenia International Research Society
  • 2015 – Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology
  • 2014 – Contribution to Psychiatry Education Award, Taiwan University
  • 2013 – 79th Beattie Smith Lecture and Medal – University of Melbourne
  • 2007 – International Ambassador for the Collegium Internationale Neuro-Psychopharmacologicum
  • 2006 – Lilly Oration – Australasian Society of Psychiatric Research
  • 2003 – Elected Fellow of the Collegium Internationale Neuro-Psychopharmacologicum
  • 2003 – Highly Cited Publication Award, Mental Health Research Institute
  • 2000 – Best oral presentation 6th Bi-Annual Australasian Schizophrenia Conference
  • 1999 – Young Investigator Award, National Association for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression
  • 1998 – Elected Fellow of the Institute of Biology

Research publications


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