MBBCh (Witwatersrand), MMed(Psych) (Witwatersrand), FF(Psych)SA (College of Medicine of South Africa), FRANCZP (RANZCP), PhD (Pretoria)

Health Sciences

Michael Berk is an NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow and is Alfred Deakin Chair of Psychiatry at Deakin University and Barwon Health, where he heads IMPACT, the Institute for Mental and Physical Health and Clinical Translation. Additionally, he is an Honorary Professorial Research fellow in the Department of Psychiatry, the Florey Institute for Neuroscience and Mental Health and Orygen Youth Health at Melbourne University, as well as in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University. He has published over 1200 papers and is the second highest cited bipolar disorder researcher in the world (Scopus). Nationally, between 2014-2020, he was the top ranked author in citations in Australia for the FOR codes Psychology and Cognitive Sciences (SciVal) and 19th globally. On the bibliometric resource expertscape, he is ranked #1 globally in the field of code psychiatry, and in both mood disorders and bipolar disorder, he is ranked 2nd globally and 1st in Australia. Professor Berk is past president of the International Society for Bipolar Disorders and the Australasian Society for Bipolar and Depressive Disorders. He is listed by Thompson Reuters as amongst the world’s most influential scientific minds (2015-2019), was awarded the Brain & Behaviour (NARSAD) Colvin Award for Mood Disorders in 2015, Victoria Prize for Life Sciences in 2019, the International Society for Bipolar Disorders Bob Post award for mentorship in 2020 and the Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) Senior Research Award in 2021.

He has been awarded over $100M in grant funding and hold grants from the National Institutes of Health (US), Medical Research Futures Fund (MRFF), NHMRC CRE and project grants, Beyondblue and Stanley Medical Research Institute. His major interests are in the discovery and implementation of novel therapies, and risk factors and prevention of psychiatric disorders. He leads CREDIT, the Centre for Research Excellence for the development of innovative therapies and MAGNET, Australia’s mental health clinical trial network. 


  • AAHMS, NHMRC, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Orygen Research Centre


  • World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry (WFSBP) – Vice President.


  • Louis Franklin Freed Medal for Psychological Medicine (1989)
  • Lundbeck Bursary for Research in Biological Psychiatry (1992)
  • South African Neuroscience Society Senior Neuroscientist/ Bristol Myers Squibb Travel Award (1997)
  • Medical Faculty Research Endowment Fund Award (1998)
  • Barwon Health Mental Health - Contribution to Mental Health Service (2002)
  • Bendigo Bank Smart Geelong Research and Learning Expo: Biomedical Award (finalist 2006)
  • Department of Innovation, Industry and regional Development Smart Geelong Research & Learning Expo: Biomedical Highly Commended Award (2007)
  • Pathcare Smart Geelong Research and Learning Expo: Health and Lifestyle award (2008)
  • G Force Recruitment Smart Geelong Research and Learning Expo: Researcher of the year (2008)
  1. Berk M, Woods RL, Nelson MR, Shah RC, Reid CM, Storey E, Fitzgerald S, Lockery JE, Wolfe R, Mohebbi M, Dodd S, Murray AM, Stocks N, Fitzgerald PB, Mazza C, Agustini B, McNeil JJ. Effect of Aspirin vs Placebo on the Prevention of Depression in Older People: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Psychiatry. 2020 Jun 3:e201214.
  2. Berk M, Jacka FN. Diet and Depression-From Confirmation to Implementation. JAMA. 2019 Mar 5;321(9):842-843.
  3. Jacka FN, O’Neil A, Opie R, Itsiopoulos C, Cotton S, Mohebbi M, Castle D, Berk M. A randomised controlled trial of dietary improvement for adults with major depression (the ‘SMILES’trial). BMC medicine 2017; 15 (1), 23.
  4. Grande I, Berk M, Birmaher B, Vieta E. Bipolar disorder. Lancet. 2016; 9;387(10027):1561-72.
  5. M Berk M, Dean OM, Cotton SM, Jeavons S, Tanious M, Kohlmann K, Hewitt K, Moss K, Allwang C, Schapkaitz I, Robbins J, Cobb H, Ng F, Dodd S, Bush AI, Malhi GS. The efficacy of adjunctive N-acetylcysteine in major depressive disorder: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. The Journal of clinical psychiatry 2014; 75 (6), 628-636.