Research Interests

The association between vitamin D status and brain outcomes 
In collaboration with Darryl Eyles, we are measuring early life vitamin D status and exploring if this changes the risk of later developing serious mental illness. These studies are in collaboration with colleagues in Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands.

The demographic and clinical correlates of psychotic-like experiences 
Using two large surveys conducted in Australia in 1997 and 2007, our group have undertaken a suite of studies designed to understand the clinical relevance of isolated psychotic-like experiences. Over recent years we have published many papers on this topic, and have made important contributions with respect to how psychotic-like experiences are associated with (a) an increased risk of later psychotic disorders (based on the MUSP study), (b) depression, anxiety and substance use disorders, (c) a family history of mental illness, (d) exposure to trauma, (e) an increased risk of suicidal ideation and behaviour, (f) general physical health, and (g) help-seeking.

The Survey of High Impact Psychosis (SHIP) 
Our group was one of seven sites involved in the design and administration of the second Australian Survey of psychotic disorders. In collaboration with a large national team, we continue to explore key issues related to the needs of people with psychosis in Australia.

Related Research


 

Professor John McGrath was awarded a John Cade Fellowship in Mental Health Research by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) in 2013 (NHMRC grant APP1056929). This five year fellowship will support Professor McGrath’s existing research into modifiable risk factors for schizophrenia.

In particular, the Fellowship will enable Professor McGrath and his team to build a clinical trials platform in South-East Queensland. These trials, collectively known as Cadence, will be broadly related to improving clinical outcomes for people with psychosis, particularly early psychosis. See the Cadence website for more information.

Researcher biography

John McGrath AM, MBBS, MD, PhD, FRANZCP, FAHMS

John McGrath is a psychiatrist interested in discovering the causes of serious mental disorders. He is the Director of the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research and conjoint Professor at the Queensland Brain Institute His research aims to generate and evaluate nongenetic risk factors for schizophrenia. He has forged productive cross-disciplinary collaborations linking risk factor epidemiology with developmental neurobiology. For example, John and his colleagues have made discoveries linking prenatal vitamin D and later risk of mental illness in the offspring. In addition, John has supervised major systematic reviews of the epidemiology of schizophrenia. He was awarded a John Cade Fellowship by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council. In 2016 he was also awarded a Neils Bohr Professorship by the Danish National Research Foundation.