Professor Michael Berk

Position: Professorial Research Fellow


E: mikebe(at)

T: 61 3 4215 3320

Campus: Department of Clinical and Biomedical Sciences, University of Melbourne, Kitchener House, Barwon Health, Geelong VIC 3220

Collaboration between Barwon Health and the Mental Health Research Institute is in investigating oxidative and inflammatory stress and psychiatric illnesses. At present, the group is conducting clinical trials investigating antioxidant treatments for psychiatric illnesses and working together on laboratory-based projects aimed at clarifying the underlying mechanisms.


Research Interests:

Michael Berk’s research interests span a range of topics, focusing on bipolar disorder and depression.

He has published 15 self-initiated randomised controlled trials, predominantly in bipolar disorder. These include:

  • the first two published randomised trials of the atypical antipsychotics and lamotrigine in bipolar disorder, both of which are now established treatments;
  • the largest trials of verapamil in mania and norethisterone in depression; and
  • three RCTs of antidepressants in schizophrenia.

He is regularly invited as a guest speaker at international meetings. He is the recipient of a number of current grants, including a NHMRC CCRE and 3 NHMRC project grants, a beyondblue grant and two Stanley Medical Research Institute awards, and is the principal investigator on a number of current trials.

These include two randomised placebo controlled trials of N-acetyl cysteine in both depression and bipolar disorders, which follow up two positive trials of NAC in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder that have broken new ground in establishing both an entirely novel treatment and implicating a novel mechanism of disease.

In addition, trials of internet based psychotherapy and epidemiological research are being conducted.

Techniques Used:

The methodologies employed in his unit include clinical trials of psychotropic agents and psychosocial treatments, epidemiology, and other clinical research. There are many collaborative projects that have laboratory and neuroimaging based components.

Donate Now
With your help, MHRI can help make a brighter future for all Australians.
Updates in your Inbox
If you would like to find out about recent happenings at the Institute, signup to the monthly MHRI eNewsletter.
The Mental Health Research Institute is committed to attracting, developing and retaining a skilled and dedicated workforce. We employ suitably qualified staff committed to furthering knowledge in mental health, behaviour and neuroscience.
Latest news
The Florey dives into crowdfunding for research


To provoke and encourage interest in medical research, The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health have combined forces with the ...

Congratulations One in Five Runners

Congratulations and thank you to all those who raised money for #mentalhealthresearch and competed in ...

One in Five Events

Feel like an extreme challenge?


Be part of the next event and join the One in Five Extreme Challenge team,  get fit, ...