University of Melbourne academics receive Science Academy’s highest honour

Prof Pat McGorry
Professor Patrick McGorry is the first scientist working in mental health to be appointed to the AAS.

Three University of Melbourne professors have joined the ranks of the world’s finest scientists after being elected as Fellows of the Australian Academy of Science in Canberra today.

Professor Patrick McGorry, director of Youth Mental Health at the University of Melbourne, and Professor Stephen Nutt and Professor Geoffrey Lindeman, both with the Walter and Eliza Hall Foundation, have been named fellows of the AAS.

They join an elite, 500-strong fellowship, honoured for having made sustained and significant contributions to Australian science.

University of Melbourne Professor Patrick McGorry, who is the Executive Director of Orygen Youth Mental Health, is the first person in his discipline to be made a Fellow of the Academy.

“While it is personally humbling to receive this great honour, I am particularly proud that the field of psychiatry and mental health is being recognised as a crucial area of scientific discovery," Professor McGorry said.

"I know that the research we have conducted here in Australia has made a real difference to the lives of young people and their families so it is fantastic to have it acknowledged in this way.”

Professor McGorry is a world leader in the area of early psychosis and youth mental health and pioneered the early intervention model of care for young people with first episode psychosis.

This model of care, which focuses on intervening early and providing holistic care to young people at the early stage of illness, has been recognised as one of the most significant recent reforms in mental health care and has been adopted by the Australian Government and countries around the world.

University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Glyn Davis said: "Professor McGorry has an established international reputation for his work on youth mental health, and his election as a Fellow of the AAS is a wonderful recognition of this.

"As a University community we congratulate him – and our WEHI scientists - on this honour.”

Orygen Chairman Peter Smedley said they were delighted with the appointment.

“I am delighted that Professor McGorry has been recognised as one of Australia’s great scientists with this honour," he said.

"His research has led a global shift in mental health services, with a clear focus on translating new findings into services that help young people with mental ill-health. It is a great honour for him personally and a great endorsement of the value of our work at Orygen.”