DR MARIA DI BIASEResearch Fellow, Melbourne University
Dr. Maria Di Biase is an early career research fellow based at Melbourne University. Her primary research objective is to understand neurobiological factors that underpin schizophrenia and psychosis. She embraces the grand challenges facing psychiatry research including biological heterogeneity and the hunt for clinically meaningful biomarkers. After honing her expertise in neuroscience during two years of postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School (Boston, USA), Dr. Di Biase returned to Australia to launch her own research program dedicated to understanding developmental brain mechanisms in schizophrenia. She currently holds an NHMRC Investigator Grant and heads the brain imaging stream of the North American Prodrome Longitudinal Study (NAPLS).
2021 SCAP Presentation: The search for meaningful biomarkers in schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a debilitating brain disorder, marked by pervasive abnormalities in perception, mood and cognition. Antipsychotics are the mainstay therapy to treat symptoms; however, they do not ameliorate the full-range symptoms and are associated with very undesirable side effects (e.g., weight gain and sedation). This highlights an urgent unmet need for better predictive markers and therapies to treat schizophrenia. To achieve these goals, scientists first need to form a more complete picture of the short- and long-term changes taking place in the brain when someone has schizophrenia. In this talk, I will provide a brief primer on what we have learnt from neuroimaging studies about brain changes in schizophrenia and discuss the potential of this work to improve treatment intervention strategies.