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Personal profile

Biography

Professor Paul Fitzgerald is Deputy Director of MAPrc and Professor of Psychiatry at the Epworth Clinic / Epworth Health Care in Camberwell. He is a qualified psychiatrist, has a Masters of Psychological Medicine and research PhD.

 

Prof Fitzgerald completed his medical degree at Monash University (1991) and subsequently a Masters of Psychological Medicine (1998) whilst completing psychiatric training. He then undertook a Clinical and Research Fellowship at the University of Toronto and The Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. On returning to Melbourne, he worked as a psychiatrist and completed a PhD in transcranial magnetic stimulation in schizophrenia (completed 2003). Since completing this Ph.D., he has developed a substantial research program including a team of over 25 psychiatrists, registrars, postdoctoral researchers, research assistants, research nurses and students.

 

Professor Fitzgerald runs a substantive research program across both MAPrc and Epworth Clinic utilising brain stimulation and neuroimaging techniques including transcranial magnetic stimulation, functional and structural MRI, EEG and near infrared spectroscopy.  The primary focus of this program is on the development of new brain stimulation based treatments for psychiatric disorders. There is a special focus on severe or treatment resistant depression but treatments are also being investigated in other disorders including schizophrenia, obsessive- compulsive disorder, chronic pain, PTSD, Alzheimer’s disease and autism spectrum disorders. Researchers within the team have conducted over 15 clinical trials across these conditions as well as a large number of investigative studies. The team currently has 9 clinical trials underway across 7 clinical conditions.

 

Treatments which have been developed or investigated by Professor Fitzgerald include repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS), magnetic seizure therapy (MST) and deep brain stimulation (DBS).  The program of research includes developing and improving methods of treatment application and the conduct of clinical trials.

 

In support of the development of new treatments, his research is also focused on the conduct of investigative studies of brain function & dysfunction in these disorders. These studies aim to better characterise brain changes underlying the symptoms of psychiatric disorders to directly improve the application of novel therapies. These studies are aiming to lead to the identification of biological markers or predictors of response to treatment. These studies include the use of technologies such as functional and structural MRI, positron emission tomography, electroencephalography and near infrared spectroscopy.

 

In addition, he is also looking to develop and improve the devices used in the application of brain stimulation. To this end he has a small team of biomedical engineers and software developers and works in close collaboration with the Monash Instrumentation Facility (of which he chairs the steering committee). He is a named inventor on 4 patents (1 provision, 2 PCT phase, 1 national phase – US/EU/Japan/Australia). He has collaborative grants with several industry partners in Australia and overseas and Monash university is currently licensing IP developed in his research into a startup company.

 

Professor Fitzgerald has published over 400 papers in a range of peer reviewed journals an been cited over 14,000 times. He has received project grant funding from the NHMRC, ARC as well as a number of US based and local funding organisations including over $5 million in funding in the last five years. He has had continual NHMRC project grant funding since 2001. He has been supported by three consecutive NHMRC Practitioner Fellowship awards.

Professor Fitzgerald was an elected board Member of the International Society for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (ISTS) and was an invited member of the World Federation of Biological Psychiatry Taskforce on Brain Stimulation (2006-2009). He is currently a committee member for the Electroconvulsive Therapy and Neurostimulation Section with The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, and serves on the board of directors for Neurosciences Victoria. He is Psychiatric deputy editor for the journal ‘Brain Stimulation’ and is on the Editorial Boards of ‘Psychiatry Research’ and the ‘Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry’.

 

He was awarded a National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD) Young Investigator Award in 2003 and 2005 and the Australasian Society for Psychiatric Research  Eli Lily Oration in 2012.

 

Professor Fitzgerald’s research has a strong translational focus. He established the first TMS training program run in Australia and has trained over 500 psychiatrists and nurses in TMS techniques. He has directly helped established over 10 clinical TMS services. He has co-authored multiple clinical practice guidelines and advised or contributed to several Medicare applications for new service funding. 

External positions

Founder and Board member, TMS Clinics Australia

1 Aug 2017 → …

Director, Epworth Centre for Innovation in Mental Health, Epworth HealthCare

1 Feb 2017 → …

Professor of Psychiatry, Epworth Clinic

1 Feb 2017 → …

Professor, Director of TMS Program and Research, The Victoria Clinic, Prahran

1 Jan 200330 Jan 2017

Research area keywords

  • antidepressant
  • depression
  • prefrontal cortex
  • remission
  • repetitive transcranial magnetic stimu
  • repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation
  • rtms
  • service developm
  • bilateral
  • transcranial magnetic stimulation
  • treatment resistant
  • brain stimulation
  • psychiatry
  • cognition
  • cognitive remediation
  • dorsolateral prefrontal cortex
  • transcranial direct current stimulation
  • w
  • schizophrenia
  • bipolar disorder
  • autism

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2001 2021

Research Output 1997 2019

A pilot investigation of an intensive theta burst stimulation protocol for patients with treatment resistant depression

Fitzgerald, P. B., Chen, L., Richardson, K., Daskalakis, Z. J. & Hoy, K., 22 Aug 2019, (Accepted/In press) In : Brain Stimulation. 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

A Pilot Investigation of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Post-Traumatic Brain Injury Depression: Safety, Tolerability, and Efficacy

Hoy, K. E., McQueen, S., Elliot, D., Herring, S. E., Maller, J. J. & Fitzgerald, P. B., 1 Jul 2019, In : Journal of Neurotrauma. 36, 13, p. 2092-2098 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

A pragmatic randomized controlled trial exploring the relationship between pulse number and response to repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation treatment in depression

Fitzgerald, P. B., Hoy, K. E., Reynolds, J., Singh, A., Gunewardene, R., Slack, C., Ibrahim, S. & Daskalakis, Z. J., Sep 2019, (Accepted/In press) In : Brain Stimulation. 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Association of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Treatment With Subgenual Cingulate Hyperactivity in Patients With Major Depressive Disorder: A Secondary Analysis of a Randomized Clinical Trial

Hadas, I., Sun, Y., Lioumis, P., Zomorrodi, R., Jones, B., Voineskos, D., Downar, J., Fitzgerald, P. B., Blumberger, D. M. & Daskalakis, Z. J., 5 Jun 2019, In : JAMA network open. 2, 6, 13 p., e195578.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
File

Clinical utility and prospective of TMS–EEG

Tremblay, S., Rogasch, N. C., Premoli, I., Blumberger, D. M., Casarotto, S., Chen, R., Di Lazzaro, V., Farzan, F., Ferrarelli, F., Fitzgerald, P. B., Hui, J., Ilmoniemi, R. J., Kimiskidis, V. K., Kugiumtzis, D., Lioumis, P., Pascual-Leone, A., Pellicciari, M. C., Rajji, T., Thut, G., Zomorrodi, R. & 2 others, Ziemann, U. & Daskalakis, Z. J., May 2019, In : Clinical Neurophysiology. 130, 5, p. 802-844 43 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

Prizes

Alfred Hospital, Resident & Graduates Prize

Paul Fitzgerald (Recipient), 1991

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Activities 1994 2019

Epworth Research Week

Paul Fitzgerald (Invited speaker)
Aug 2019 → …

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesContribution to conference

Neurological Rehabilitation Symposium

Paul Fitzgerald (Keynote/plenary speaker)
17 Aug 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesContribution to conference

Phoenix Australia Centre for Post Traumatic Mental Health

Paul Fitzgerald (Invited speaker)
Sep 2019 → …

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesContribution to workshop, seminar, course

Invited founding member of special interest group (SIG)

Paul Fitzgerald (Member)
2018 → …

Activity: External Academic EngagementProfessional association or peak discipline body

World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry, 12th World Congress of Biological Psychiatry

Paul Fitzgerald (Invited speaker)
Jun 2015

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesContribution to conference

Press / Media

TMS

Paul Fitzgerald

13/08/19

1 Media contribution

Press/Media: Profile/Interview

Medicare funding for TMS

Paul Fitzgerald

21/10/17

1 Media contribution

Press/Media: Profile/Interview

'Scientists reveal new treatment for depression symptoms'

Paul Fitzgerald

23/07/15

1 Media contribution

Press/Media: Article/Feature

'New Depression Treatment could replace pills'

Paul Fitzgerald

25/01/15

1 Media contribution

Press/Media: Article/Feature

Mental health treatment

Paul Fitzgerald

7/10/14

1 Media contribution

Press/Media: Article/Feature