© STARTTS/ Phil Crossie
Professor Suresh Sundram
Professor Suresh Sundram is the head of adult psychiatry at Monash Medical Centre and is in the Department of Psychiatry School of Clinical Sciences at Monash University. He’s been involved for almost fifteen years in asylum seeker mental health and mental health service system development in low and middle-income countries and sits on the executive of the World Psychiatric Association section on developing countries. He chaired the health sub-committee of the joint advisory committee for the governments of Australia and Nauru on Nauruan regional processing of asylum seekers and now serves as an independent advisor to both governments. Also, he is an external expert advisor to the UNHRC and has provided expert advice to the Australian Human Rights Commission, the Australian Department of Home Affairs, and non-government organisations. He ran the psychiatry clinic at the asylum seeker resource centre for over a decade, providing pro-bono psychiatric services to asylum seekers. And in 2016 with Cabrini, established the Cabrini Asylum Seeker and Refugee Health Hub.
Furthermore, he has been investigating the molecular pathology of schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders using pharmacological, neurochemical and neuropathological approaches. These inter-related methods have been applied to parse components of the disorder such as treatment resistance and suicide to better understand their neurobiological substrates. He undertook his doctoral and post-doctoral studies at the Mental Health Research Institute in Melbourne before establishing his laboratory there and subsequently at the Florey Institute and concurrently establishing a clinical research laboratory undertaking clinical trial and biomarker research in psychotic disorders. He then transferred to, and integrated his research program at Monash University and Monash Medical Centre. Together, this has permitted rapid and seamless translational research between molecular and clinical approaches. The work has resulted in more than 150 published scientific articles, books, book chapters and conference abstracts. He has presented as plenary and invited speaker at international and national conferences, served as deputy editor for the Asian Journal of Psychiatry and is an advisor to the UN, national and state governments.