The 2016 Graeme Clark Oration — Dr Tom Insel, Verily (Google Life Sciences): New Frontiers for Helping People with Mental Illness
- 30th August 2016
- 6:15 pm to 7:30 pm
1 Convention Centre Place, South Wharf, VIC 3006
Mental illnesses are amongst the most common, disabling, and costly disorders in all of medicine. In contrast to most medical disorders, they usually begin before age 25. This early onset combined with low rates of treatment often leads to high medical costs, disability and death.
The cost of mental illness in Australia is estimated at over $28B per year, 2.2% of the nation’s GDP. Suicide has increased to the highest rate in 13 years to 2,864 deaths each year or nearly one every 3 hours.
Neuroscientist and psychiatrist Thomas Insel believes that science and technology can reduce the high morbidity and mortality of these disorders.
The revolutions in genomics and brain imaging are revealing the fundamental biology of psychosis, and mood and anxiety disorders, changing our perspective on these illnesses from exclusively behavioural problems to disorders of specific brain circuits. Meanwhile new sensors and software that have revolutionised many aspects of our lives are offering better ways of measuring behaviour, promising powerful tools for detecting early signs of psychosis or depression. And modern scientific and information technologies are suggesting more precise diagnoses to help people get the right treatment at the right time.
This lecture will describe some of the recent advances in the science of mental illness and new frontiers in technology that give hope for reducing the suffering from serious mental illness.
Thomas R. lnsel, M.D., is a neuroscientist and psychiatrist, who joined Verily, the life sciences team at Google, in December 2015. Previously he was Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, the component of the U.S. National Institutes of Health committed to research on mental disorders.
This is a Joint Initiative of the Convergence Science Network and the University of Melbourne