In December 2015 the Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre (MNC) established the first Greek-Australian Travelling Fellowship in Neuropsychiatry, a collaborative initiative between Melbourne Health and the University of Melbourne.

The fellowship aims to support promising young clinical researchers from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece to participate in clinical research at the Centre’s clinical and university facilities at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and Sunshine Hospital.

The Centre was delighted to welcome the first fellow, Dr Stefanos Dimitrakopoulos, to Melbourne in August 2016 with costs funded with the support of Servier Laboratories Australia.

Dr Dimitrakopoulos spent six months in Melbourne developing and contributing to a project that will advance our understanding of brain changes in schizophrenia, especially in those with severe forms of the illness.

“We will continue to collaborate with Stefanos and the team led by Professor Nikos Stefanis in Greece to evolve this work,” stated Professor Christos Pantelis, Scientific Director and Foundation Professor of Neuropsychiatry at MNC.

“Following this first successful fellowship period, the Centre aims to further enhance neuropsychiatry research in Greece by continuing this initiative.”

(L-R) Professor Dennis Velakoulis, Dr Stefanos Dimitrakopoulos, and Professor Christos Pantelis.

Meanwhile, Dr Dimitrakopoulos expressed his gratitude to the Centre. “This research fellowship, which I accepted with enthusiasm,” he said, “has been a great gift and unique opportunity for me.”

“I feel honoured to share the expertise gained over the last six months with the scientific community and to establish ongoing collaborations between the University of Athens and the University of Melbourne. During my fellowship I have been able to participate in pioneer research and collaborate with experts in the field of neuropsychiatry.”

The Centre’s goal is to continue the prestigious fellowship scheme for years to come and to provide promising young Greek researchers the opportunity to start their research careers, and to become research leaders in neuropsychiatry in Greece.

The fellowship scheme provides support for individual researchers and represents an opportunity to build a community of additional support for young clinical researchers by providing training opportunities in Melbourne for fellows to gain skills and feel part of a wider movement of people committed to this important area of psychiatry.

The fellowships will provide the opportunity for researchers from Greece to ultimately publish high quality research. The initiative will establish collaborations between Australian and Greek colleagues and facilitate successful grants.

Through generous public support, the Centre has already raised a further $7,500 (at 27 February) through crowdfunding, contributing to the costs involved for the next fellowships.

To contribute to the Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre Greek-Australian Travelling Fellowship in Neuropsychiatry go to…

* This crowdfunding initiative is supported by Melbourne Health and The Royal Melbourne Hospital Foundation.