Clinical Psychopharmacology

Understanding the relationship between drugs and humans

The development of medicines that effectively treat psychiatric illnesses transformed psychiatry in the 1950s and beyond. Increasingly, researchers have worked to better understand how these therapies work, to refine their actions and minimise unwanted side effects.

Clinical psychopharmacology aims to understand how these psychotropic drugs work from a molecular level, through to clinical research in patients. To treat mental disorders, an extensive understanding of basic neuroscience, basic psychopharmacology, clinical medicine, the differential diagnosis of mental disorders, and treatment options is required.


Psychopharmacologists must be skilled in building and utilising a therapeutic alliance with the patient, and working in conjunction with psychologists and other allied health professionals in multidisciplinary clinical teams in the service of best outcomes for their patients. Today, up to one-third of the population is affected by an anxiety disorder during their lifetime.  


Professor Hood maintains a diverse and eclectic group of local, national and international collaborators. This crosses industry, public health, the pharmaceutical industry, consumer groups, research institutes and international affiliates.

International Master of Affective Neuroscience (Universities of Florence and Maastricht)

  • Memorandum of Understanding with University of Maastricht

Meeting for Minds

  • Cytochrome P450 Genotyping for Depressive Disorders
  • Master of Affective Neuroscience (Florence and Maastricht)

Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital (SCGH) Treatment Resistant Anxiety and Mood Disorders (TRAMD) Unit

NHMRC-funded clinical trials:

  • Ketamine to treat depression (KADS) trial (with Black Dog Institute)

Pharmaceutical industry sponsored studies:

  • Janssen
  • A Phase 2a Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel-Group, Multi-center Study Investigating the Efficacy, Safety, and Tolerability of JNJ-42165279 in Subjects with Social Anxiety Disorder

Contact Professor Sean Hood