Karen Savage

Study Background:  I am a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry & Health Sciences (Department of Psychiatry) and in my third year.I have been working in clinical trial research for ten years and am involved in several investigations at University of Melbourne’s The Melbourne Clinic and Swinburne University’s Centre for Human Psychopharmacology, specifically in psychiatric disorders, ageing sample and drug intervention groups. I have a special interest in Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) which is a pervasive and prominent condition in the community, with a complex etiology and response to treatment.

Current Projects: My PhD research involves examining properties of regional brain function involved in anxiety cognitions in GAD on a functional, proteomic and metabolic level to help gain a biomarker profile. Secondly, I am examining how these properties will change in the presence of anxiolytic drug treatment. The aim here is to broaden current treatment options as well as identify biomarkers of treatment response to better influence future drug development.

Academic Aims for the Future: My future direction will involve continuation in psychiatric disorder research investigations and in drug development.

What you hope to contribute to the mental health graduate circle? I hope to contribute to the group by having a somewhat broad experience in community mental health, clinical trial management, drug/phytomedicine, and neurocognition research.

What you hope to learn from mental health hub members? I hope the program would facilitate strong connections with other researchers to support our current PhD lives, encourage idea generation, and encourage collaborative opportunities within the University.