Associate Professor Rachel Hill

Schizophrenia is a devastating psychiatric illness that debilitates people for life. Current treatments for schizophrenia are largely ineffective and have severe side effects therefore better treatment options are urgently needed.

Associate Professor Rachel Hill is using cutting edge neuroscience technologies to understand what is happening in the brains of people with schizophrenia. She has identified key brain cells and molecules that are altered in schizophrenia and is developing new targeted therapies to recover brain changes.

Associate Professor Hill was recruited to Monash University, Department of Psychiatry to head the behavioural neuroscience program in 2016. She has made significant contributions to the fields of neuroscience, neuroendocrinology and psychiatry as demonstrated by her high quality / high throughput publication record (49 pubs, >1200 citations), several international and national invited seminars and funding success (>$3 million) from national (NHMRC) and international (Brain and Behaviour Research Foundation USA) funding bodies.

Her research interests lie in behavioural neuroscience, with a particular focus on schizophrenia. She wants to better understand the pathophysiology of mental disorders such as schizophrenia, and to design and test novel therapeutic strategies. She is investigating the origins of schizophrenia and how best to treat the various symptom presentations. These preclinical studies are aligned with collaborative human genetic studies. The long-term goal is patient-specific treatments that may be guided by both genetic and environmental patient profiles.

This year, her leadership in mental illness research has been recognised in the Victorian 2021 Young Tall Poppy Science Award. She said “I am so honoured to receive this incredibly prestigious award. This award is unique in that it recognises the important community outreach work that many of us are passionately engaged in. Particularly within the mental illness research space, community outreach is key to improving mental health outcomes.”