Dr James Kesby

Research Field: Neuroscience

Psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia, affect a person’s sense of what is and
isn’t real. These disorders account for a large personal and socio-economic burden in
Australia. Young people at-risk of developing psychosis also have problems in thinking
and managing their education and work. Regardless of whether they transition to
clinical psychosis, these symptoms cause significant distress and/or social disability.

Drug development for the treatment of schizophrenia has not progressed for over 50 years.
Dr Kesby’s research focuses on the neurotransmitter dopamine and its role
schizophrenia where we know that increased dopamine activity in the associative
striatum is present prior to diagnosis and is central to the expression of psychotic
symptoms. His research focusses on how dopamine in the associative striatum
mediates psychotic/cognitive symptoms in schizophrenia and aims to establish a
translational platform to help identify people who are at-risk of developing psychosis.

Understanding more about how the brain functions and why psychotic symptoms occur
will help us identify better treatments to improve the lives of those with schizophrenia
and other psychotic disorders, and ultimately intervene before schizophrenia develops.