In Summary

  • Dr Eric Tan awarded Early Career Research fellowship by the NHMRC
  • He is researching patterns of speech and  associated factors in people with schizophrenia
  • Aiming to develop a model to predict relapse 

Swinburne researcher Dr Eric Tan has been awarded a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) fellowship valued at over $300,000 to continue his research into schizophrenia.

Dr Tan, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Mental Health, has been recognised with an Early Career Fellowship worth $322,952.

His current research project aims to characterise patterns of speech and the associated factors in people with schizophrenia.

“The overarching goal is to develop a model for the prediction of relapse based on these speech parameters,” says Dr Tan.

“Relapse is one of the most debilitating aspects of the illness, with high economic, societal and personal costs, but our current ability to predict relapse is extremely poor and needs to be decisively addressed.”

Speech disturbances in schizophrenia were the focus of Dr Tan’s PhD and he is looking forward to continuing his research in this area with the help of the NHMRC funding.

His current research project is a collaboration between Swinburne’s Centre for Mental Health and the Data Science Research Institute, in conjunction with the Alfred and St Vincent’s Hospitals.

NHMRC recognition

Dr Tan says it is “equal parts humbling and exciting” to be recognised by the NHMRC.

“We all know that it is a highly competitive process and I am absolutely delighted and grateful that the NHMRC has recognised me for my work thus far and is confident in my future contributions to the field.”

Thanks to the funding, Dr Tan can continue his research project and hopes it will raise awareness of his work. He would like to engage different stakeholders in the mission of advancing mental health research and its translation into clinical settings

“More broadly, NHMRC funding and recognition affords elevated awareness of this work and could potentially lead to new avenues for achieving our current goals and developing future ones.

Dr Tan has worked closely with Professor Susan Rossell, the Director of Swinburne’s Centre for Mental Health.