Researcher receives 2014 Melbourne Award

Professor Jayashri Kulkarni

Professor Jayashri Kulkarni

A Monash University researcher’s work in women’s mental health has landed her a 2014 Melbourne Award.

The Melbourne Awards, awarded by the City of Melbourne, are Melbourne's highest accolade, celebrating the inspirational Melburnians who dedicate their time and energy for the benefit of the city. 

Professor Jayashri Kulkarni received the Contribution to Community by an Individual award on Saturday for her tireless work in the mental health field and greater Melbourne community.

Professor Kulkarni, Director of the Monash Alfred Psychiatry research centre (MAPrc), said she was thrilled and proud at being awarded.

“This award is a great honour and I am very grateful to my wonderful staff at MAPrc,” she said. 

“Monash University and the Alfred are great supporters of our work and this award belongs to all of us. In particular, the award highlights the great need for more research and specialised clinical services for women with mental ill health.”

For more than two decades, Professor Kulkarni has brought new and innovative treatments to patients who desperately need it, whilst training and educating future health professionals from around the world.

Professor Kulkarni is a passionate advocate for women’s mental health and has delivered a range of reforms, including the establishment of the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre Women's Mental Health Clinic; establishment of a women's only in-patient unit at Alfred Psychiatry; development of a world-first treatment approach for women with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression using hormones; and establishment of a national register to improve the management of pregnant women needing treatment with antipsychotic medications.

She has led the way in discovering new understandings of gender-specific mental illness and improved treatment options.

Countering the traditionally 'gender blind' approach to psychiatric care, Professor Kulkarni has risen to be a world-recognised pioneer and advocate in highlighting the hormonal, social and cultural factors at play in women's mental health.