MICCN PhD student awarded the 2018 Malcolm MacMillan Prize

The Board of the Australian Clinical Psychology Association (ACPA) has awarded the 2018 Malcolm MacMillan Prize to MICCN Clinical PhD student, Mr Sidhant (Sid) Chopra, for his submission; "Differentiating the effects of disease and medication on the brains of people with psychosis".

The Malcolm Macmillan prize is offered annually for an outstanding professional essay submitted by a student to the ACPA Committee.

Mr Chopra impressed the judges with an engaging three-minute thesis presentation, in which, as expressed by the panel, Sid “described his clinical psychology research project in a clear, concise, and accessible fashion, with visual material that complemented the verbal presentation nicely”.

Under the supervision of Prof Alex Fornito, Mr Chopra is looking at the brain changes caused in psychosis and how these changes are affected by commonly prescribed anti-psychotic medication. He is using state-of-the-art techniques to analyse brain MRI scans from a world-first randomised controlled trial, being undertaken with people who are experiencing their first episode of psychosis. The results from this study will, for the first time, reveal how the natural progression of psychosis changes the structure and circuits within the brain and how medication affects these changes. This will lead to a better understanding of the emergence of psychosis, and possibly the identification of areas within the brain that can be targeted using non-invasive use brain stimulation to improve symptoms, and avoiding the side effects of anti-psychotic drugs.

As a recipient of the 2018 Malcolm MacMillan Prize, Mr Chopra was awarded with $500, a complimentary registration to the ACPA National Conference, plus two nights’ accommodation in Melbourne.

We congratulate Sid on this fantastic achievement!

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Mr Sidhant Chopra, MICCN PhD Candidate