Professor Cyndi Shannon Weickert, Macquarie Group Foundation Chair of Schizophrenia Research, Department of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales.
Professor Shannon Weickert’s research centers on the molecular developmental neurobiology of schizophrenia. She earned a PhD in Biomedical Science at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York City and completed postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Mental Health rising to the level of Unit Chief of MiNDS (Molecules in the Neurobiology and Development of Schizophrenia). Her awards include the Eli Lilly Young Investigator Award, NIH Fellows Award for Research Excellence, Independent Investigator Award and two Young Investigator Awards from NARSAD. She was awarded a National Health and Medical Research Council Research Fellowship SRF A (2012-2016).
Professor Shannon Weickert has made seminal contributions to the conceptualization of schizophrenia as a neurodevelopmental disorder and is best known for her pioneering work on BDNF and estrogen receptor. She has also led studies that identified the birthplace of neuronal precursors in the human brain and studies that showed the postnatal recruitment of cortical inhibitory neurons is abnormal in schizophrenia. Her other work challenges long-held assumptions about human brain development including the nature of male-female differences and saliency of synaptic pruning.
She is recognized as a world leader in molecular human cortical development and her papers are the most numerous in the field. In total, Professor Shannon Weickert has 113 peer-reviewed papers with 37 in high impact journals (IF 6-15). To date she has a total of 3,646 cites with an h-index of 38. Her work has broad impact outside psychiatry including examining molecular mechanisms by which hormones and growth factors cooperate to control gene expression and experimental examination of how sex hormones impact social development in adolescence.
Professor Shannon Weickert is a popular international speaker with over 20 symposium presentations and with many invitations to chair. She is a full member of American College of Neuropsychopharmacology and has recently become a Board member for Schizophrenia International Research Society. Professor Shannon Weickert is on 3 top-ranked editorial boards, Molecular Psychiatry, BioMedCentral (BMC) Genomics and the Schizophrenia Research Journal. She peer reviews for 18 journals and holds 8 professional memberships. Professor Shannon Weickert is an active reviewer for NHMRC and is on the Scientific Advisory Council for Tissue Resource Centre at University of Sydney. She provides intellectual leadership for a clinical treatment trial of raloxifene in schizophrenia. She works at the forefront of translational research approaches to personalized medicine based on subgroups of patients with schizophrenia.