Professor Ma-Li Wong

Academic Status

College of Medicine and Public Health

+61 8 81284701
place Flinders Medical Centre
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

Professor Wong is Head, Pharmacogenomics Research Program, Mind and Brain Theme at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, and Strategic Professor of Psychiatry, Flinders University,Adelaide, South Australia. Professor Wong was born in Hong Kong, grew up in Brazil, and lived for over 25 years in the United States, where she had clinical and research training in psychiatry at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, NIH, and Yale University. Professor Wong is recognised internationallyas a leader in research in the biology of depression and antidepressant drugs.She has conducted depression research for over 20 years at Yale, NIH, UCLA, University of Miami, and ANU. She is Associate Editor, Molecular Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 13.668, number 1 worldwide) and has co-edited two books: Pharmacogenomics: The Search for Individualized Therapeutics (2002) and Biology of Depression: From Novel Insights to Therapeutic Strategies (2005).

Qualifications
M.D., Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 1982
FRANZCP, 2012
Honours, awards and grants

1980 Elected Medical Student Representative, MedicalEducation Board of USP, Brazil.
1989 MiltonRosenbaum Award for Psychiatric Research, Albert Einstein College of Medicine,New York, New York, USA.
1989 FogartyInternational Research Fellowship, U.S. Public Health Service, NationalInstitutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD, USA.
1990 HonorableMention, Lilly Psychiatric Research Fellowship, awarded by the AmericanPsychiatric Association, Office of Research, Washington, DC, USA.
1990 SmithKline Beecham Award, Society of BiologicalPsychiatry, USA.
1991 YoungInvestigator Award, granted by the International Congress on SchizophreniaResearch and the Schizophrenia Branch, NIMH, USA.
1991 Bestsubmissions to Annual Meeting of the American College ofNeuropsychopharmacology, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
1993 APA/Dista Research Award, awarded by theAmerican Psychiatric Association, USA.
1993 Intramural Research Training Award, NIH, USA.
1996 Award Winner Poster, Science/American Federation for ClinicalResearch/American Society for Clinical Investigation/American Association ofPhysicians Biomedicine Meeting, Washington, DC, USA.
1996 NIHFARE Award, USA.
1997 NIH FARE Award, USA.
1998 Henry L. Moses Award, Montefiore MedicalCenter, Bronx, NY, USA.
2010 ANU Leadership Program, ANU,ACT, Australia.

Key responsibilities

Head, Pharmacogenomics Research Program, Mind and BrainTheme, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, SA, Australia.
Strategic Professor of Psychiatry, Flinders University, SA, Australia.

Research expertise
Genetics
Molecular biology
Neurosciences
Pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences
Research interests

Prof Wong has over 25 years of experience in depression and neuroimmunology research. Her research is aimed at unravelling the fundamental biology of the central alterations of neuropeptides and cytokines in the brain that cause not only depressed mood, but also regulate the response to stress, body weight, endocrine rhythms, and immune function. She has pioneered studies that identified the expression of several cytokine genes in the brain (Nature Medicine 1996;2:581-4). She developed a line of research at the interface between major depression and obesity, focusing on neuroendocrine and neuroimmune interactions, metabolism and metabolic syndrome. She has developed integrated clinical and translational studies that have examined the neurobiology and regulation of a central cascade of inflammatory mediators and stress peptides. Additionally, she has also investigated the genetics of major depression and pharmacogenomics of antidepressants.

Teaching interests
  • Pharmacogenetics
  • Antidepressants
  • Major Depression
  • Neuroimmunomodulation
Supervisory interests
Genetics
Metabolism
Neuropharmacology
Neuroscience
Higher degree by research supervision
Current
Associate supervisor: Translational Medicine (2)
Higher degree by research student achievements
Suhyun Lee

Talk at the Feature Poster Session at the Endocrine Society's 95th Annual Meeting - JUN 2013

P. Frost

Travel Award - MAY 2003

Ethan Dutcher

RANZCP Student Scholarship Prize - FEB 2015

Gillian W. Reierson

Graduate Student Travel Award Winner - NOV 2009

Publications
Expert for media contact
Psychiatry
Research
Major depression
Available for contact via
+61 8 81284701
Or contact the media team
+61 8 82012092
0427 398 713
Media expertise
  • Psychiatry
  • Research
Interests
  • Major depression