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Riccardo De Giorgi

MD, MRCPsych

Wellcome Trust Doctoral Training Fellow

I am a Wellcome Trust Doctoral Training Fellow (DPhil in Biomedical and Clinical Sciences) at the University of Oxford, Department of Psychiatry, and a honorary Clinical Fellow (MRCPsych) at the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust. I am academic representative for the European Federation of Psychiatric Trainees programme in Oxford, and the Oxford Clinical-Academic Journal Club. I am also social representative at the Oxford Department of Psychiatry. I am an academic tutor and regularly teach medical students and trainees about the topics of research methodology and critical appraisal, psychopharmacology, and mood disorders.

I am interested in the psychopharmacology and evidence-based treatment of severe mental illness, especially mood disorders. I am fascinated by the problem of "treatment-resistance", i.e., when patients do not appear to respond to several lines of therapy. The physiopathological heterogeneity underlying treatment-resistance highlights the need for mechanistically dissimilar approaches to resolve this problem; in other words, to apply the "precision medicine" paradigm to treatment-resistance. For example, there is increasing evidence that inflammation plays a role in the pathophysiology of depression, especially in patients who are treatment-resistant. Indeed, part of the heterogeneous clinical responses to treatment in depression could be accounted for by a subgroup of patients with baseline inflammation. Therefore, anti-inflammatory treatments may particularly benefit those patients who respond poorly to conventional antidepressants and who might be identifiable a priori through measurement of inflammatory markers.

Currently, I am working on  experimental medicine studies for the repurposing of drugs with anti-inflammatory potential (e.g., statins). I aim to use early markers of anti-depressant response, such as changes in emotional processing and reward measured by behavioural tasks, as well as immunophenotypic peripheral blood markers, to validate the potential of these drugs in further clinical trials.

Recent publications

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