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Riccardo De Giorgi

MD, DPhil, MRCPsych

Clinical Lecturer

  • Clinical Lecturer ST4-6 in General Adult Psychiatry

Repurposing drugs in mood disorders

I am a Clinical Lecturer at the University of Oxford, Department of Psychiatry, and ST4-6 at Health Education England-Thames Valley, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust. I am the academic representative for the European Federation of Psychiatric Trainees programme in Oxford and the Oxford Clinical-Academic Journal Club. 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 neuropsychopharmacology and evidence-based treatment of  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 likely underlying treatment resistance highlights the need for a mechanistically variety of approaches to resolve this problem. For example, there is increasing evidence that immunological and metabolic factors play a role in the pathophysiology of depression, especially in patients who are treatment-resistant. Repurposing commonly used medical treatments (e.g., anti-inflammatory medications) may therefore particularly benefit those patients who respond poorly to conventional antidepressants and who might be identifiable a priori through measurement of inflammatory and metabolic 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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