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Academic Unit of Infant, Child, Adolescent Psychiatry South West Sydney (AUCS)

About us

Professor Valsamma Eapen heads the Academic Unit of Child Psychiatry South West Sydney operating through the School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales (UNSW) and the South West Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD). There are a number of research projects being conducted in a number of childhood disorders including Tourette Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and perinatal Anxiety and Depression.

Our research seeks to understand the biological and environmental aetiology, prevalence and epidemiology of childhood mental health. Research conducted at the unit also focuses on clinical intervention and outcomes.

Specific research projects include:

  • Autism research
  • Tourette Syndrome projects
  • Developmental Surveillance research – The Watch Me Grow program 
  • Perinatal anxiety and depression; Adult Separation Anxiety Disorder and its impact on maternal and infant outcomes
  • Metabolic syndrome and related side effects of second generation antipsychotics

The unit has collaborative links with:

  • University College London for research into Tourette Syndrome
  • Obsessive Compulsive Foundation Genetics Collaborative for research into the genetic underpinnings of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder through a network of international researchers
  • Psychiatric Genomics Consortium for sharing of data including GWAS genotypes, exome array, sequencing, CNVs on Tourette Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) and Stanford University, USA for neuroimaging in autism
  • Karitane for research into attachment, separation anxiety, mother-child interactions, and oxytocin
  • U Marcia Burgess Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre, Liverpool and the MIND Institute, UC Davis, USA to evaluate the clinical effectiveness of the Early Start Denver Model in pre-school children with autism - channel 7 news
  • Autism Homozygosity Mapping Collaborative with several centres in the Middle East, looking for genes involved in brain development using Homozygosity Mapping
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