A Stratified Treatment Algorithm in Psychiatry: A program on stratified pharmacogenomics in severe mental illness

 / In conversation with Prof. Bernhard Baune—unlocking the future of psychiatry with Psych-STRATA

In conversation with Prof. Bernhard Baune—unlocking the future of psychiatry with Psych-STRATA

We are thrilled to announce an exclusive interview with Prof. Bernhard Baune, a distinguished psychiatrist, neurobiology researcher, and the Head of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Münster. With over 660 peer-reviewed publications to his name, Prof. Baune offers invaluable insights into the future of psychiatry and his groundbreaking project, Psych-STRATA.

Who is Prof. Bernhard Baune?

Prof. Baune holds a range of academic qualifications, including PhD, MD, MPH, and FRANZCP. His career in psychiatry was kindled by a fascination with the complexities of the human brain and its central role in well-being. He believes that the interdisciplinary nature of psychiatry, which combines both clinical practice and research, renders it a unique and impactful field.

The Genesis of Psych-STRATA

Several years ago, Prof. Baune identified an urgent need to understand the biological underpinnings of treatment-resistant depression. This realisation led to the inception of Psych-STRATA, an international consortium aimed at the early and effective treatment of people at high risk for severe mental illness.

Funded by the recent Horizon Europe scheme, Psych-STRATA aims to revolutionise psychiatry by developing a comprehensive prediction tool that includes blood-based tests, as well as digital and clinical information.

The Future of Psychiatry

Prof. Baune envisions a future where treatment is not merely reactive but also preventative. He aims to replace the current “wait and see” approach with early detection and intensified treatments, especially for those at risk of developing treatment-resistant mental health conditions.

Personalised Medicine in Psychiatry

Prof. Baune is a pioneer in the field of personalised medicine for psychiatric disorders. He highlighted success stories in which a personalised approach significantly improved the quality of life for patients suffering from severe, treatment-resistant depression and bipolar disorder.

The Importance of Patient Involvement

Psych-STRATA places a strong emphasis on patient-oriented outcomes. Prof. Baune believes that for treatments to advance, patients must be given the opportunity to interact with healthcare professionals and participate in decisions regarding their diagnosis and treatment.

A Lifetime of Achievement

Among Prof. Baune’s extensive list of publications, he takes particular pride in those that have a translational impact on patient care. His edited book on Personalised Psychiatry serves as a comprehensive reference in the field, bringing together a wide range of expertise from psychiatrists, neuroscientists, psychologists, and economists to health service researchers.

What’s Next?

Psych-STRATA aims to become a reference consortium, providing invaluable data and experience for future researchers and patients alike. Prof. Baune hopes that the project will lay the groundwork for a new era in psychiatry, focused on personalised detection and early treatment for those at risk.

For the full interview with Prof. Bernhard Baune and to learn more about Psych-STRATA, click here.