Beyond the Bedside

Dr Amit Lotan worked with Florey researchers while on a two-year sabbatical from Jerusalem, Israel. Under the guidance of Professor Ashley Bush, Amit wanted to develop improved drugs for patients living with psychiatric illnesses.

As a psychiatrist, Dr Amit Lotan has long been frustrated by the slow evolution of medications for brain disorders. While drugs treating cancers and other major illnesses have progressed dramatically in recent years, drugs for psychiatric conditions haven’t shifted in design for decades.

“Basically the drugs that we use to treat depression, anxiety and psychosis rely on the same mechanism of action as their ancestors which were discovered in the 1950s and 60s. Many patients still are very symptomatic, despite the best medical treatment.”

Amit travelled from Israel to join the Florey’s Oxidation Biology Unit, led by Professor Ashley Bush, who is a world-leader in the exploration of a potential link between Alzheimer’s disease and metals in the brain. Amit has continued his collaboration with the Florey since returning to Israel, while also drawing on Israeli expertise at Hadassah Medical Organisation.