Researchers from the University's Priority Research Centre for Brain and Mental Health have taken out the 2009 Excellence in Research National Drug and Alcohol Award.
Professor Amanda Baker and colleagues in the Centre's Drug and Alcohol Research Unit have been honoured for their work in developing world-first treatments for people suffering from depression combined with alcohol or other drug (AOD) problems.
Up to 80 per cent of people in treatment for AOD also report mental health problems however the disorders have traditionally been addressed as separate health issues.
Professor Baker led the first large controlled trials on combined treatments for people suffering depression and AOD problems. The studies are known as SHADE (Self-Help for Alcohol/other drug use and Depression) and DAISI (Depression and Alcohol Integrated versus Single-focussed Interventions).
The research found that unifying treatment resulted in better outcomes for sufferers, and resulted in a more comprehensive understanding of co-occurring illnesses.
Professor Baker and her team took out the Excellence in Research award from a record number of nominations.