Professor Adam Guastella is the Michael Crouch Chair in Child and Youth Mental Health. His position is based at both Sydney Children's Hospital at Westmead and the Brain and Mind Centre, University of Sydney. His work aims to build collaborative partnerships between researchers, clinicians, and services to ensure that children and families receive the best available assessments and treatments to support well-being. As part of this role, he is the co-lead of the Child-Neurodevelopment and Mental Health Team for the University of Sydney. This team aims to solve complex problems for children with neurodevelopmental disorders and their families with a team of multi-disciplinary professors across the university.
Professor Guastella also has an established track record in human translational neuroscience. His primary interest is in using neuroscience to inform and develop novel treatments for young patients with mental health problems. This research has led him to study the neurobiology of social behaviour, its development in early life, and how this neurobiology relates to symptoms that cause distress and impairment. His research may take the form of cognitive-experimental investigations.
Professor Guastella is a clinical trials specialist and has evaluated the benefits of psychological and medical therapies. To illustrate, Professor Guastella initiated a program of research that showed the powerful enhancing effects of oxytocin administration on face-perception and the cognitive processing of social-stimuli in humans. Subsequently, Prof Guastella's team was the first in the world to show that a medication could be used as a treatment for social impairments in young children with autism. This program of research now focuses on understanding who responds to treatment, why and now incorporates multi-site trials across europe, asia and australia. It involves first in world trials of targets to treat social impairment and development of new devices and behavioural interventions to enhance response.