Mood Disorders Centre of Excellence - UBC Hospital - Vancouver Coastal Health

Mood Disorders
Centre of Excellence

UBC Hospital


Mission & Activities

The mission of the Mood Disorders Centre is to improve the lives of people with mood disorders through exemplary clinical care, education and research.

The activities of the Mood Disorders Centre include developing, evaluating and providing innovative programs of care, educating health professionals and the public, and conducting clinical studies on the causes of, and treatments for, mood disorders.

The Mood Disorders Centre is affiliated with the Department of Psychiatry, University of BC; Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute; and the UBC Institute of Mental Health.

Who We Are

The Staff of the Mood Disorders Centre includes psychiatrists, residents, psychologists, nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, students, secretaries, research assistants, fellows, and visiting scholars.

Medical Director – Dr. Raymond W. Lam

Medical Director – Raymond W. Lam, MD, FRCPC
Dr. Lam is a psychiatrist and Professor and Head of the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program, UBC Department of Psychiatry. He is internationally recognized as a clinical expert in depression, particularly seasonal, atypical and difficult-to-treat depressions, and his research spans the clinical spectrum from neurobiology to clinical trials of novel treatments. Dr. Lam has written 11 books on depression and has published over 300 scientific papers and book chapters. He has won numerous awards for his research and teaching including the Douglas Utting Prize for Depression Research (SMBD-JGH/McGill University), the Scientific Achievement Award (Vancouver Coastal Health), the Medical Alumni Silver Anniversary Leadership Award (UBC), and the Nancy Roeske Award for Excellence in Medical Student Education (American Psychiatric Association), as well as a Special Recognition Award (Canadian Mental Health Association) for his public education efforts. He is the current Executive Chair of the Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments (CANMAT).

Director, Clinical Research Unit – Dr. Lakshmi N. Yatham

Director, Mood Disorders Clinical Research Unit – Lakshmi N. Yatham, MBBS, FRCPC, MRCPsych (UK), MBA (Exec)
Dr. Yatham is a Professor with UBC Department of Psychiatry, and Director of the Mood Disorders Clinical Research Unit. He is also the Regional Head of Psychiatry for the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority and Providence Healthcare, and the Regional Program Medical Director of Mental Health and Addictions services within VCHA. His major areas of research interest include the neurobiology and treatment of bipolar disorder and major depression. Dr. Yatham was a recipient of the Michael Smith Foundation Senior Scholar Award and has published over 2000 papers in peer-reviewed international journals and presented his research at numerous international conferences. Dr. Yatham leads a Canadian consortium on bipolar disorder and co-led the development of Canadian guidelines for treatment of bipolar disorder. He is currently the President for the International Society for Bipolar Disorders and is on the editorial boards of Bipolar Disorders, Brain Pharmacology, Human Psychopharmacology, and Quarterly Journal of Mental Health.

Inpatient Medical Manager – Dr. Heather Robertson

Inpatient Medical Manager, Mood Disorder Inpatient Unit 1East, UBC Hospital – Heather Robertson, MD, FRCPC, DABAM
Dr. Robertson is a Clinical Associate Professor as well as the Clinical Faculty Affairs Representative in the Department of Psychiatry, UBC. She is the Medical Manager of the Inpatient Mood Disorder Unit and has varied clinical and research interests for the treatment of refractory mood disorders as well as concurrent mood and substance use disorders. Dr. Robertson is specialized and certified with the American Board of Addiction Medicine. Other interests include suicide assessment and prevention, having been a content expert in the 2009 BC Suicide Prevention and Postvention (PIP) Initiative. Throughout her career she has been very dedicated to and involved with the teaching of local and international medical students and residents, receiving the UBC Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award in 2007 and is a member of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Community of Practice, UBC.

Patient Services Manager – Ms. Carole Rudko

Patient Care Coordinator – Ms. Judy Tarnow


  Consultant Psychiatrist – Auby Axler, MD, FRCPC
Dr. Axler is a Clinical Associate Professor and Acting Director of the Psychotherapy Program, UBC Department of Psychiatry. He is also the Associate Director of Psychotherapy Training for the department. His expertise in mood disorders includes both psychotherapeutic and psychopharmacologic treatments. He also treats psychiatric illness and mood disorders at the Cardiac Rehabilitation program at Vancouver General Hospital.

  Consultant Psychiatrist – David Bond, BSc, MD, FRCPC
Dr. Bond is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the UBC Mood Disorders Centre, and in the advanced stages of completing a PhD in Neuroscience at UBC. His clinical and research interests include the diagnosis and management of bipolar depression, and the impact of weight gain on neurobiological markers of disease progression in bipolar disorder. His has received research funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Coast-Capital Depression Research Fund/UBC Institute of Mental Health, and other sources, and his research has been recognized by the UBC Department of Psychiatry (Translating Research Into Clinical Excellence in Psychiatric Settings (TRICEPS) Award, 2012) and the International Society for Bipolar Disorders (Samuel Gershon Junior Investigators Award, 2009). He is the author of over 40 peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts, book chapters, and abstracts on the diagnosis, management, and neurobiology of bipolar disorder. He co-authored the 2012 update of the Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Disorders (CANMAT) Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Patients with Bipolar Disorder, and is a member of the International Society for Bipolar Disorders Task Force on the Use of Antidepressants in Bipolar Disorder.

  Consultant Psychiatrist – Kristjana Cameron, MD, MD, FRCPC
Dr. Cameron completed her residency in psychiatry at UBC. Her clinical and research interests encompass both pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy. She is the 2012 recipient of UBC Department of Psychiatry Postgraduate Psychotherapy Award. Other research activities include physician mental health.

  Consultant Psychiatrist – Mellisa Fahy, MD, FRCPC
Dr. Fahy is a psychiatrist and a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UBC.

  Consultant Psychiatrist – George Hadjipavlou, MD, MA, FRCPC
Dr. Hadjipavlou is a psychiatrist and an Assistant Professor of Psychotherapy at the Institute of Mental Health in the Department of Psychiatry at UBC.

  Consultant Psychologist – Erin E. Michalak, PhD
Dr. Michalak is an Associate Professor, UBC Department of Psychiatry. Her background is in psychology, with a PhD awarded from the University of Wales College of Medicine in the United Kingdom. Her research interests are in bipolar disorder, knowledge translation, self-management, seasonal and nonseasonal depression, quality of life and the development of outcome instruments for mood disorders. Dr. Michalak’s research has been supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and the Canadian Psychiatric Research Foundation, amongst others. She leads the ‘Collaborative RESearch Team for the study of psychosocial issues in Bipolar Disorder’ (CREST.BD,, a CIHR-funded Canadian network designed to foster psychosocial research and knowledge translation in BD. She has published over 50 scientific articles and several books and book chapters. 

  Consultant Psychiatrist – Colleen Northcott, MD, PhD, FRCPC
Dr. Northcott is a Clinical Associate Professor, UBC Department of Psychiatry. Her expertise includes mood disorders and community based geriatric psychiatry. She is President-Elect of the Western Canada District Branch of the American Psychiatric Association and since 1995 has carried out studies and research with the APA Council on Aging, where she sits on the Committee on Access and Effectiveness for Psychiatric Services for the Elderly. Dr. Northcott continues to present her work regularly at international conferences and also has an interest in new teaching methods in the UBC medical school, winning the Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award in 2005.

  Consultant Psychiatrist – Edwin M. Tam, MDCM, FRCPC
Dr. Tam is a Clinical Associate Professor, UBC Department of Psychiatry, and manages the Seasonal Affective Disorders (SAD) Clinic. His research and clinical interests include seasonal affective disorder, early bipolar disorder, and pharmacotherapy of mood disorders. He is actively involved in the clinical teaching of medical students and residents. Dr. Tam is also interested in clinical safety issues and the management of aggressive behavior, and is on the Postgraduate Safety Committee of the UBC Department of Psychiatry.

  Consultant Neuropsychologist – Ivan Torres, PhD, R.Psych.
Dr. Torres is a Clinical Associate Professor, UBC Department of Psychiatry, and research consultant to the Mood Disorders Centre. He is also a Research Scientist at BC Mental Health and Addiction Services. His research interests involve neuropsychological functioning in bipolar disorder and psychotic illness.

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