Dr Tamsyn Van Rheenen

Dr Tamsyn Van Rheenen is a Senior Research Fellow and

head of the Mood - Psychosis Spectrum Sub-Stream at the MNC


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Dr Tamsyn Van Rheenen completed her PhD at Swinburne University in 2014, and moved to the Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre in 2015 to take up an NHMRC Peter Doherty Fellowship. She is currently a Senior Research Fellow, and head of the Mood - Psychosis Spectrum group within the Psychosis Studies stream.


Tamsyn’s research program is focussed on understanding shared and distinct features of the major psychiatric illnesses on the mood – psychosis spectrum. Specifically, her current research incorporates neuropsychological and neuroimaging techniques to better understand the relationship between behaviourally assessed cognitive (thinking) skills and underlying brain anatomy and brain function, with an emphasis on bipolar disorder and its cross-over with schizophrenia.

Dr Van Rheenen is currently running the following study that is currently recruiting participants:


If you would like to find out more about Dr Van Rheenen’s research, or are interested in Honours, Masters or PhD projects, please contact her at tamsyn.van@unimelb.edu.au.

Current Projects

Current Funding

(2018-2020) Understanding the biological relevance of cross-diagnostic subgroups of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Henry Freeman Trust

(2017-2018) Characterising cross-diagnostic cognitive subgroups in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Society of Mental Health Research.

(2017-2018) Understanding cognitive variability in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Jack Brockhoff Foundation Medical Research Grant.

(2017-2018) Understanding the role of inhibitory dysfunction in affective network alteration and auditory verbal hallucinations in patients with bipolar disorder. Barbara Dicker Brain Sciences Foundation.

Karantonis J, Rossell SL, Carruthers S, Sumner P, Hughes M, Green MJ, . . . Van Rheenen TE. (In Press). Validation of cross-diagnostic cognitive subgroups on the schizophrenia-bipolar spectrum. Journal of Affective Disorders.

Van Rheenen, T., Cropley, V., Fagerlund, B., Wannan, C., Bruggemann, J., Lenroot, R. K., . . . Pantelis, C. (In Press). Cognitive reserve attenuates age-related cognitive decline in the context of putatively accelerated brain ageing in schizophrenia-spectrum disorders. Psychological Medicine. 

Van Rheenen, T. E., Lewandowski, K. E., Bauer, I. E., Kapczinski, F., Miskowiak, K., Burdick, K. E., & Balanzá‐Martínez, V. (2019). Current understandings of the trajectory and emerging correlates of cognitive impairment in bipolar disorder: an overview of evidence. Bipolar Disorders. 

Van Rheenen, T. E., Ganella, E. P., Bauer, I. E., & Bartholomeusz, C. F. (2019). Characterization of social cognitive deficits on the schizophrenia-bipolar disorder spectrum: An overview of current evidence. In K. E. Lewandowski & A. A. Moustafa (Eds.), Social Cognition in Psychosis (1 ed.): Elsevier.

Van Rheenen, T. E., Lewandowski, K.E, Lipschitz J.M, Burdick K.E. . (2019). Conducting Clinical Studies Targeting Cognition in Psychiatry: Guiding Principles and Design. CNS Spectrums, 24, 16-21.


Carruthers, S. P., Van Rheenen, T. E., Sumner, P. J., Gurvich, C., & Rossell, S. L. (2019). Characterising the structure of cognitive heterogeneity in schizophrenia spectrum disorders—A systematic review and narrative synthesis. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews. 

Van Rheenen, T. E., Cropley V, Wells R, Bruggemann J, Swaminathan V, Sundram S, . . . Pantelis C. (2018). Widespread volumetric reductions in schizophrenia and schizoaffective patients displaying compromised cognitive abilities. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 44(3), 560-574. 

Van Rheenen, T. E., Lewandowski, K. E., Ongur, D., Tan, E. J., Neill, E., Gurvich, C., . . . Burdick, K. E. (2017). Characterizing cognitive heterogeneity on the schizophrenia – bipolar disorder spectrum. Psychological Medicine, 47, 1848-1864. 

Calafiore, D., Rossell, S. L., & Van Rheenen, T. E. (2018). Cognitive abilities in first-degree relatives of individuals with bipolar disorder. Journal of Affective Disorders, 225, 147-152. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2017.08.029

Van Rheenen, T. E., Murray, G., & Rossell, S. L. (2015). Emotion regulation in bipolar disorder: profile and utility in predicting trait mania and depression propensity. Psychiatry Research. 

Select Publications




University of Melbourne and

Melbourne Health

Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre

Level 3, Alan Gilbert Building

161 Barry Street

Carlton, Victoria, 3053