Sachin Nagendrappa, St. John's Medical College Hospital
My interest in psychiatry started in medical school. I was fortunate to get a teacher Dr. Sanjay, a Psychiatrist who sparked my interest in the field of psychosis. As Dr. Sanjay knew my interest in psychiatry, he would take me to government-run mental health rehabilitation centers where most people with untreated psychosis were admitted. During the visits, he taught me about Schizophrenia in detail and I saw the majority of patients with severe symptoms whom he treated were getting better and also realized the stigma they face and several other social factors associated with the illness. I decided to pursue my passion in the field of psychiatry to learn more. I joined as a resident to pursue my post-graduation in Psychiatry at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences(NIMHANS), where I began my research in Schizophrenia. I was privileged to get mentors at NIMHANS who are stalwarts in the field of Schizophrenia who taught me the basics of research and continue to help me grow as a researcher in the field of Schizophrenia. My initial research began with treatment-resistant Schizophrenia and the factors leading to ultra-resistance. This led me to work on the Clinical, cognitive and neurobiological effects of clozapine in treatment-resistant Schizophrenia. I used a functional near-infrared spectroscopic study to evaluate the pre-post effects of clozapine in patients with treatment-resistant Schizophrenia. Later worked briefly on the tele consultation model for improving outcomes in Schizophrenia, in people who lack access to treatment in India. Currently, I am working as an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at St Johns Medical College Hospital, Bengaluru, India, and will be beginning my journey as a Ph. D Scholar this month and continue to work in the field of Schizophrenia.
The journey as a researcher in the field of Schizophrenia is personally satisfying and made me more curious to learn and understand various aspects of treatment resistance in Schizophrenia. I am also involved in several other research collaborations including collaborations with UNICEF, ETH Switzerland, the University of Pittsburgh, Global mental health International, and several other national collaborations. The major studies in which I’m involved currently are RCT evaluating the efficacy of a repurposed drug in Schizophrenia, a study on neurophysiological correlates of self-other distinction in Schizophrenia, etc.
After I joined St Johns Medical College hospital, a general hospital, I’m seeing numerous patients with chronic medical illnesses with comorbid psychiatric illnesses who are not taking adequate care of themselves. They come with varying knowledge of their illnesses and vary in their ability to monitor internal sensations and thoughts that can serve to improve self-care. This has intrigued me. I found it interesting to know the factors, and I have chosen to explore if low awareness of bodily sensation in chronic medical illnesses is similar to a lack of awareness of chronic psychotic illnesses. I believe this will potentially help broaden the concept of awareness of the illness and support cognitively informed interventions on the one hand, and radically alter the concept of awareness of illness on the other. I will use my research in understanding the treatment resistance in Schizophrenia, looking forward to developing cognitively informed intervention models to gain better insight in patients with Schizophrenia and thus improve the outcomes
I am ever grateful for the guidance of excellent mentors throughout my career and especially SIRS. SIRS has always motivated early-career researchers like me. SIRS stands at the forefront in providing support and the opportunity to interact with and gain knowledge from the esteemed and eminent faculty who are much more experienced in Schizophrenia research. I always look forward to attending SIRS annual conferences. The experience to gain as an early career researcher will be enormous and this will give a great fillip to early-career researchers' desire to set up an independent career in research.
The Global Schizophrenia Award is to support a SIRS member in a low and middle income country to attend the annual SIRS congress. The intent of the award is to widen diversity and to bring a member from under-represented countries to a state-of-the-art meeting to establish collaborations with other SIRS members. Sachin Nagendrappa was named the SIRS 2022 Global Schizophrenia Awardee.
You can find more about Sachin Nagendrappa's research and accomplishments by clicking here.