Leadership Update: Lakshmi Yatham appointed Head, Department of Psychiatry





Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Lakshmi Yatham as Head, Department of Psychiatry effective January 1, 2019 to June 30, 2024.

In this role, Dr. Yatham will provide strategic leadership to the Department to foster excellence and innovation in education, research and health care.

Dr. Yatham is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Director of the UBC Institute of Mental Health, and Regional Head of Psychiatry and Regional Program Medical Director for Mental Health and Addictions at Vancouver Coastal Health and Providence Health Care. He has an Executive MBA from the Sauder School of Business and a wealth of leadership experience in academic, healthcare and professional organizations. He has held leadership positions such as the President for the International Society for Bipolar Disorders, the Secretary for the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry (WFSBP), and is now the President-Elect of the WFSBP.

Dr. Yatham’s major areas of research interest include neurobiology and treatment of bipolar disorder. His research has contributed to several advances in understanding and treatment of bipolar disorder including disease progression, importance of early intervention in arresting disease progression, and development of new treatments. He has published about 300 peer reviewed papers and is one of the few most highly cited researchers in psychiatry/psychology in the world. He is on the editorial boards of a number of international journals and a Scientific Advisory Board member of the International Bipolar Foundation and Harvard’s Dauten Family Center for Bipolar Studies. Dr. Yatham has been the lead for publication of the CANMAT bipolar guidelines which are widely cited and adopted for use by clinicians from around the world. He has received numerous national and international awards for his contributions to research and leadership in the field of bipolar disorders.

His appointment follows the leadership of Dr. Raymond Lam as Interim Head, Department of Psychiatry from July 16, 2018 to December 31, 2018. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Lam for his contributions and leadership during the recruitment process.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Yatham to his new appointment in the Faculty of Medicine.


Dermot Kelleher, MD, FRCP, FRCPI, FMedSci
Dean, Faculty of Medicine
Vice-President, Health
The University of British Columbia