Past IMH Directors


William G. Honer, MD, FRCPC, FCAHS (October 2011 – December 2016)

William HonerDr. Honer is a Professor and the Jack Bell Chair in Schizophrenia. He is also the Scientific Director of the BC Mental Health & Addictions Research Institute and previous Head of the UBC Department of Psychiatry.

Dr. Honer received his medical degree from Queen’s University. He completed specialty training in psychiatry at Vancouver General Hospital and the New York State Psychiatric Institute/ Columbia University. This was followed by research training in neuropathology and genetics at Columbia University and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. His research interests include mechanisms of illness in schizophrenia, brain aging and complex co-occurring illnesses such as psychosis, addiction and infectious disease. He is the author of more than 200 peer-reviewed publications and has authored the assessment section of the Canadian Clinical Practice Guidelines for Schizophrenia.

Dr. Honer has received the Young Investigator Award and the Heinz Lehmann Award from the Canadian College of Neuropsychopharmacology and a Scientist Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. He is also the recipient of a 2011 Award for Excellence in Mentoring Early Career Faculty from the UBC Faculty of Medicine.

In his role of Director, Dr. Honer provided leadership in teaching and research, and in promoting and improving patient care and clinical service delivery, working in partnership with affiliated Health Authorities across B.C.


Athanasios Zis, MD, FRCPC  (January 2011 – June 2011)

Dr. Zis served as the Head of the UBC Department of Psychiatry from 1997 to 2006, during which the Department saw a period of significant growth and a number of important milestones, including the establishment of the UBC Institute of Mental Health (IMH), for which he served as Director in 2011. Over his long and distinguished career spanning four decades, Dr. Zis made important contributions in the areas of the natural course of bipolar disorder, neuroendocrinology and other biological aspects of mood disorders, electroconvulsive therapy, and the effects of electroconvulsive shock, authoring or co-authoring more than 100 peer-reviewed publications.

Dr. Zis obtained his medical degree from the National University of Athens Medical School in 1969, then immigrated to Vancouver, BC to complete his psychiatry residency training here at UBC. Following his residency,  he completed a three-year fellowship in Psychobiology of Mood Disorders at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland, under Dr. Frederick Goodwin. In 1979, he was appointed to the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan, where he remained until 1985, when an opportunity to join our academic faculty in the UBC Department of Psychiatry brought him back to Vancouver and UBC. In addition to serving as Department Head and IMH Director, Dr. Zis also served as the Head of the Mood Disorders Program from 1993 until 1997.


Allan H. Young, MB, ChB, MPhil, PhD, FRCPsych, FRCPC (January 2007 – December 2010)

Professor Allan H Young, Director of the UBC Institute of Mental Health, Leading Edge Endowment Fund Chair in Depression Research and Professor in the UBC Department of Psychiatry.

Dr. Young received his Medical Degree from the University of Edinburgh. He subsequently underwent postgraduate training in the University of Edinburgh and the University of Oxford, receiving his MRC Psych in 1988 and FRCPsych in 2003. Since 1999, he has been Professor of General Psychiatry and Director of Psychiatry, School of Neurology, Neurobiology and Psychiatry at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, as well as an Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist.

Dr. Young’s research has focused on the causes and treatment of severe psychiatric disorders, particularly mood disorders. His research examines the causes and treatment of severe mood disorders and he is particularly interested in the procedures and protocols of proof-of-concept studies for novel drug treatments in psychiatry.


Anthony G. Phillips, PhD, FRSC (  May 2005 – 2008)

Dr. Anthony G. Phillips is a world-renowned expert in brain function and behaviour. He is the Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction, the Founding Director of the UBC Institute of Mental Health, a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and a senior investigator with the University of British Columbia/Vancouver Coastal Health Brain Research Centre. He is a former Head of the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia.

Dr. Phillips earned his Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts and PhD in Psychology from the University of Western Ontario. His research focuses on the neurobiology of motivation, drug addiction and mental illness, with a specific emphasis on clinical implications. He has published over 300 peer-reviewed papers, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Dr. Phillips is a founder of QLT, one of Canada’s leading biotechnology companies, and is currently a director of Allon Therapeutics Inc. He serves as a Councillor for the Society for Neuroscience and is the Vice-President of the Collegium Internationale Neuro-Psychopharmacologicum (CINP). He is also actively involved in numerous other national and international neuroscience programs.

Dr. Phillips has received numerous awards for his research including a Steacie Fellowship from NSERC; and most recently, the Heinz Lehmann Award from the Canadian College of Neuropsychopharmacology in March 2009. He maintains a very active and productive laboratory in systems neuroscience.