The Department of Psychiatry was established in 1946 and has been playing the leading role in the development of therapeutic models, professional cultivation, community mental health promotion, and scientific research in psychiatry in Taiwan. The department comprises of three subspecialty sections: general/community psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, and psychosomatic medicine. Research in this department has been very active. Since 1946, the first psychiatric epidemiological research in Taiwan was launched in 3 villages. The follow-up study in 1961 had drawn much attention from the world. In 1966, the department participated in the International Pilot Study of Schizophrenia as one of the nine international research centers. From 1982 to 1986, we accomplished the Taiwan Psychiatric Epidemiological Project using diagnostic interview schedule based on standard diagnostic criteria. Before 1990, main research areas were geriatric psychiatry illness, autism, children with PCB exposures, forensic psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine, consultation-liaison psychiatry, and lead poisoning of children. Since 1990, the research work has extended to medical education and ethics, epidemiology of child and adolescent mental disorders, child and adolescent sleep medicine, and molecular genetics and neuropsychological studies of schizophrenia.
The current main research topics (since the past decade) include molecular genetics, neurocognitive/neurophysiological/imaging endophenotypes, and behavioral phenotypes in schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorders (ASD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); pharmacoepidemiology and pharmacogenomics studies on schizophrenia and ADHD; and suicidal prevention. Other areas include animal models for schizophrenia and ASD, sleep medicine, forensic psychiatry, eating disorders, and geriatric neurocognitive impairment.