Darryl is the Neurobiology laboratory director of the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research based within the Queensland Brain Institute in Brisbane, Australia. His research focuses on the neurobiology behind the non-genetic risk factor epidemiology of severe mental illness such as schizophrenia and autism. He is best known for his work on vitamin D deficiency and brain development. He has published more than 80 manuscripts pertaining to this model and more than 30 clinical studies related to the adverse effects of developmental vitamin D (DVD)-deficiency. His animal model of this risk factor is now in use in 10 different laboratories internationally.

This work has led to a reconceptualization of the dopamine hypothesis of schizophrenia as the “dopamine ontogeny hypothesis of schizophrenia.” His group is attempting to understand how adverse factors during the early (foetal) stages of brain development affect brain ontogeny to produce these disorders. In particular his research now focuses on how the ontogeny of dopamine neurons may be adversely affected by known environmental risk factors for schizophrenia. His group are now developing new animal models targeting late developing processes in the dorsal striatum that recreate phenotypes of relevance to the early onset of psychosis. It is hoped that some of these models may be useful for rapid preclinical screening of prophylactic agents to prevent onset of psychosis.