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Fellows Award advisory committee

Professor Marcus Munafò - Chair of Fellows Committee

Marcus Munafò is Professor of Biological Psychology at the University of Bristol. His research focuses on the neurobiological and genetic basis for tobacco and alcohol use, including smoking cessation, with two themes: the laboratory study of neurobiological pathways involved in substance use, and the large-scale longitudinal study of genetic influences on substance use and treatment response.

Recently, his research has focused on the relationship between health behaviours and both physical and mental health outcomes, using instrumental variables (e.g., Mendelian randomization) and negative control methods to elucidate the causal nature of these relationships. He is also developing programmes of work investigating the role of emotion perception biases in mental health (and the therapeutic potential of modification of these biases), and the potential of choice architecture interventions to shape lifestyle behaviours (e.g., tobacco and alcohol use) and promote public health.

Professor Meike Bartels

Meike Bartels is University Research Chair Professor in Genetics and Well-being at the Department of Biological Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands. She published over 200 papers in peer-reviewed journal including the first molecular genetic evidence for well-being in PNAS and the first genomic variant for well-being in Nature Genetics. She is the president of the Behaviour Genetics Association and the President-Elect of the International Positive Psychology Association. She combines research with teaching and is the Director of the Research Master Genes in Behaviour and Health, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. She was awarded a prestigious European Research Council Consolidator grant to build, expand and consolidate her line of research on Genetics and Well-being.

Professor Thalia Eley

Thalia is Professor of Developmental Behavioural Genetics at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London. She directs the Emotional Development, Intervention and Treatment (EDIT) lab, and her work focuses on the interplay between genetic and environmental factors in the development and treatment of anxiety and depression. 

Her work is highly interdisciplinary using both the twin design and molecular genetic approaches, and drawing on cognitive, clinical and developmental psychology. She has written over 120 empirical papers and received numerous awards including the Spearman Medal from the British Psychological Society, the Lilly-Molecular Psychiatry Award, and most recently the James Shields Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society for Twin Studies. She is one of the Chairs of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium Anxiety Group and Deputy Director and Incoming Director of the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS).

Professor Barbara Franke

Chair of Molecular Psychiatry, Department of Human Genetics and Psychiatry, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Professor Simon Gilbody

Simon Gilbody is Professor of Psychological Medicine and Health Services Research at the University of York.  He is Director of the Mental Health and Addictions Research Group (MHARG) and an honorary consultant psychiatrist at Tees and Wear Valleys (TEWV) NHS Foundation Trust.  Present during the formation of the Hull York Medical School (HYMS), Simon has helped shape the medical curriculum and ensures that HYMS-trained Doctors graduate with an appreciation of mental health and psychology.

Simon holds first degrees in psychology and medicine, and he trained in psychiatry and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) in the North of England.  He held a four-year Doctoral training fellowship with the UK Medical Research Council; training as a population scientist and health services researcher (DPhil 2001).  In 2005 he founded the York Mental Health and Addictions Research Group (MHARG).  The group has grown in size and reach, and now includes 65 researchers, clinical academics and methodologists. 

The overarching aim of his research programme is to ensure that NHS mental health care is effective, efficient and equitable.  He draws upon his clinical background to conduct rigorous large-scale pragmatic trials of innovative approaches to treat common mental health problems and to help improve the physical health of people with severe mental illness.

Simon leads several of the largest publicly-funded mental health trials ever undertaken.  In the CASPER trials programme he has demonstrated the effectiveness of innovative models of care to treat and prevent depression in older people.  In the SCIMITAR trials programme he has demonstrated the acceptability and effectiveness of smoking cessation programmes designed for people who use mental health services.  MHARG research informs practice and policy internationally. 

In 2018 Simon established the UKRI-funded Network+ to reduce health inequalities for people with the most severe forms of mental ill health (‘the Closing the Gap (CtG) Network’).  He serves on National funding boards and is Deputy Chair of the NIHR Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Commissioning Board (2016-20).  Simon was an inaugural NIHR Senior Investigator (2007-2011), and was awarded honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of General Practitioners (2019) in recognition of his contribution to primary care mental health. 

Professor Guy Goodwin

Guy Goodwin, FMedSci is Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry and NIHR Emeritus Senior Investigator at the University of Oxford, UK. His research interests are the treatment of bipolar disorder and the application of neuroscience in understanding the neurobiology of mood disorders, with a focus on developing new treatments.

He is a Fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, has previously held the position of President of the British Association for Psychopharmacology and the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) and is a Senior Investigator on the faculty of UK National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). He is a Thomson Reuters highly cited researcher (top 1% in field).

Professor Jeremy Hall

Professor Hall is Director of the Division of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist and Director of the Neurosciences & Mental Health Research Institute at Cardiff University. His overarching interest is in the role of genetic and environmental risk factors in the development of neurodevelopmental disorders such as schizophrenia and autism. He is particularly interested in how identified genetic risk factors affects learning processes in the brain, abnormalities in which underlie the key symptoms seen in a range of mental health problems.

In addition to pre-clinical work he also conducts clinical work and research in the fields of adult neurodevelopmental disorders and early psychosis.

Professor René Kahn

René Kahn is Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, USA.  He has worked in the field of neuroimaging and genetics of schizophrenia and bipolar illness and led the schizophrenia program at the University Medical Center, Utrecht, The Netherlands for 23 years. His current research interests include neuroimaging in schizophrenia and the genetic dissection of complex traits in specific psychiatric disorders. 

Dr Kahn has been influential in mentoring researchers, both clinicians and basic scientists.  He has supervised over ninety PhD students, some of whom have become professors of psychiatry in their own right.  Moreover, he has brought together research groups across the world in the studies mentioned above and has been influential in large scientific organizations such as the European College for Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) and Schizophrenia International Research Society (SIRS). He was one of the first psychiatrists to initiate intensive collaboration with China to study large numbers of patients and healthy subjects in order to find genetic abnormalities in patients of schizophrenia.  He has published over 800 peer-reviewed papers.

Professor Elizabeth Kuipers

Elizabeth Kuipers OBE is Professor Emerita of Clinical Psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN), King's College London and until 2012, was an honorary Consultant Clinical Psychologist at the South London and Maudsley Foundation Trust. She was the Chair of the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) Psychosis and Schizophrenia updated treatment Guideline for England and Wales in 2014 and 2009.

Elizabeth was head of the Psychology Department at King’s College London from 2006-2012 and a founding director of the PICuP clinic (Psychological Interventions Clinic for outpatients with Psychosis), at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. Her research interests are in developing, evaluating and understanding interventions in psychosis; family interventions and individual cognitive-behaviour therapy.

Professor Kuipers has authored and co-authored more than 400 articles, book chapters and books, and has more than 15,000 citations for her work. She is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, and of the Academy of Social Sciences. She is a National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Senior Investigator Emeritus, the 2013 recipient of a WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) lifetime achievement award, and a lifetime achievement award from the Professional Practice Board of the British Psychological Society.

In 2018, as part of the New Year Honours List, Elizabeth was awarded an OBE for services to clinical research, treatment and support of people with psychosis.

Dr Stephen MacGillivray

Stephen is an experienced Health Services Researcher and Systematic Reviewer at the University of Dundee, Scotland. His background is in Psychology with a PhD in Health Services Research. He has worked as a researcher in the Departments of Psychiatry, Epidemiology and Public Health, Mother and Child Health and is currently in the School of Nursing and Health Sciences, University of Dundee.

His is particularly interested in the treatment of depressive disorders and schizophrenia and is currently developing a program of research in substance misuse with specific interest in Opioid Replacement Therapy and understanding ways to reduce drug deaths. His research interests also include a focus on reducing health inequalities, improving access to and engagement with health services, and digital technologies to support health and wellbeing. He has particular expertise in conducting meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials (particularly Cochrane Reviews), meta-syntheses of qualitative studies and rapid evidence reviews for policy and is developing expertise in conducting realist syntheses as well as meta-ethnography. Developing new evidence synthesis methodologies is also another interest.

Dr Ciara McCabe

Ciara is Associate Professor of Neuroscience and Psychopharmacology, University of Reading.  Dr McCabe’s research examines reward processing at the behavioural and neural level, using motivational tasks and computational modelling. Dr McCabe examines how reward relates to the symptom of anhedonia in adults and adolescents with depression and how drug treatments interact with the reward response.

Dr McCabe did her PhD on the effects of anxiolytic drugs in animal models of frustrative non-reward at the University of Ulster. She did her first post doc with Professor Nader in primate models of drug addiction at Wake Forest, NC, USA. She then moved to the Psychology Department at Oxford University to study human reward function using neuroimaging, and then onto the Psychiatry Department at Oxford University to examine the human brains reward response under psychoactive medications and in those at risk of psychiatric disorders.

Dr McCabe now runs the Neuroimaging of Reward Group (NRG) at the University of Reading, where they examine the behavioural and neural responses to reward in adults and adolescents with depression.

 Professor Frances Rice

Frances Rice is Professor of Developmental Psychopathology in the Division of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences at Cardiff University and Co-Director of the Wolfson Centre for Young People’s Mental Health.

Frances studied Experimental Psychology at Oxford University and then completed a PhD in the genetic epidemiology of childhood depression at Cardiff University. She became lecturer in Developmental Psychology at University College London in 2008. She returned to Cardiff University in 2015 to work as a principal investigator at the MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics, where she continues to carry out research on the aetiology of youth depression.

Her research involves studying development across the lifespan and aims to identify causal risk and protective factors that can be targeted as part of psychological and public health interventions. It involves a range of approaches including longitudinal prospective studies and genetic epidemiology to test if environmental risk exposures have causal effects on mental health. She is also interested in the links between school and young people’s mental health.

Dr Kaili Rimfeld

Kaili Rimfeld is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the MRC Centre for Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London.  She gained her BSc in Psychology and MSc in Developmental Psychology from Birkbeck College, University of London and her PhD in Behavioural Genetics at King’s College London.

She studies causes of correlates of individual differences in academic achievement combining behavioural genetic and statistical genetic methods with psychometrics and innovative assessment methods. She has published empirical research using quantitative genetic methodology, involving both the twin design and DNA-based methods, to increase the understanding of individual differences in educational achievement. Her other interests are Gene and environment interplay; early predictors of educational achievement, as well as life outcomes associated with it, such as the quality of life and health outcomes, and, risk and protective factors of mental health problems throughout the lifespan.

Professor Shekhar Saxena

Shekhar Saxena is Professor of the Practice of Global Mental Health at the Department of Global Health and Population at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, USA. A psychiatrist by training, he served in the World Health Organization (WHO) for 20 years beginning 1998. From 2010 to 2018 he was the Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse at WHO. In 2017, he received the prestigious Leon Eisenberg Award from Harvard Medical School. Author of more than 300 academic papers, he was an editor of the Lancet Series on Global Mental Health 2007 and 2011, and the Lancet Commission on Global Mental Health and Sustainable Development 2018. His expertise includes providing evidence-based advice and technical assistance to policy makers on mental health and prevention and management of mental, developmental, neurological and substance use disorders and suicide prevention.

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