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New Sackler Institute and Chair for Translational Neurodevelopment at King's

Posted on 25/07/2013
Professor Declan Murphy

Professor Declan Murphy

King’s College London has received a transformative gift from the Dr. Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation to establish the Dr. Mortimer D. Sackler Chair in Translational Neurodevelopment and the Sackler Institute for Translational Neurodevelopment. 

As a result of this gift we are delighted to announce that Professor Declan Murphy, Head of the Department of Forensic and Neurodevelopmental Science at the Institute of Psychiatry (IoP) at King’s has been appointed the Dr. Mortimer D. Sackler Chair in Translational Neurodevelopment and will lead the new Institute. 

The Sackler Institute for Translational Neurodevelopment aims to transform our understanding of how disorders such as autism spectrum disorder, epilepsy and Down’s syndrome develop over a lifespan, to improve diagnostic approaches and to develop innovative treatments for these disorders.

King’s has an established reputation in neurodevelopmental research and the creation of the Sackler Institute for Translational Neurodevelopment will allow for greater collaboration between research teams across King’s and drive the translation of findings into patient benefit.

Based at Institute of Psychiatry at King’s the new Sackler Institute aims to:

  • Advance our understanding of the origin, biological mechanism and lifespan evolution of challenging neurodevelopmental disorders 
  • Develop and evaluate novel diagnostic and treatment biomarkers to create individualised medicine
  • Discover and test novel psychopharmacologic, behavioural and bioengineering interventions
  • Pioneer genetic and cell therapies and offer state-of-the-art genetic counselling
  • Foster interdisciplinary research training of postdoctoral students and clinicians

Professor Sir Rick Trainor, Principal of King’s College London says: “We are hugely honoured and grateful to the Sackler Foundation for this gift.  Improving our understanding of neurological disorders and developing treatments for them, are central pillars of King’s research. This major gift will allow us to harness this expertise and translate and expedite discoveries into patient care.”

Dame Theresa Sackler of the Dr. Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation, says: “We are delighted to hear that Professor Declan Murphy has been appointed the Dr. Mortimer D. Sackler Chair in Translational Neurodevelopment and we wish Professor Murphy and his team of scientists great success in challenging and resolving Neurodevelopmental disorders in their work at The Sackler Institute for Translational Neurodevelopment at King’s.”

Professor Shitij Kapur, Dean and Head of School of the IoP at King’s says: “We are very grateful to the Sackler Foundation for their generous donation and honoured that this exciting new centre will be based at the IoP.  We are delighted to appoint Professor Murphy as the Dr. D Mortimer Sackler Chair in Translational Neurodevelopment. He is a world leader in this field and is reaching out to some of the most distinguishing scientists at King’s to develop the Sackler Institute faculty. This   will help attract the best minds to work on innovative solutions to complex problems.”

Professor Declan Murphy, Dr. D Mortimer Sackler Chair in Translational Neurodevelopment and Head of the Department of Forensic and Neurodevelopmental Science at the IoP at King’s, says: “I am honoured to have been offered this position.   I look forward to working with colleagues across King’s, other Sackler Centres and international networks to translate new findings from basic science into treatment advances.” 

The Sackler Institute for Translational Neurodevelopment will become the fourth Sackler Institute in the UK, and the second at King’s, joining the Sackler Institute of Pulmonary Pharmacology.

For further information please contact Louise Pratt, Public Relations and Communications Manager, Institute of Psychiatry King's College London. Email:louise.a.pratt@kcl.ac.uk or Tel: +44 20 7848 5378

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