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Director appointed for NIHR Maudsley BRC

Posted on 18/07/2014
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Following an international search, Professor Matthew Hotopf has been appointed Director of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) at South London and Maudsley (SLaM) NHS Foundation Trust and the Institute of Psychiatry (IoP), King’s College London.

Professor Hotopf has been with the BRC since its inception in 2007 and has acted as Interim Director since January 2014.  From 2007-2012 Professor Hotopf led the BRC’s Analytic Methodologies theme which developed the innovative Clinical Record Interactive Search (CRIS), the most in depth mental health data resource in Europe. CRIS is used for clinical research purposes and has now been deployed across four other mental health trusts in the UK. He also leads the South East London Community Health Survey, the largest study of urban mental health in the country. 

In 2009 Professor Hotopf established and directed the BRC Nucleus, a data management and informatics hub for clinical and bioinformatics. Following the renewal of the BRC in 2012 Professor Hotopf became Lead for the Engagement Populations and Informatics Cluster, which focuses on three key themes - Patient and Carer Participation; Clinical and Population Informatics; and Biostatistics and Bioinformatics – aiming to transform health outcomes through informatics and through the integration of mental and physical healthcare.

On his appointment, Professor Hotopf said: “It is a great honour to be appointed to direct the BRC.  I thank my predecessor, Simon Lovestone for his immensely impressive contribution, which has made my job as interim director much easier than it might otherwise have been.  The BRC represents the close working relationship between SLaM and the IoP, a relationship which is key to so much of what we do.

"People with mental health problems are disadvantaged in many respects – and the BRC is committed to seeking the best possible treatments.  We will do this by developing and testing new psychological and pharmacological treatments, by gaining a better understanding of which treatments work best for which patients, and by using our growing expertise in informatics to identify who is at risk of bad outcomes and intervening to improve these outcomes.”
 
Professor Shitij Kapur, Dean and Head of School, IoP at King’s said:  “I am delighted that Matthew will lead our BRC. He brings an exceptionally strong track record of academic and clinical excellence to the role.  Given the strength of his research and leadership experience as well as his commitment to transforming health outcomes and the integration of mental and physical healthcare, we look forward to him leading us through the next renewal of the BRC.” 
 
Dr Matthew Patrick, Chief Executive, SLaM said:  “Matthew has a proven track record of success and commitment to the BRC and his appointment will ensure that it remains under strong leadership and at the forefront of mental health experimental medicine and translational research. As a strong NHS-university partnership SLaM and the IoP will continue to support its BRC to develop more individualised treatments and support advances in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care of mental ill health and dementia in order to meet the challenges of finding better treatments and improved care for our patients, faster.”
 
Matthew Hotopf is Professor of General Hospital Psychiatry at the IoP at King’s and his research interests include: psychiatric epidemiology and liaison psychiatry with a special interest in service use; medically unexplained symptoms (including fatigue and chronic fatigue syndrome), and developmental risk factors for unexplained symptoms; depression in advanced disease and palliative care settings; bereavement; effectiveness and cost effectiveness of antidepressants.

The NIHR Maudsley BRC is one of two BRC’s at King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre – the other being the NIHR BRC at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London

Further information, please contact Louise Pratt, PR & Communications Manager, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London louise.a.pratt@kcl.ac.uk 0207 848 5378

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