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IoP honoured at RCPsych Awards

Scientists from King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry (IoP) have been awarded two ‘Royal College of Psychiatry Awards’ at last night’s prestigious ceremony, held at the Royal Society of Medicine.

The annual RCPsych Awards mark the highest level of achievement within psychiatry, and are designed to recognise and reward excellent practice in the field of mental health.

Carmine Pariante, Professor of Biological Psychiatry at King’s IoP and Consultant Psychiatrist at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM), was named Psychiatric Academic/Researcher of the Year 2012 in recognition for his impressive body of work which focuses on the interface between psychiatry and neuroscience. 

Dr Sean Cross, Visiting Lecturer at King’s IoP and Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist at SLaM, was named Psychiatric Trainer of the Year 2012 for the significance of his contribution to the training of trainee psychiatrists.

 Dr Sean Cross and Dr Iona Heath  

Dr Sean Cross with Dr Iona Heath, President of the Royal College of General Practitioners.

In addition, Dr Oliver Howes, Senior Lecturer at King’s IoP and Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at SLaM was shortlisted for the Psychiatric Academic/Researcher of the Year 2012 category.

Professor Sue Bailey, President of the Royal College of Psychiatry said of Professor Pariante: “Carmine’s research focuses on the mechanisms underlying the relationship between stress and psychiatric disorders. His work is helping to improve our understanding of mental illness and deliver the best possible care to patients, and I am delighted the College is able to recognise his achievements with this award.”

Of Dr Cross, the judges commented: “Despite Dr Cross’s relatively recent appointment, he has achieved a great deal, including e-learning packages, simulation training and out-of-hours supervision groups. Particularly impressive is his integrated approach to training, including other disciplines across mental health and acute settings. His superb contribution to training makes him worthy of this award.”

Professor Pariante was unable to attend the ceremony and his award, presented by Professor Peter Woodruff, chair of the Faculty of Academic Psychiatry at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, was accepted on his behalf by his research colleagues Dr Patricia Zunszain and Dr Susan Pawlby.

Dr Susan Pawlby and Dr Patricia Zunszain with Professor Peter Woodruff

Professor Peter Woodruff, Dr Patricia Zunszain and Dr Susan Pawlby.

Dr Zunszain said: “The recognition from the Royal College of Psychiatrists is another public acknowledgment of Carmine’s amazing qualities which we all have the privilege to know. Carmine is not only a dedicated and innovative researcher, but more importantly he is an inspirational mentor and caring individual. I feel extremely proud to be part of his team.”

Dr Iona Heath, President of the Royal College of General Practitioners, presented Dr Cross with the Psychiatric Trainer of the Year 2012 award. 

Dr Cross concludes:  "Education and training of our healthcare workforce is a core component of our business so that we can provide safer and better services for our patients. I'm really pleased that the extension of simulation training into mental health services and attempts to improve the training of psychiatry trainees in ‘out of hours’ settings has been recognised in this way.  I'm so privileged to have been in a position to be able to win this award by working somewhere that encourages exciting and innovative work to take place and to work with a range of fantastic people that makes it all possible!"

For further information, please contact Seil Collins, Press Officer, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, email: or tel: 0207 848 5377