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The Queen awards Regius Professorship of Psychiatry to King's

Posted on 05/02/2013

King’s is to be bestowed the prestigious Regius Professorship of Psychiatry by Her Majesty the Queen to mark the Diamond Jubilee.

The Regius Professorship of Psychiatry will be the first Regius Chair to be associated with psychiatry or mental health and was awarded to King’s as a reflection of the exceptionally high quality of teaching and research at King’s Institute of Psychiatry (IoP).

In partnership with the Maudsley, the IoP has redefined mental illness, its treatment and place in society. Since its foundation, the IoP has led pioneering research into mental health and its continued association with the South London and Maudsley (SLaM) NHS Foundation Trust enables research findings to be translated into novel treatments.

Professor Sir Robert Lechler, Vice-Principal (Health) at King’s said: “A Regius Professorship is a rare privilege.  It represents a mark of distinction for King’s and is a tribute to the IoP’s outstanding academic achievements. “

Twelve university departments across the UK that are deemed to be outstanding have been awarded a Regius Chair.  All entries were assessed by the expert panel, with greatest weight given to the excellence of the university’s work in the proposed discipline and the recognition the discipline has gained.

Professor Shitij Kapur, Dean and Head of School IoP at King’s said:  “The Regius Professorship is a wonderful recognition of all that we have stood for, and done, for nearly a hundred years.  The Chair acknowledges our pioneering work and the vital tasks that still lie ahead in tackling mental illness.”

“Our excellence is underpinned by extraordinary individuals, who have changed the landscape of mental health research and treatment. The IoP would attract to this post the most eminent psychiatric scholar of our generation, able to lead future advances in science and care in psychiatry.

“The partnership between the IoP and the Maudsley, now SLaM, has fundamentally changed the science of psychiatry and we are honoured that we will be able to mark the founding of the original Maudsley Hospital with the founding of the first ever Regius Professor of Psychiatry.  I think Henry Maudsley would have liked this.”

The creation of Regius Professorships falls under the Royal Prerogative, and each appointment is approved by the Monarch on ministerial advice. Only two others have been awarded in the last century, to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin in 2009. Before then, the most recent Regius Professorship was created by Queen Victoria.

In the past, Regius Professorships were created when a university chair was founded or endowed by a Royal patron.  Before today, they were limited to a handful of the ancient universities of the United Kingdom and Ireland, namely Oxford, Cambridge, St Andrews, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Trinity College, Dublin.  

For further information, please contact Seil Collins, Press Officer, King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, email: or tel: (+44) 0207 848 5377

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