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Inspiring Women: professors at the Institute of Psychiatry

A message from Professor Shitij Kapur, Dean and Head of School of the Institute of Psychiatry (IoP) at King's College London & Professor Elizabeth Kuipers, Chair, IoP Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team

At the IoP, we are proud to celebrate our faculty. We highlight their achievements through formal and informal events, national and international press coverage and College-wide initiatives. 

Feedback from our recent IoP opinion survey suggests that many of our junior researchers do not know that there are 31 internationally recognised professors here. Taken alongside evidence that women benefit from female role models, this exhibition looks to celebrate our senior female academics, and to allow them to serve as role models for all staff, both women and men. 

Many of our women professors lead departments, vice-deaneries, Clinical Academic Groups, professional bodies, clinical services, research centre and network, as well as advise government and non-governmental organisation worldwide on matters relating to their field. They influence, shape, develop and deliver strategic vision. 

We hope you enjoy our exhibition of portraits of Inspiring Women, as we celebrate their contribution to the academic endeavour. 

Women professors at the IoP - an inspiration to us all. 

(If the gallery below doesn't work, the slideshow can be viewed on Flickr)

Sarah Byford, Professor of Health Economics, Department of Health Service and Population Research

Professor Byford is a health economist who specialises in the economic evaluation of mental health and social services, with a particular interest in the evaluation of services for children and adolescents. She is Co-Deputy Director of the Institute’s Centre for the Economics of Mental and Physical Health. Professor Byford has recently worked as Senior Economics Advisor to the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), where she contributed to the development of SCIE’s approach to economic evaluation in social care, and she is currently a member of the NICE Public Health Interventions Advisory Committee.

Trudie Chalder, Professor of Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy, Department of Psychological Medicine

Professor Chalder is currently the President of the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy. Her clinical and research interests centre around developing models of understanding the development and perpetuation of symptoms, and disability in the context of medically unexplained symptoms and chronic diseases. From the models, potentially effective treatments are developed and tested within randomised controlled trials. Mechanisms of change are examined and results are fed back into the translational pathway.

Judith Dunn, Emeritus Professor of Developmental Psychology, MRC Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry Centre 

Professor Judy Dunn is a pioneer in research on sibling relationships. She has followed siblings and step-siblings longitudinally from infancy to adolescence, studying their socioemotional development in their own worlds of family and friends. She has published 18 books, and as Chair of the Good Childhood Inquiry funded by the Children’s Society, published the influential book, A Good Childhood: Search for Values in a Competitive Age (Layard & Dunn, 2009, Penguin). Professor Dunn is a Fellow of the British Academy and of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Thalia C. Eley, Professor of Developmental Psychology (as of 1st April 2013), MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre 

Dr Eley is interested in the interplay between genetic and environmental factors on the development and treatment of anxiety and depression. Her current work focuses on exploring the extent to which genetic and clinical information can be used to predict who will benefit from Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (a positive environment), and on the relative influence of genetic versus environmental factors on the transmission of anxiety from parents to their children.

Anne Farmer, Professor of Psychiatric Nosology, MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre

Professor Farmer is an Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist within the Health Care Professionals Affective Disorders Service, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. Her research interests centre on the genetic and environmental risk factors for affective disorders (Unipolar depression and bipolar disorder). As a clinical academic, she has always combined her research with clinical work and currently leads a national tertiary referral service based at the Maudsley hospital for Health Care Professionals with affective disorders.

Rosalie Ferner, Professor of Neurology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience

Professor Ferner is a Consultant Neurologist at Guys and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. She is national lead for the Neurofibromatosis (NF) 1 Service and regional lead for NF 2 Service. NF 1 and 2 are complex multi-system diseases that have a major impact on the nervous system and pre-dispose to tumour formation. Professor Ferner’s research with national and international collaborators focuses on defining clinical phenotype in the neurofibromatoses, determining the natural history of optic pathway glioma and developing robust clinical and patient centred outcome measures for monitoring novel therapies. She currently leads an MRC funded study to improve the diagnosis of NF1-associated malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumours using positron emission tomography computerised tomography. She is chairman of the national Neuro Foundation medical advisory board.

Philippa Garety, Professor of Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychology

Professor Garety is Clinical Director and Joint Leader of the Psychosis Clinical Academic Group within King’s Health Partners. Her research focuses on why people with psychosis develop and persist in holding delusional beliefs. She has found that both reasoning and emotional processes contribute to delusions. The aim of her experiments and trials is to improve and evaluate psychological treatments for psychosis. In 2002, Professor Garety was awarded the Shapiro lifetime achievement award by the Division of Clinical Psychology of the British Psychology Society. She is also a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and a Senior Investigator on the faculty of the National Institute for Health Research.

Laura H. Goldstein, Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology, Department of Psychology

Over her career, Professor Goldstein, a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, has undertaken internationally recognised research into the neuropsychological and broader psychological consequences of neurological disorders and their comorbidities, with particular reference to motor neurone disease. Currently, she is particularly involved in developing psychoeducational and psychological interventions for people with epilepsy and non-epileptic (dissociative) seizures. Previously, Professor Goldstein played a major role in the post-qualification training of clinical neuropsychologists in the UK through leading PG Diploma courses at the Institute of Psychiatry over a 16 year period.

Francesca Happé, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, MRC Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry Centre

Professor Happé is Director of the MRC Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry Centre. Her research work focuses on the neurocognitive basis of autism spectrum conditions, with a particular interest in why people with autism find the social world so puzzling, yet often excel at detail-focussed tasks. Professor Happe’s research utilises cognitive experiments, neuroimaging and twin studies to improve the recognition, understanding and treatment of people with autism across the lifespan.

Louise Howard, Professor of Women’s Mental Health, Department of Health Service and Population Research

Professor Howard leads on clinical research programmes in perinatal mental health, the impact of violence on mental health, and the physical health of people with mental disorders. She is an Honorary Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist with South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. Current grants include: NIHR funded research – 1) the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of perinatal mental health services, 2) BRC funded research on the risks and benefits of antipsychotics in pregnancy, 3) improving the healthcare response to domestic violence; an MRC funded PhD studentship on obesity and mental health in pregnancy; and NIHR PRP research on the health needs of trafficked people. Professor Howard has recently been appointed Chair of the NICE/NCCMH Guideline Development Group on Antenatal and Postnatal Mental Health (update).

Patricia Howlin, Emeritus Professor of Clinical Child Psychology, Department of Psychology

As both a clinician and researcher, Professor Howlin’s work has focused on the development and life-time trajectories of individuals with autism and other related disorders. She has a particular interest in the effectiveness of interventions for autism and in improving knowledge about the skills and needs of adults with this condition. Professor Howlin is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and was the first person in the UK to be made a Professor of Clinical Child Psychology. She was a founding editor of the UK journal Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice. Professor Howlin also holds the post of Professor of Developmental Disorders at Sydney University. In 2011 she received the Autism Association of Western Australia award for services to autism.

Myra Hunter, Professor of Clinical Health Psychology, Department of Psychology

Professor Hunter is a clinical academic psychologist, and professor in the Health Psychology Section of the Department of Psychology based at Guy’s Campus. Her main research interests are in the area of clinical health psychology and women’s health and her work focuses on the psychological understanding and development of interventions for people with physical and emotional problems, in the areas of women’s health (PMS and menopause), cardiology and oncology.

Khalida Ismail, Professor of Psychiatry and Medicine, Department of Psychological Medicine

Professor Ismail is a liaison psychiatrist and epidemiologist with a specialist interest in diabetes and related disorders. Her research interests are in: a) understanding the epidemiology and underlying mechanisms of the depression-diabetes link and related disorders and b) developing and evaluating innovative interventions to improve diabetes control and depression. As an honorary Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist in King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Professor Ismail leads the Diabetes and Mental Health clinical service. Her research has been translated into innovative clinical services such as the 3 Dimensions of Care for Diabetes service (3DFD) which won three Quality in Care Awards 2011. She has developed training modules to improve skills in psychological care for health professionals working with people with diabetes.

Rachel Jenkins, Emeritus Professor of Epidemiology and International Mental Health Policy, Department of Health Service and Population Research

As a psychiatrist, epidemiologist and policy maker, Professor Jenkins provides policy support to governments and carries out training and research in the UK, Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere. Formerly, a Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre (1997-2012), and before that Principal Medical Officer of the Mental Health Division, Department of Health (England 1987-1996), Professor Jenkins initiated the British national psychiatric morbidity survey programme which has conducted a number of national surveys of households, prisons, institutions, schools, carers, looked after children and the homeless since 1993 and whose results have informed national policy. Additionally, Professor Jenkins has conducted household surveys in Tanzania and Kenya.

Elizabeth Kuipers, Professor of Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychology

The research and clinical work of Professor Kuipers focuses on developing, evaluating and improving psychological interventions for people with psychosis and their caregivers. Both of these interventions, family intervention for psychosis (FIp) and cognitive behavioural therapy for psychosis (CBTp) are NICE recommended treatments in the NHS. Professor Kuipers was the previous chair of the 2009 NICE Schizophrenia guideline update and is the current chair of the NICE guideline update for Schizophrenia and Psychosis. She is a Senior Investigator on the faculty of the National Institute for Health Research.

Veena Kumari, Professor of Experimental Psychology, Department of Psychology

Professor Kumari’s research focuses on a) discovering state and trait-related cognitive and neural events that distinguish patients with psychosis from healthy people, and predict or accompany a meaningful response following psychopharmacological or psychological therapies in schizophrenia, and b) neurobiology of severe violence in mental illness and improving treatment outcomes for people with schizophrenia and antisocial personality disorder and the propensity to commit serious violent offences.

Sabine Landau, Professor of Biostatistics (as of 1st April 2013), Department of Biostatistics

As an applied statistician, Professor Landau is involved in collaborative research to address substantive research questions as well as methods research. She has applied state-of-the-art statistical methods in a variety of mental health projects including: the assessment of suicide clusters in the mentally ill, the characterisation of the spatial arrangement of brain cells in HIV-associated dementia and the evaluation of psychological therapies in clinical trials. Her current methodological research is focused on developing causal inference techniques, for example to evaluate the efficacy of interventions in the presence of non-adherence with randomised treatments or to understand mechanisms in trials of complex interventions.

Susan Lea, Professor and IoP Vice Dean (Education). Acting Vice-Principal (Education), King’s College London

Professor Lea’s work has two areas of focus, research and education: “My research interests focus on sexual violence, including criminal justice, health service and public responses to victims/survivors of violence. The way in which language re-produces dominant ideologies and understanding of violence represents a particular focus. I balance my research activity with my role as IoP Vice Dean for Education. I have always been committed to and interested in the process of education and have been very engaged in this aspect of University life throughout my career.”

Cathryn Lewis, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology and Statistics, MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre

Professor Lewis’ research develops statistical methodology used to identify genetic variants contributing to psychiatric disorders. She collaborates widely at the Institute of Psychiatry, working on genetic studies of depression, schizophrenia and motor neuron disease. The members of her research group have diverse academic backgrounds in statistics, genetics, and medicine, reflecting the importance of multidisciplinary research skills.

Hilary Little, Professor of Addiction Science, Addictions Department 

Professor Little is a pharmacologist, whose work primarily involves the development of novel pharmacological treatments for alcohol dependence. She also investigates the role of stress in the development of drug dependence and the neuronal changes responsible for the maintenance of such dependence. The aim of these studies is to provide effective treatments for people dependent on alcohol and on other drugs.

Barbara Maughan, Professor of Developmental Epidemiology, MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre

Many adult mental health problems have roots in childhood difficulties. Professor Maughan’s research uses epidemiological methods to explore early risk factors for psychiatric disorders; to examine developmental continuities in mental health across the life course; and to identify mechanisms that make for continuity and change. Her current studies focus in particular on conduct problems and antisocial behaviour.

Ann McNeill, Professor of Tobacco Addiction, Addictions Department

Professor McNeill started her academic career at the Institute of Psychiatry in the 1980s studying the development of dependence on nicotine for her PhD, and she returned in 2012 as Professor of Tobacco Addiction. Her research focuses on reducing tobacco use, the largest single cause of death and disease worldwide, and one which is entirely preventable. She studies how best to motivate and support tobacco users to reduce the harmfulness of their addiction, and the development and implementation of strong effective tobacco control policies. She has an established international reputation, receiving a World Health Organisation award for contributions to tobacco control in 1998.

Terrie Moffitt, Professor of Social Behaviour and Development, MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre

Professor Moffitt, a clinical psychologist, studies how genetic and environmental risks work together to shape the course of abnormal human behaviours and psychiatric disorders. Her particular interest is in antisocial and criminal behaviour, but she also studies depression, psychosis, and addiction. Professor Moffitt is associate director of the Dunedin Longitudinal Study, which follows 1000 people born in 1972 in New Zealand. She also directs the Environmental-Risk Longitudinal Twin Study, which follows 1100 British families with twins born in 1994-1995. A Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and the British Academy and a Trustee for the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, Professor Moffitt was awarded the prestigious Jacobs Prize for behavioural science in 2010.

Rona Moss-Morris, Professor of Psychology as applied to Medicine, Department of Psychology

Professor Moss-Morris heads the Health Psychology Section of the Department of Psychology. Her research focuses on developing theoretical models of symptom experience and adjustment to long term conditions. These models are used to develop and evaluate self-management and CBT based interventions for people with illnesses such as multiple sclerosis, irritable bowel syndrome and chronic fatigue syndrome. She is a national advisor to the Department of Health for Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies for people with medically unexplained and long term conditions.

Amanda Ramirez, Professor of Liaison Psychiatry, Department of Psychological Medicine

The research of Professor Ramirez aims to tackle the burden of avoidable death due to delay in presentation in people with symptomatic cancer, in particular women with symptomatic breast cancer. Her research group develops, evaluates and implements interventions to promote early diagnosis of cancer. They develop, test and implement measures of cancer awareness in the UK and internationally, and examine associations between cancer awareness and survival. They also develop, test and implement measures of nature and duration of cancer symptoms. As part of her NHS commitment, she co-leads development of information to support informed choice for the public as part of the NHS Cancer Screening Programme and works across the London Cancer Alliance to improve psychological support services for cancer patients. Professor Ramirez is Director of Informed Choice about Cancer Screening and Promoting Early Cancer presentation Group.

Leone Ridsdale, Professor of Neurology & General Practice, Department of Clinical Neuroscience

Professor Ridsdale is Chair of neurology & psychiatry teaching for over 400 medical students per year at King’s College London. As director of neurology teaching, her aim is to deliver teaching about common conditions in depth. Evaluation shows this can defeat ‘neurophobia’ among medical students, and so future doctors. Professor Ridsdale’s research focuses on improving neurology services which have been delivered by specialists in tertiary care, detached from the community. She has been funded by MRC, Wellcome Trust and NIHR to evaluate new service models led by GPs with Special Interest, Nurse Specialists and Therapists. This research aims to link specialist services with primary care, thereby increasing capacity, access and self-care for people with long-term conditions like migraine, epilepsy & chronic fatigue.

Katya Rubia, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry/ MRC Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry Centre

Professor Rubia heads the section on Developmental Neuroimaging within the Department of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. Her work focuses on neuroimaging of cognition in normal development and in child psychiatric disorders, most prominently in ADHD, but also in autism, conduct disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and child abuse. Professor Rubia is also interested in understanding the effects of psychopharmaca and neurotransmitter manipulations on brain function in these disorders.

Ulrike Schmidt, Professor of Eating Disorders, Department of Psychological Medicine

Professor Schmidt is Head of the Section of Eating Disorders and an Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist within the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. Until recently she chaired the Section of Eating Disorders at the Royal College of Psychiatrists and she participated in the development of the NICE guidelines on Eating Disorders. Her research interests cover all aspects of eating disorders, but in particular the development of new treatments, including talking therapies, self-care treatments, treatments using new technologies and a range of novel brain-directed treatments. She is Principal Investigator of an NIHR programme grant on new treatments of anorexia nervosa.

Emily Simonoff, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Head of Department, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Professor Simonoff’s research focusses on the causes of and treatments for co-occurring mental disorders in children and adolescents with intellectual disability and neurodevelopmental disorders. Her epidemiological studies were amongst the first to identify the high rates of additional mental disorders in people with autism and have confirmed the strong relationship between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and intellectual disability. She has led research to identify biomarkers for these disorders and has undertaken clinical trials to evaluate treatment. Professor Simonoff has contributed to several national guidelines (autism) through NICE and also to European guidelines (ADHD). As Academic Lead for the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Clinical Academic Group of King’s Health Partners she fosters the research infrastructure in the NHS services to facilitate clinical research.

Janet Treasure OBE, Professor of Psychiatry, Department of Psychological Medicine

A specialist in the treatment of eating disorders for over 30 years, Professor Treasure’s research has focused on the brain based backdrop to these problems with the overall aim of developing new treatments. This work has been carried out collaboratively with, and often inspired by patients and their families and also through working with teams based around the world. An author of many self-help books for those affected by eating disorders, Professor Treasure also works with several eating disorder charities. In 2004, she received the Academy for Eating Disorders’ Leadership Award for Research and in 2013, she was awarded Officer of the Order of the British Empire for Services to People with Eating Disorders.

Til Wykes, IoP Vice Dean (Research) and Professor of Clinical Psychology and Rehabilitation, Department of Psychology

How people remember, solve problems and understand has always intrigued Professor Wykes. After discovering that thinking problems affect the recovery paths of people with psychosis, her research has focussed on how we remove this limitation: “My service user partners ask the most stimulating questions. Without them my research would be less useful and definitely much less interesting. In a nutshell, I investigate underlying cognitive difficulties in mental health disorders, develop and evaluate novel treatments and put them into NHS practice.” Professor Wykes is IoP Vice Dean (Research), a Senior Investigator on the faculty of the National Institute for Health Research, and Director of the National Institute for Health Research’s Mental Health Research Network.

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