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IoPPN Professors announced as President and Secretary of Schizophrenia International Research Society

Professor Paola Dazzan and Professor Dame Til Wykes

On 12 February 2018 the Schizophrenia International Research Society (SIRS) announced that Professor Dame Til Wykes has been elected as President, and Professor Paola Dazzan has been elected as Secretary.

SIRS was founded in 2005 with aim of bringing together schizophrenia researchers around the world to exchange the latest advances in biological and psychosocial research in schizophrenia. The society promotes research aimed at identification of the causes of schizophrenia, prevention of the illness whenever possible, and treatment of those people who develop the illness. This includes supporting the highest quality research and advocating for increased research funding and increased opportunities (and reduced barriers) for later research. SIRS is a multidisciplinary society, including researchers who identify themselves as psychologists, psychiatrists, neuroscientists, and neurologists.

Of their elections, Professor Dame Til Wykes said ‘I’m honoured to be the President elect of such a prestigious society which has an agenda for improving and promoting research across the world. The Society aims to improve our understanding, treatment and services for people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia and my aim is to make our efforts truly international. It is only by sharing our data and ideas will we cut down the time from discovery to implementation so that people with the disorder can benefit much more quickly than at present.’

Professor Dazzan said, ‘I am delighted to be elected to serve SIRS. I strongly believe that our international Society can help pushing forward initiatives that support our field, and I am particularly passionate about ensuring we maintain a diverse environment that promotes equality across gender and other underrepresented groups. I look forward to contribute my skills to its work, to advance schizophrenia and psychoses research at all levels, towards our ultimate goal, which is to improve the care and the future of those individuals affected by these disorders.’

Professor Ian Everall, Executive Dean of the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN), added, ‘I could not be more happy for both Til and Paola on their respective elections to these prestigious positions. It is a mark of the high esteem in which they are both held and their wonderful contributions to mental health. It is also an enormous honour for the IoPPN to be associated with these positions. Congratulations to them both.’

Both Dame Til and Paola will assume their positions as President Elect and Secretary in April 2018.

Professor Dame Til Wykes is a world renowned Clinical Psychologist and academic specialising in the involvement of people with mental health problems in research. She is a Professor of Clinical Psychology and Rehabilitation, and Vice Dean Psychology and Systems Sciences, at King’s IoPPN. Dame Til has been an international leader in understanding and advancing the rehabilitation and recovery for people with severe mental illness. She is an honorary Consultant Clinical Psychologist at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, and founded (and was the first director of) the Service User Research Enterprise (SURE) which employs expert researchers who have experience of using mental health services, and where she continues to be co-director.

Professor Paola Dazzan is Professor of Neurobiology of Psychosis and Vice Dean for the International Strategy, IoPPN, and Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist in the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. She is internationally known for her work on the relationship between neuroimaging data and other biological measures such as neurodevelopmental indices, stress and reproductive hormones in the initial stages of psychosis. Her work has been extensively published in high impact papers, and has been recognised by several prestigious International Awards. She has a strong interest in addressing gender inequality and promoting diversity in the academic environment, and until recently was the Co-Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Team of the IoPPN, the group that produced the application for the Athena Silver Award obtained by the Faculty in 2015.