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About the Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry Centre

The SGDP Centre’s mission is to undertake research on the impact and interplay between genetic, environmental and developmental factors, and their roles in the causal processes underlying the origins and course of multifactorial mental disorders; to consider the implications for clinical practice and public health policy; and to train others in the methodologies involved.

The department’s focus is on common psychiatric disorders that emerge in childhood such as mood disorders (anxiety and depression), ‘externalising’ disorders (disruptive behaviour including hyperactivity and addictions), and cognitive disorders (learning disabilities and the autistic spectrum).  Amongst the academics within the centre are extraordinarily diverse and multi-disciplinary expertise in subjects such as psychiatry, social psychology, psychopathology, personality traits, quantitative and statistical genetics, epigenetics, bioinformatics, molecular genetics, quantitative genetics, EEG/ERP, developmental psychology and environmental effects.

The SGDP Centre continues to ensure its place at the forefront of international scientific research. The Centre makes major contributions to teaching, training and research by inspiring and nurturing collaborative research within an interdisciplinary context.  The SGDP Centre is uniquely able to do this through:

  • its unparalleled approach of recruiting a broad range of experts, including clinicians, and facilitating their working together
  • the development of and investment in academic resources (eg bioinformatics, statistical genetics, molecular genetics, epigenetics and electrophysiology)
  • recruitment and development of high quality students as shown by the publication record and their destinations within academia
  • the innovative annual SGDP Summer School which has run for 10 years and is always oversubscribed
  • access to large sets of data for populations who have been studied and followed-up over many years
  • its location on the Maudsley hospital grounds, over the road from King’s College Hospital and as a division of the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, embedded within King’s College London.
  • its beautiful modern building designed to foster interaction and created by a successful bid to the Joint Infrastructure Fund (JIF).
  • its state-of-the-art molecular genetics laboratory that provides a complete suite of resources for research.

In the 2008 RAE (Research Assessment Exercise) the sub panel on Psychiatry, Neuroscience and Clinical Psychology (UoA 9) made special mention of the Centre twice in its commentary on the Institute of Psychiatry: “…evidence of world-leading outputs especially with respect to the social, genetic and developmental psychiatry (SGDP)…” and “… the environment was internationally excellent and in the case(s) of social, genetic and developmental psychiatry (SGDP),world leading.” 


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