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Five IoPPN researchers receive Fellowship awards

Five researchers at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience have received Fellowship awards.

New fellowship awardees

Dr Vishal Bhavsar, Dr Emmert Roberts, Dr Monica Aas, Dr Robert McCutcheon, and Dr Steve Sharman from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s have received Fellowship awards across four different funders.

Vishal Bhavsar SMALL

Dr Vishal Bhavsar, postdoctoral researcher with the Section of Women’s Mental Health at the Department of Health Services and Population Research and Consultant Psychiatrist at South London and the Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, has been awarded a National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Advanced Fellowship. This award will support qualitative, informatics, and implementation research to improve the response of mental health services to perpetration of domestic abuse.

 
I am happy to receive this Fellowship to help me transition to independence in mental health services and health inequalities research. Domestic abuse is a key driver of gender inequality and poor health. I am pleased that the NIHR has recognised that my focus on how mental health services respond to perpetrators of domestic abuse offers a novel strategy to generate impact on this problem. – Dr Vishal Bhavsar, postdoctoral researcher at the IoPPN and Consultant Psychiatrist at South London and the Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Bhavsar went on to say: "I am particularly excited about the opportunities this Fellowship will provide to establish strong links with charities, international experts, and victims/survivors of domestic abuse, necessary to advance this complex and challenging area of research."

Emmert Roberts

Dr Emmert Roberts, MRC Clinical Research Fellow in the National Addiction Centre and Honorary Consultant in Addiction Psychiatry at the South London and the Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, has been awarded an NIHR Advanced Fellowship. The grant will fund the ‘STADi-HuM’ study which aims to reduce death and hospitalisation due to problematic alcohol or drug use.

Dr Roberts work aims to improve the lives of those suffering from addiction disorders, with a particular interest in improving access to addiction treatment amongst populations who experience homelessness.

 
I’m delighted the NIHR has agreed to fund this project which aims to reduce poor outcomes in individuals suffering from addiction disorders in the UK. Over the past decade addiction treatment services have been decimated across the country, having been subjected to funding cuts of over £250 million. I hope we can help find ways to improve the number of people accessing specialist addiction treatment and contribute to a reduction in the significant harms experienced by this population.– Dr Emmert Roberts, MRC Clinical Research Fellow at the IoPPN and Honorary Consultant in Addiction Psychiatry at the South London and the Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

NIHR Fellowship Programme supports individuals on their trajectory to becoming future leaders in health and social care research.

Monica Aas SMALL

Dr Monica Aas, researcher at the Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychology (SGDP) Centre, has received the UKRI Medical Research Council (MRC) Career Development Award, set up to improve human health by supporting world-class medical research.

The £918k grant will fund Dr Aas’s research into the integration of psychological models and biological pathways in psychosis. This project will investigate the biological and environmental underpinnings of psychosis, including the role of stress in mental health, to help develop preventative strategies.

 
I am thrilled to have received this award. By interrogating phenotypes in clinical studies of psychosis with rich molecular and environmental data, this research will enhance our current understanding of psychosis. In this project I hope to trace the biological underpinnings of childhood trauma to enable us to develop predictive models and preventative strategies for psychosis, hopefully leading to improved treatment options in the future. – Dr Monica Aas, researcher at the IoPPN
Robert McCutcheon SMALL

Dr Robert McCutcheon, NIHR Clinical Lecturer in the Department of Psychosis Studies, has been awarded a Wellcome clinical Research Clinical Development Fellowship (cRCDF) of £844k. The award will fund his research using neuroimaging in animals and humans to better understand the neurobiology of cognitive impairment in schizophrenia and develop novel treatments.

The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation which supports discovery research into life, health, and wellbeing.

 
I am very grateful to have been awarded this fellowship. People with schizophrenia experience cognitive impairments even before they develop the illness. We know that these impairments have a major impact on their ability to function in everyday life, but we don’t know what underlies them or how to treat them. Better understanding and the development of new treatments is crucial because addressing these deficits has the potential to notably benefit the life trajectory of patients. – Dr Robert McCutcheon, NIHR Clinical Lecturer at the IoPPN
 
Steve Sharman SMALL

Dr Steve Sharman, Research Fellow in the Department of Addictions, has been awarded a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship of £698k. Dr Sharman is the first Research Fellow within the National Addiction Centre to focus on behavioural addictions. The award will fund his research into the aetiology and treatment of disordered gambling using virtual reality. 

The Future Leaders Fellowships support talented researchers in universities, businesses, and other research environments. The aim of the scheme is to develop the next wave of world-class research and innovation leaders in academia and business.

 
I am absolutely delighted to have been awarded a Future Leaders Fellowship. It is so important for research into gambling to be recognised by major research councils, and for independent funding to underpin advances in our understanding. Whilst the use of virtual reality to understand the relationship between products, environment and individual susceptibility to gambling will be both innovative and impactful, the Fellowship will also allow me to grow as a field leader and develop a behavioural addictions research team within the National Addiction Centre. I am excited to get started! – Dr Steve Sharman, Research Fellow at the IoPPN

In this story

Steve Sharman

Steve Sharman

Research Fellow

Vishal Bhavsar

Vishal Bhavsar

Research Fellow

Emmert Roberts

Emmert Roberts

MRC Clinical Research Fellow


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