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22 November 2022

IoPPN researchers announced winners of the 2022 ACAMH Awards

Several researchers at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) won awards at the Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (ACAMH) Award ceremony earlier this month.


Digital Innovation Award for Best Digital Intervention

Professor Paramala Santosh was announced winner of the Digital Innovation Award for Best Digital Intervention at the ACAMH awards ceremony. This award recognises a clinician or researcher who has put evidence base into practice within the information/data/IT/digital fields of child and adolescent mental health.

Paramala Santosh is Professor of Developmental Neuropsychiatry and Psychopharmacology at the IoPPN and Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. The award recognises his pioneering use of a digital health model incorporating the web-based HealthTrackerTM platform to transform the care of patients with complex treatment-resistant neuropsychiatric disorders and rare disorders. Professor Santosh co-developed the HealthTrackerTM platform for remote screening, patient reported outcome monitoring, structured medication review, automated prioritisation, and to provide real-time clinical risk alerts, and is the CEO of HealthTracker Ltd.

Professor Santosh is internationally recognised for his expertise in childhood neuropsychiatry, drug treatments, and translational digital health. He developed and leads the national and specialist Centre for Interventional Paediatric Psychopharmacology Clinical and Research Team (CIPPRT), and the CIPP Rett Centre – the world’s first centre for personalised medicine in Rett Syndrome. He has pioneered non-invasive sensor-based wearables for treatment planning, risk analysis and clinical decision-making to improve the quality of care of children with severe intellectual disability and rare diseases, who cannot communicate, to identify and manage anxiety, dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system, pain, and to monitor physical health deterioration.

I am very pleased to have received this prestigious award despite there being many worthy international applicants shortlisted. The award has recognised my clinical research in translational digital health using the HealthTrackerTM platform and non-invasive sensor-based wearables. It would be useful to consider using available digital health technology to provide digitally enhanced child mental health care across the NHS, to reduce waiting lists through AI driven automated prioritisation, and to assist clinical decision-making in complex multimorbidity.

Professor Paramala Santosh

Postgraduate Clinical Trainee of the Year Award

Dr Stephanie Lewis was announced winner of the Postgraduate Clinical Trainee of the Year ACAMH Award. This award recognises an individual undertaking postgraduate training as a practitioner working with children in relation to mental health who demonstrates a clear commitment to evidence-based clinical practice.

Dr Lewis is a Clinical Lecturer in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the IoPPN. Her research focusses on understanding the mental health difficulties experienced by young people who have been exposed to traumatic events to inform and improve psychiatric care for those affected. Her work has highlighted the scale and breadth of mental health problems related to exposure to trauma, particularly complex types of trauma such as child abuse, demonstrating the need for comprehensive care for affected young people. Her work has also revealed that some difficulties experienced by these young people are explained by pre-trauma vulnerabilities, indicating the importance of avoiding simplistic causal assumptions in research and clinical practice. Dr Lewis works to promote the use of research to inform clinical practice and policy, and recently undertook a fellowship working in UK Parliament. She also works as a psychiatrist, completing higher training in child and adolescent mental health.

Childhood trauma is a key risk factor for mental health problems. Understanding this relationship is important to guide clinical practice and improve psychiatric care. It is crucial for clinicians to consider the latest research to inform their practice and provide the highest quality of care. I am extremely pleased to be recognised for my clinical work and research to encourage evidence-based clinical practice in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

Dr Stephanie Lewis

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Journal Best Paper

The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Journal Best Paper was awarded to IoPPN-led research team, Anna Morris, Professor Alastair Macdonald, Dr Omer Moghraby, Professor Argyris Stringaris, Dr Richard Hayes, Professor Emily Simonoff, Professor Tamsin Ford and Dr Johnny Downs, for their paper ‘Sociodemographic factors associated with routine outcome monitoring: a historical cohort study of 28,382 young people accessing child and adolescent mental health services’.


Two further IoPPN researchers were shortlisted for the awards. Dr Yasmin Ahmadzadeh, Research Associate at the IoPPN, and Alice Wickersham, Research Fellow at the IoPPN, were shortlisted for the Research Trainee of the Year Award. The award recognises a trainee or student who is less than two years post-PhD who has shown initiative or made a significant contribution to child and adolescent mental health.

The ACAMH Awards aim to recognise high-quality scientific work in the field of child and adolescent mental health. To be nominated for an award is a prestigious recognition of those who are at the forefront of the advancement of child and adolescent mental health research and practice.

In this story

Paramala Santosh

Professor of Developmental Neuropsychiatry and Psychopharmacology

Stephanie Lewis

Clinical Lecturer

Johnny Downs

Senior Clinical Lecturer (Honorary Consultant) in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

Anna Morris

Research Assistant

Yasmin Ahmadzadeh

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Alice Wickersham

Research Associate