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22 June 2023

Professor Edmund Sonuga-Barke and Professor Andrew Pickles elected to Academia Europaea

Leading experts at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London have been elected as members of Academia Europaea.

Professor Edmund Sonuga-Barke (left), Professor Andrew Pickles (right)

Professor Edmund Sonuga-Barke and Professor Andrew Pickles join outstanding scientists as new Fellows of Academia Europaea. The Academy is a European association for leading experts in science, education and research. Membership is awarded to individuals that have demonstrated ‘sustained academic excellence’, invited by existing MAE only and judged during a peer review selection process.

Professor Edmund Sonuga-Barke

Edmund Sonuga-Barke is Professor of Developmental Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the IoPPN and Deputy Lead of the Child Mental Health and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Theme at the NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre.

Motivated by his own experience of growing up with neurodevelopmental difficulties, his research focuses on understanding the origins of neurodivergence, particularly variations in attention and impulse control (i.e., ADHD), and their impact on mental health. To this end, he employs basic developmental science approaches to study the genetic and environmental bases of risk and resilience and the role of mediating brain processes. The ultimate goal of this work is to develop more effective interventions that reduce impairment and promote growth.

Professor Sonuga-Barke is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (elected 2016) and The British Academy (elected 2018). In 2019 he was elected an Honorary Skou Professor at Aarhus University, Denmark. He is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry. He is currently PI on the RE-STAR and OPTIMA research programmes and deputy Lead of the Child Mental Health and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Theme at the NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre.

I am honoured to be elected to Academia Europaea and proud to be part of this institution that promotes international collaboration between European scholars and scientists. I first acknowledge my debt to the many people who have shaped my life and career especially my family and my brilliant and generous mentors, colleagues and students without whom none of my work would have been possible. I am grateful to the Academia Europaea for recognising, through this honour, the importance of the study of neuro-developmental conditions such as ADHD and hope that it will add impetus to our search for better ways to support neurodivergent people going forward.

Professor Edmund Sonuga-Barke, Professor of Developmental Psychology, Psychiatry & Neuroscience at King’s IoPPN

Professor Andrew Pickles

Andrew Pickles is Professor of Biostatistics and Psychological Methods at the IoPPN. His research focuses on the field of mental health and neurodevelopment, particularly in children on the autism spectrum. More recently, Professor Pickles has begun studying infants and early developmental signals and processes. Much of his research has utilised longitudinal models for developmental data, with attention to the many, varied impacts of measurement error and how these can be overcome.

Professor Pickles is a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (elected 2009) a National Institute for Health Research Senior Investigator and highly cited scientist. He was also previously Head of the Department of Biostatistics & Health Informatics at King’s and Director of the King’s Clinical Trials Unit.

I am really pleased to have been elected to Academia Europaea. In recent years, Brexit has risked increasing strains on international relationships. With this in mind, it’s especially important for us to maintain our links to European science however we can. I am grateful to be able to raise the profile of mental health and neurodevelopmental research across Europe through this election.

Professor Andrew Pickles, Professor of Biostatistics and Psychological Methods at King’s IoPPN.

Professor Marja Makarow MAE, President of the Academia Europaea, said: “I would like to congratulate Professor Sonuga-Barke and Professor Pickles on having been successful in the competitive membership election process.”

Founded in 1988, Academia Europaea is an academy of humanities; law; the economic, social, and political sciences; mathematics; medicine; and all branches of natural and technological sciences around the world. It focuses on research for public benefit and for the advancement of the education of the public of all ages.

The aim of the Academy is to promote European research, advise governments and international organisations in scientific matters, and further encourage interdisciplinary and international research. It’s members – some 6000 currently – are eminent, individual scientists and scholars who cover the full range of academic disciplines.

The new Fellows will be formally admitted to the Academy at the annual conference in Munich taking place between the 9 - 11 October 2023.

IoPPN experts who are also members of Academia Europaea:

  • Professor Terrie E. Moffit, Professor of Social Development
  • Professor Francesca Happé, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Professor Sir Robin Murray, Professor of Psychiatric Research
  • Professor Kate Tchanturia, Professor of Psychology in Eating Disorders
  • Professor Christopher Shaw, Professor of Neurology and Neurogenetics
  • Professor Peter Goadsby, Director of NIHR Clinical Research Facility & Professor of Neurology

For more information, please contact Amelia Remmington (Communications & Engagement Officer)

In this story


Professor of Developmental Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience


Professor of Biostatistics and Psychological Methods