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Biography

Professor Andrea Danese is a clinical scientist interested in childhood trauma and trauma-related psychopathology across the life-course. After training at the University of Pavia School of Medicine, the Institute of Psychiatry King’s College London, and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Prof Danese joined the Faculty at the Department of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and the Social, Genetic, and Developmental Psychiatry (SGDP) Centre at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience. He is also Clinical Professor at the Yale Child Study Center. 

Prof Danese leads the Stress & Development Lab. Research from his team has led to highly-cited publications on the measurement of childhood trauma, risk factors for trauma exposure, biological mechanisms through which trauma affects later health, mechanisms of resilience, modelling of individualised risk prediction for trauma-related psychopathology, and the epidemiology of child trauma and trauma-related psychopathology. He is a co-investigator on the Environmental-Risk (E-Risk) Longitudinal Twin Study which follows 2,232 British twins born in 1994-1995. He is also a co-investigator on the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, a life-course investigation of 1,037 individuals born in 1972-1973 in Dunedin, New Zealand. 

For his research, Prof Danese was awarded the 2007 Wellcome Trust Research Training Fellowship in Clinical Sciences, the 2008 Scholar Award from the Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society (PNIRS), the 2009 NARSAD Young Investigator Award, the 2009 Young Investigator Award from the Society for Developmental Origins of Adult Health (DOHaD), the 2010 Denis Hill Prize for Junior Medical Faculty at the Institute of Psychiatry, the 2010 Royal Society of Medicine Mental Health Foundation Research Prize, the 2015 Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) Early Career Research Contribution Award, and the 2016 and 2019 American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) Senior Researcher Award. Prof Danese was named Web of Science / Clarivate “Highly Cited” Researcher in Psychiatry and Psychology in 2019.

He is also an active clinician at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, where he is Honorary Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist at the National & Specialist CAMHS Clinic for Trauma, Anxiety, and Depression. This national service attracts referrals from across the UK and abroad for second opinion on diagnosis and treatment of difficult-to-treat young people with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety disorders, and unipolar depression, often as a last option before inpatient admissions. The clinic has also worked with NHS-England and the Department of Health to deliver screen and treat programmes for British families affected by terrorist attacks in the UK and abroad. Along with his clinical team, Professor Danese has written open-access resources on Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and on how to support children who experienced traumatic events. He has also written chapters on the psychopharmacology of emotional disorders in children and young people in the Maudsley Prescribing Guidelines and on childhood maltreatment on the leading Rutter’s Textbook of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. 

Prof Danese is the Academic Secretary for the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Faculty of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and the RCPsych lead on child trauma. He is also a member of the Scientific Advisory Board at NSPCC and the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP). He has advised the Department of Health and National Institute for Health Research Steering Committee for a Strategy for Mental Health (Children & Young People Working Group) and the Early Intervention Foundation. Prof Danese’s research has informed thinking of national and international organisations on social care and public health policies to tackle child maltreatment. 

He is a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry; Brain, Behaviour and Immunity; the Journal of Affective Disorders; and the APA Psychological Trauma.

Research interests:

  • Child stress;  
  • Child trauma;  
  • Child maltreatment,  
  • PTSD;  
  • Anxiety;  
  • Depression; 
  • Developmental Psychopathology;  
  • Familial and Peer Relationships;  
  • Social development;  
  • Causal epidemiology;  
  • Genomics;   
  • Psychoneuroendocrinology;  
  • Psychoneuroimmunology 

Expertise and Public Engagement:

Prof Danese collaborates with the UK Science Media Centre for expert commentaries on research news about stress and stress-related psychopathology in young people. He is also actively engaged in communicating findings from his research through the media, BBC, The Independent, The Guardian, The Times, Daily Mail, The Telegraph, Channel 4, The New Yorker, US News 2009, US News 2011, CBS News, Fox News, The New Zealand Herald, BMJ News, The Neuroscientist, New Scientist, Scientific American Mind, Science News and Science. His research has contributed to discussions about social and public health policies at the UK House of Commons, the Scottish Government, the London School of Economics, the US National Institute of Health, the US Institute of Medicine, the US National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, the US National Poverty Center, and the Canadian Alberta Family Wellness Initiative. 

His Inaugural Lecture ‘Rethinking childhood trauma’ can be seen on YouTube.

Teaching:

Prof Danese regularly teaches on topics related to childhood trauma, trauma-related psychopathology, depression, anxiety disorders, epidemiology, neurobiology, and psychopharmacology in the following courses: 

MSc Genes, Environment & Development in Psychology & Psychiatry 

MSc Developmental Psychology & Psychopathology 

MSc Child & Adolescent Mental Health 

Maudsley Training Programme