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Biography

My research focuses on the long-term sequelae of typically and atypically developing individuals, using a multidisciplinary perspective bridging neuroscience, neuropsychology and psychiatry. My work has been instrumental in establishing how the developing brain is affected by premature birth and the impacts of this on learning, attention, executive function and emotional regulation in children and adults. This information is essential to inform the development of predictive and preventative studies. 

I currently lead the follow-up of large longitudinal cohorts of typically and atypically developing children and adults both at the IoPPN and at the Centre for the Developing Brain. 

Qualifications: 

  • PhD funded by a King’s Medical Research Trust Studentship and the King’s Fund, University College London, 1998 
  • MSc Cognitive Neuropsychology, University College London, 2004 
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice, King’s College London, 2008 

I have edited a key reference book “Neurodevelopmental Outcomes of Preterm Birth” for Cambridge University Press, together with Professor Sir Robin Murray and the late Professor Maureen Hack, one of the world's pioneering researchers into the adult outcomes of preterm birth. 

Research Interests

  • Neurodevelopmental outcomes in typically and atypically developing individuals across the life-span 
  • Multimodal neuroimaging in combination with cognitive, behavioural, social and environmental data 
  • Long term sequelae of very preterm birth 
  • Association between parental and child’s mental health 

Expertise and Public Engagement 

My work has received much media attention, both nationally (e.g. New ScientistBBCIndependentTelegraph) and internationally (The New York TimesBrain and Behaviour Research FoundationReutersHuffington PostThe Times of India).  

My research group maintains a Facebook page @preterm and a is on Twitter @PretermResearch.  

I have discussed my research with the Duchess of Cambridge during her visit at King’s in 2018. 

I regularly participate as a speaker at events disseminating the results of my research to parents of children who were born very preterm. These include the NHS South West Neonatal Network, Preterm Birth PPI Group at St Thomas’ Hospital, children with neurodevelopmental problems (e.g. CEREBRA, Action Medical Research) and the wider public (e.g. BRC National Young Person’s Mental Health Advisory Group, Royal Society of Medicine). 

I have been involved in several collaborative initiatives between science and the arts aimed at furthering the public understanding of science. Some examples include Creative Intersections, a collaborative partnership between King's and the Royal Society of Arts and consulting about adolescent mental health for Sparkle and Dark Theatre Company

Description

My contribution to education has involved the management, administration and delivery of both postgraduate taught and research programmes. 

  • I have served as Chair of the PhD Sub-Committee of the Department of Psychosis Studies from 2012 to 2019 
  • I am teaching on various MSc courses at the IoPPN and in 2009-2016 I was Module Leader for ‘Mind and Brain’, MSc Mental Health Studies 
  • I regularly supervise PhD and MSc students (e.g., Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Mental Health Studies, Neuroimaging, Psychiatric Research)