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Edmund Sonuga-Barke

Professor Edmund Sonuga-Barke

Professor of Developmental Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience

Research interests

  • Mental Health
  • Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry
  • Psychology

Biography

Edmund Sonuga-Barke is Professor of Developmental Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London. He was appointed to King's in January 2017, following 19 years as Professor in the School of Psychology, University of Southampton. He is 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 learning difficulties his research focuses on understanding the origins of neuro-developmental differences, 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 a Skou Professor at Aarhus University, Denmark. He is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry. He has also been Elected Member of Academia Europeae in 2023.

Teaching

  • MSc Child and Adolescent Mental Health and MSc in Genes, Environment and Development in Psychology and Psychiatry – delivery of ADHD lectures
  • CAMHS ST trainees – lectures on ADHD

Supervision of individual research projects on the following KCL courses:

  • MSc in Child and Adolescent Mental Health
  • MSc in Neuroscience
  • MSc in Genes, Environment and Development in Psychology and Psychiatry
  • Intercalated BSc in Psychology Neuroscience and Neuropsychology
  • BSc in Psychology

Research Groups

    Research

    iStock-1014950206-Hands-support-brain-sun-background
    Experimental Psychopathology and Neuro-Development Group

    ExPAND focuses on understanding neuro-developmental disorders and mental health conditions across the lifespan.

    optima-logo.xeb57b25a
    Online Parent Training for the Initial Management of ADHD referral (OPTIMA)

    We have created a mobile phone app that provides advice and access to a set of parenting tools that can be easily provided at the point that families seek help.

    Project status: Ongoing

    the-english-and-romanian-adoptee-project-new-cropped-780x440
    The English and Romanian Adoptee (ERA) Project

    A longitudinal, multi-method investigation of the development of children adopted into the UK from Romania in the early 1990s.

    Project status: Completed

    sparkle logo
    Supporting Parents And Kids Through Lockdown Experiences (SPARKLE) Trial

    A randomised control trial evaluating whether a digital public health parenting intervention can help parents to manage their children’s behaviour problems.

    Project status: Ongoing

    ask-hero-image-4
    Centre for Attention Studies

    Forging new responses to the foundational crisis of the digital age: distraction.

    restarlogo
    Regulating Emotions – Strengthening Adolescent Resilience

    RE-STAR is a four-year, interdisciplinary programme being led by Professor Edmund Sonuga-Barke of the Experimental Psychopathology and Neurodevelopment (ExPAND) Research Group at King’s College London.

    iStock-1014950206-Hands-support-brain-sun-background
    Experimental Psychopathology and Neuro-Development Group

    ExPAND focuses on understanding neuro-developmental disorders and mental health conditions across the lifespan.

    Picture4
    My Emotions and Me

    My Emotions and Me is one phase of a new research project, RE-STAR (Regulating Emotions - Strengthening Adolescent Resilience).

    Project status: Ongoing

    pexels-photo-6948092
    Positioning Parent Positive (PPP) Study

    A study of stakeholder views about the best way to optimise the clinical value of the Parent Positive digital parenting app.

    Project status: Ongoing

    The BeST? Services Trial

    This trial compares the New Orleans Intervention Model with Social Work Services-as-usual to find the best service for maltreated children going into care.

    Project status: Ongoing

    News

    Children with ADHD frequently use healthcare services before diagnosis, study finds

    Children and young people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) use healthcare services twice as often in the two years before their diagnosis,...

    Image of child and caregiver speaking to a healthcare professional

    New parenting app reduced child emotional difficulties during COVID-19 pandemic

    New research finds a novel parenting smartphone app, developed by researchers at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s...

    Parenting Under Pressure as Practical Kindness2

    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.

    Edm

    Online cognitive training not effective in reducing ADHD symptoms

    A major review of research led by the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London and the University of Southampton,...

    brain

    Five IoPPN research projects receive UKRI funding

    A total of £4.4 million funding from the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Medical Research Council (MRC) has been awarded to research projects at the...

    Clapping Award 800x450

    Child and adolescent mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic

    For Children’s Mental Health Week, we highlight some of IoPPN's research into the impact of COVID-19 on child and adolescent mental health, and potential...

    children-covid

    King's projects to form part of new £24m investment into adolescent mental health

    This investment from UK Research and Innovation will fund seven highly ambitious projects, two of which will be led or co-led by King’s College London...

    teenagers college school

    New project to develop an app that addresses the negative effect of COVID-19 on children's behaviour

    The app Parent Positive aims to provide additional support to parents through light-hearted animations, practical resources and expert advice about managing...

    Woman looking stressed looking after two children at a laptop

    Institutionalisation of millions of children worldwide should be gradually phased out in favour of family-based care

    The number of children entering institutions should be gradually reduced to zero, according to a new report published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health...

    institutionalisation children

    Events

    26AprChild Mental Health and Neurodevelopmental Disorders  Research Showcase

    NIHR Maudsley BRC | Research Showcase: Child Mental Health and Neurodevelopmental Disorders

    Introducing the translational science of neurodevelopmental and mental health conditions across the lifespan hosted by NIHR Maudsley BRC

    Please note: this event has passed.

    Features

    'Families Under Pressure' in a post-pandemic world

    While we hope we have now seen the worst of COVID-19, the emotional and behavioural challenges that arose during this unprecedented time are ongoing. As a...

    Untitled (780 × 440 px) (1903 × 558 px) (3)

    How has COVID-19 impacted children and young people?

    Since children and adolescents were considered a low health risk, they were far from a priority in the early stages of the pandemic. But with the disruption...

    Untitled (780 × 440 px) (1903 × 558 px) (1)

    A year of 'Families Under Pressure'

    Last year, King’s, SLaM and Maudsley Charity teamed up with celebrity parents, talented animators and digital innovators to produce the video series 'Families...

    families-under-pressure-cropped-780x440

    Parenting Under Pressure as Practical Kindness

    In this fifth blog for Mental Health Awareness week on the theme of kindness, Professor Edmund Sonuga-Barke reflects on the development of a series...

    BBC-banner-3

    Brainwaves podcast series

    Brainwaves is a podcast series exploring and explaining the latest in mental health and neurosciences research at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology &...

    hero image - brainwaves

      Research

      iStock-1014950206-Hands-support-brain-sun-background
      Experimental Psychopathology and Neuro-Development Group

      ExPAND focuses on understanding neuro-developmental disorders and mental health conditions across the lifespan.

      optima-logo.xeb57b25a
      Online Parent Training for the Initial Management of ADHD referral (OPTIMA)

      We have created a mobile phone app that provides advice and access to a set of parenting tools that can be easily provided at the point that families seek help.

      Project status: Ongoing

      the-english-and-romanian-adoptee-project-new-cropped-780x440
      The English and Romanian Adoptee (ERA) Project

      A longitudinal, multi-method investigation of the development of children adopted into the UK from Romania in the early 1990s.

      Project status: Completed

      sparkle logo
      Supporting Parents And Kids Through Lockdown Experiences (SPARKLE) Trial

      A randomised control trial evaluating whether a digital public health parenting intervention can help parents to manage their children’s behaviour problems.

      Project status: Ongoing

      ask-hero-image-4
      Centre for Attention Studies

      Forging new responses to the foundational crisis of the digital age: distraction.

      restarlogo
      Regulating Emotions – Strengthening Adolescent Resilience

      RE-STAR is a four-year, interdisciplinary programme being led by Professor Edmund Sonuga-Barke of the Experimental Psychopathology and Neurodevelopment (ExPAND) Research Group at King’s College London.

      iStock-1014950206-Hands-support-brain-sun-background
      Experimental Psychopathology and Neuro-Development Group

      ExPAND focuses on understanding neuro-developmental disorders and mental health conditions across the lifespan.

      Picture4
      My Emotions and Me

      My Emotions and Me is one phase of a new research project, RE-STAR (Regulating Emotions - Strengthening Adolescent Resilience).

      Project status: Ongoing

      pexels-photo-6948092
      Positioning Parent Positive (PPP) Study

      A study of stakeholder views about the best way to optimise the clinical value of the Parent Positive digital parenting app.

      Project status: Ongoing

      The BeST? Services Trial

      This trial compares the New Orleans Intervention Model with Social Work Services-as-usual to find the best service for maltreated children going into care.

      Project status: Ongoing

      News

      Children with ADHD frequently use healthcare services before diagnosis, study finds

      Children and young people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) use healthcare services twice as often in the two years before their diagnosis,...

      Image of child and caregiver speaking to a healthcare professional

      New parenting app reduced child emotional difficulties during COVID-19 pandemic

      New research finds a novel parenting smartphone app, developed by researchers at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s...

      Parenting Under Pressure as Practical Kindness2

      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.

      Edm

      Online cognitive training not effective in reducing ADHD symptoms

      A major review of research led by the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London and the University of Southampton,...

      brain

      Five IoPPN research projects receive UKRI funding

      A total of £4.4 million funding from the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Medical Research Council (MRC) has been awarded to research projects at the...

      Clapping Award 800x450

      Child and adolescent mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic

      For Children’s Mental Health Week, we highlight some of IoPPN's research into the impact of COVID-19 on child and adolescent mental health, and potential...

      children-covid

      King's projects to form part of new £24m investment into adolescent mental health

      This investment from UK Research and Innovation will fund seven highly ambitious projects, two of which will be led or co-led by King’s College London...

      teenagers college school

      New project to develop an app that addresses the negative effect of COVID-19 on children's behaviour

      The app Parent Positive aims to provide additional support to parents through light-hearted animations, practical resources and expert advice about managing...

      Woman looking stressed looking after two children at a laptop

      Institutionalisation of millions of children worldwide should be gradually phased out in favour of family-based care

      The number of children entering institutions should be gradually reduced to zero, according to a new report published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health...

      institutionalisation children

      Events

      26AprChild Mental Health and Neurodevelopmental Disorders  Research Showcase

      NIHR Maudsley BRC | Research Showcase: Child Mental Health and Neurodevelopmental Disorders

      Introducing the translational science of neurodevelopmental and mental health conditions across the lifespan hosted by NIHR Maudsley BRC

      Please note: this event has passed.

      Features

      'Families Under Pressure' in a post-pandemic world

      While we hope we have now seen the worst of COVID-19, the emotional and behavioural challenges that arose during this unprecedented time are ongoing. As a...

      Untitled (780 × 440 px) (1903 × 558 px) (3)

      How has COVID-19 impacted children and young people?

      Since children and adolescents were considered a low health risk, they were far from a priority in the early stages of the pandemic. But with the disruption...

      Untitled (780 × 440 px) (1903 × 558 px) (1)

      A year of 'Families Under Pressure'

      Last year, King’s, SLaM and Maudsley Charity teamed up with celebrity parents, talented animators and digital innovators to produce the video series 'Families...

      families-under-pressure-cropped-780x440

      Parenting Under Pressure as Practical Kindness

      In this fifth blog for Mental Health Awareness week on the theme of kindness, Professor Edmund Sonuga-Barke reflects on the development of a series...

      BBC-banner-3

      Brainwaves podcast series

      Brainwaves is a podcast series exploring and explaining the latest in mental health and neurosciences research at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology &...

      hero image - brainwaves