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Biography

I use neuroimaging techniques to understand more about the brain mechanisms involved in the symptoms of schizophrenia – both the 'positive symptoms' (unusual experiences such as hallucinations and paranoia) that are characteristic of episodes of psychosis, and the 'secondary' symptoms that affect memory and attention, and make it difficult for people to interact socially and sustain relationships. 

I aim to use that knowledge to aid the development of new, effective treatments for the large number of people with schizophrenia who do not respond to antipsychotic medication. 20-45% of patients experience significant 'positive' symptoms despite optimal antipsychotic treatment, and 'secondary' symptoms are largely unresponsive to conventional treatment. 

I also lead, and collaborate on, commercial clinical trials testing the effectiveness of medication and other new therapies. 

I head the Cognition, Schizophrenia and Imaging Laboratory (CSI Lab), housed in the Department of Psychosis Studies at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London. 

My research is carried out in collaboration with the Lab's junior researchers and students; with clinicians who are keen to get involved in research and use the 

results to inform their practice; and with affiliated colleagues based in universities around the world. 

1 October, 1996 

  • Examining the mechanisms underlying the development and treatment of psychotic symptoms in schizophrenia, using psychophysics, functional neuroimaging and therapeutics. 
  • Regular presenter at workshops about the management of refractory schizophrenia organised by the Royal College of Psychiatrists Training Unit for mental health professionals and academic clinicians. 
  • Visiting examiner, MBBS, Brighton and Sussex Medical School (since 2015). 
  • Visiting examiner, MBBS, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, 2010-2013. 
  • Visiting examiner, MBBS, Imperial College Medical School, London, 2004-2008. 
  • Head of Year 3 Psychiatry Teaching, GKT Medical School, London, 2003-04. 
  • PhD, King’s College London, 2002 
  • Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training (General Psychiatry), 2000 
  • Membership of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, 1995 
  • MBBS, University College and Middlesex School of Medicine, 1991 
  • BSc (Honours) Psychology, University College London, 1988 

Books/Chapters 

  • Ketamine: the glutamatergic antidepressant and its efficacy 
  • Acetylcholinergic nicotinic receptors as pharmacological targets for cognitive enhancement: emerging evidence from psychosis populations 
  • The Glutamate mGluR5 receptor as a pharmacological target to enhance cognitive function: emerging evidence from psychosis models 

Derek K Tracy and Sukhwinder S Shergill in Melatonin, neuroprotective agents and antidepressant therapy 

Eds: F Lopez-Munoz, V Srinivasan, D de Berardis, C Alamo and TA Kato 

Springer, 2016 

  • Treatment-refractory schizophrenia: definition and assessment 

Derek K Tracy and Sukhwinder S Shergill in Treatment – refractory schizophrenia: a clinical conundrum. 

Eds: P Buckley and F Gaughran. 

    Springer, 2014. 

  • Psychiatry in primary care: serious mental illness online CPD module for GPs, SS Shergill 

PULSE Learning, 2011. 

  • The use of neuroimaging in court 

                 SS Shergill, K Naudts, J Gunn in Nuclear Medicine in Psychiatry

                 Eds: RA Dierckx, C Van Heeringen, K Audenaert, K Peremans, A Otte. 

Springer, 2004. 

  • Narratives in Psychiatry 

M Greenberg, SS Shergill, G Szmukler, D Tantam, Jessica Kingsley, London, 2003. 

  • Pharmacotherapy of affective disorders 

SS Shergill and CLE Katona in Contemporary Psychiatry (Psychiatrie der Gegenwert), 

4th Edition. 

Eds: Helmchen, Henn, Lauter and N Sartorius 

Springer-Verlag GmbH & Co, KG Berlin, Heidelberg, 2001. 

  • Affective symptoms in schizophrenia 

SS Shergill and RM Murray in Comprehensive Care of Schizophrenia: a Handbook 

of Clinical Management and Treatment 

Eds: RM Murray and J Lieberman 

Martin Dunitz, London, 2001. 

  • MRCPSYCH Part 1 MCQ Practice Papers 

GS Malhi, MS Bagary and SS Shergill Pastest, London, 2000. 

  • Schizophrenia and depression: what is their relationship? 

SS Shergill, J Van Os, RM Murray in Managing Depressive Symptoms of Schizophrenia 

Ed: P Keck 

Science Press, London, 1999. 

Awards 

  • King’s College London - IoPPN Supervisory Excellence Award 2019 
  • Psychiatric Academic Researcher of the Year, Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2015 
  • Innovative Teacher of the Year Award, King's College London, 2009 
  • Senior Investigator Award, Winter Workshop on Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorders, 2004 and 2002 
  • Association of European Psychiatrists Research Prize, 2002 
  • Royal College of Psychiatrists Research Prize and Bronze Medal, 2001 
  • NARSAD Young Investigator Award, 2001 
  • Young Investigator Award, International Congress on Schizophrenia Research, 2001 
  • Young Investigator Award, Winter Workshop on Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorders, 2000 and 1998 
  • Maudsley Hospital (Sandos) Award for Undergraduate Teaching, 1998 
  • Tregaskis Bequest Award, University of London, 1997 
  • Bernard Hart Prize in Psychiatry, University College and Middlesex School of Medicine, 1991

Research Interest

My research within the CSI Lab examines the mechanisms underlying the development of psychotic symptoms in schizophrenia, using psychophysics, functional neuroimaging and therapeutics. My research activities are complemented by my clinical role as Consultant Psychiatrist at the National Psychosis Service based at Bethlem Royal Hospital. 

Expertise and public engagement

  • Collaborator on Talking Heads with artist Mel Brimfield, 2017-2018. Supported by the Cultural Institute at King’s College London, the project explores the symptoms of auditory hallucinations through drawings and a series of binaural audio monologue artworks. The work was based on conversations and encounters with patients on the National Psychosis Unit. Talking Heads was featured in a week-long Arts in Mind Festival at the IoPPN in June 2018. 
  • Collaborator on artwork for the Dharavi Biennial, with David Osrin, professor of global health at UCL, providing fMRI scans as the inspiration for artists living in Dharavi, the largest informal settlement in Mumbai. The artwork was displayed in the Dharavi Biennial, a festival organised by the Society for Nutrition, Education and Health Action, 2015. 
  • Participant in Schizophrenia: what’s in my head?, a Nature Video with artist Sue Morgan who has a diagnosis of schizophrenia and created the front page illustration for a Nature supplement about schizophrenia, April 2014. 
  • Participant in Mind's Tunnels, a London-based mental health art project consisting of an exhibition, academic talks and educational events, 2013. 
  • Collaborator on Visitations, an opera about auditory hallucinations, with composer Jonathon Berger, Stanford University, 2013. 
  • Collaboration with British artist Simon Grennan via the Royal Society of Art's Creative Intersections project, part of King's Cultural Institute's Creative Futures Programme, 2012. 
  • Author of Psychiatry in primary care: serious mental illness, a CPD module for GPs, PULSE Learning, May 2011. 
  • Participant in Metamorphoses; Transformation and Conversion, King's College London School of Arts and Humanities Festival, 2012. 
  • Member of advisory panel of, and contributor to mentalhealthcare.org.uk, a 'plain English' website about psychosis for caregivers, 2011-2013. 
  • Instigator of the Bethlem Tapestry project, 2009-2010. The 10-metre long woven tapestry depicts the experiences and thoughts of patients, staff, volunteers and carers at the National Psychosis Service ward. Local artist and former patient Mark McGowan led its creation and the Tapestry is now on permanent display on the ward. 

 

Description

  • Module leader, Advanced Module on Psychosis, Psychology and Neuroscience of Mental Health MSc, IoPPN, King’s College London (since 2017). 
  • Chair of the Masters Programme in Mental Health Studies at the IoP/IoPPN, King’s College London, comprising two taught courses: Mental Health Studies and Organisational Psychiatry and Psychology, 2006-2016. 
  • Chair of Mental Health in Learning Disabilities, MSc, IoP, King's College London, 2006-2011. 
  • Vice-chair, Teaching Committee, IoP, King's College, London, 2008-2011; member of Teaching Committee, 2006-2012.