I am an NIHR Clinical Lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London and an Honorary Consultant Neuropsychiatrist at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. I have been at King’s since 2015, but affiliated since 2004.
I trained in psychology (BA; Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford), medicine (MBBS; King’s College London), clinical psychiatry (MRCPsych; Royal College of Psychiatrists) and clinical neurology (MSc; University College London). In 2015, I was awarded a Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Fellowship to look at the neuroimmunological basis of psychiatric disease, with a particular focus on the autoantibodies known to cause autoimmune encephalitis. In 2019, I was awarded an NIHR Clinical Lectureship.
I have set up and co-run a joint multidisciplinary clinic at King’s College Hospital dedicated to the assessment and management of patients with confirmed or suspected autoimmune encephalitis and other central nervous system autoimmune disorders. I also jointly run a neuropsychiatry-led long COVID clinic.
In my current work, I am attempting to improve the early detection of autoimmune psychosis, as well as elucidating the brain mechanisms by which a self-reactive immune response might give rise to neuropsychiatric symptoms across a range of health and disease states. My other research interests include elucidating the immunological effects of psychotropic drugs, the impact of mental illness risk factors on immune system function, the role of infections in psychiatry, mechanisms of post-acute COVID syndrome (long COVID), glutamatergic abnormalities in psychosis and organic presentations in clinical neuropsychiatry.
I have a developing research interest in the neuroscience, phenomenology, neuropsychiatry, benefits and adverse effects of meditation and other contemplative practices.
- Autoimmune encephalitis
- Psychosis studies
- Organic psychosis
- Psychiatry of infectious disease
I co-lead the King's Neuropsychiatry Research and Education Group (NREG) with Dr Tim Nicholson.
I teach on the following MSc Programmes:
- Clinical Neuropsychiatry
- Clinical Neuroscience
- Psychiatric Research
I am a personal/pastoral tutor and dissertation supervisor on the MSc Clinical Neuropsychiatry. I also lecture on the King's/South London and Maudsley NHS MRCPsych training course and I mentor neuropsychiatrically-curious trainees interested in pursuing a research career.
I have led the fortnightly King's Neuropsychiatry Meetings - informal, non-judgemental, multidisciplinary fora for presentations and debate and the world’s largest such seminar series – since 2015. In 2015, I founded the King's Immunopsychiatry Meetings with Dr Valeria Mondelli.
Expertise and Public Engagement
In my role on the Scientific Advisory Panel of the Encephalitis Society I chair the organising committee of the Encephalitis Conference and sit on the research sub-committee. I have organised and hosted two stand-alone immunopsychiatry conferences, including the first major such event in the UK, which explicitly had interdisciplinary collaboration as the aim. In my role as Director of the British Neuropsychiatry Association (BNPA), I organise the annual interdisciplinary conference and oversee competitive awards and public engagement events. In 2019, I led an international team of psychiatrists, neurologists, neuroimmunologists, infectiologists and ethicists in the development of consensus criteria for the diagnosis and management of autoimmune psychosis - criteria which are now commonly used in clinical mental health settings and to shape research around the world.
I am a member of the European Academy of Neurology/European Joint Programme on Rare Diseases Autoimmune Encephalitis Treatment Guidelines Task Force and the Royal College of Psychiatrists autoimmune encephalitis task force. I have a passion for science communication, and my research has been featured in multiple media outlets including the Times of London, Time, New Scientist, Vice, the Guardian and Scientific American. I have spoken about my research on national and international BBC TV and radio broadcasts, and on a variety of podcasts and online formats.
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