The Department of Forensic and Neurodevelopmental Sciences (FANS) in the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) is one of the few leading teams in the world bringing together experts in brain development and antisocial behaviour. We offer prospective students supervision from internationally recognised academics with expertise in many areas of forensic and neurodevelopmental research. As one of Europe’s largest research groups focusing on the neuroscientific understanding of the development of prosocial and antisocial behaviours across the lifespan, we believe it is essential to investigate the determinants of normal development to understand abnormal behaviour (or illness).
With staff globally-recognised as innovators of high-quality translational research. we maintain strong links with our clinical and forensic partners ensuring our fundamental research and teaching efforts can be transferred for clinical improvements with ease and speed. The quality of our research is reflected by our academic contributions to the 2014 UK Research Excellence Framework. Ranked 2nd in the country for power, the IoPPNachieved a 100% 4* ranking for our research environment, indicating our impact was judged to be ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. We currently hold approximately £20 million in research income from national (e.g. the Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust and National Institute of Health Research), international (e.g. European Commission) and charitable grant giving bodies (Autistica, Forces in Mind and The Simons Foundation).
Research methodologies employed within FANS included neuroimaging (in vivo brain imaging -MRI, fMRI, MRS, and PET), genomics, animal models, epidemiology, psychopathology, psychopharmacology, and measures of cognitive ability and behaviour in healthy individuals and those with psychiatric or neurodevelopmental disorders.
World leading experts
Our academic team members sit on National and International steering and advisory groups (including UK government task forces on ADHD, autism and offenders). With expertise from basic animal models through to the latest neuroimaging techniques, we are world leaders in brain imaging of infants, and in relating differences in brain structure and function to social and cognitive development. We also study the genetics, epidemiology, psychopathology, neurobiology and psychopharmacology of autistic spectrum disorders and ADHD across the lifespan, conduct disorder and callous unemotional behaviour in children, and offending and antisocial personality disorder in adulthood.
National and International Partnerships
Our work is funded by a generous donation of The Dr. Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation along with large scale grants from leading agencies including the Medical Research Council (UK), National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), The Wellcome Trust, Autism Speaks, Autistica, The European Commission (the Innovative Medicines Initiative for EU AIMS, together with other funding for EU BRAINVIEW, EU TACTICS, and EU MATRICS), the Simons Foundation (USA) and Industry (GW Pharma).
Our unique collaboration between academics, researchers and clinicians provides you with an outstanding learning environment to become part of the next generation of world leaders in translational research.
Set within the world renowned Maudsley and Bethlem Royal hospitals, we join forces with leading experts in their field to provide high quality forensic and neurodevelopmental services via the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLAM) – provider of the widest range of mental health services in the UK.
As part of the Behavioural and Developmental Psychiatry Clinical Academic Group (CAG), we rapidly translate cutting-edge research into clinical practice, improving patient outcomes, training and clinical practice to create world-leading improvements in healthcare.
The Sackler Institute for Translational Neurodevelopment, launched in 2013 under the chairmanship of Professor Declan Murphy, carries out multidisciplinary ‘translational’ studies of normal development, and how abnormalities in that process lead to high cost neurodevelopmental disorders. Our studies link the ‘basic’ sciences (e.g. in cellular mechanisms and circuits studied using stem cell and animal models) to clinical sciences. Partnered with the Sackler Institute, our students have an unrivalled opportunity to take their research directly into a clinical setting. Sackler PhD students are provided with a bursary to aid their bench fees, essential project running costs and travel to meetings. The program aims to ‘leverage up’ the influence of the Sackler Institute while training a cohort of future scientific leaders, providing a ‘living legacy’ for the Sackler family’s donation.