Meet the Team

 

Research Assistants

We will be your first point of contact throughout your involvement with NSPN. If you are invited to take part in a research day after completing your home questionnaire pack, we will contact you to tell you more about what is involved and answer any questions you have.

If you choose to attend a research day, one of us will be with you on the day, making sure everything is okay and that you are comfortable doing the tasks. You can ask us about anything you’re not sure about.

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Alison

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Jessica

Liz Photo

Liz

Danae

 

 

 

 

 

Chief Investigators

i_goodyerProfessor Ian Goodyer: I am a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist base at Cambridge University pursuing research into the connections between human development and psychopathology. My studies are centred on adolescents in the community as well as current patients. Our research programme uses experimental and neuroimaging approaches embedded in longitudinal designs to measure the effects of genes and the social environment, on cognition and brain structures. We use these methods in epidemiological cohort studies of adolescent development and randomised controlled trials of treatment for depression and conduct disorders.

I am currently the Chief Investigator of the Neuroscience in Psychiatry Network, a research partnership between Cambridge University and University College London. The aim is to determine the structure and functions of the teenage and young adult brain in 14 to 24 year olds volunteers and deviations from these in 14 to 24 year old patients with common mental illnesses of depression, psychoses conduct disorder and personality difficulties.

 

Principal Investigators

Ed BullmoreProfessor Ed Bullmore: Ed Bullmore trained in clinical medicine at the University of Oxford and St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, then worked as a Lecturer in Medicine at the University of Hong Kong, before specialist clinical training in psychiatry at St George’s Hospital and then the Bethlem Royal & Maudsley Hospital London. His research career started in the early 1990s as a Wellcome Trust (Advanced) Research Fellow and was initially focused on mathematical analysis of neurophysiological time series. Since moving to Cambridge as Professor of Psychiatry in 1999, his interest in human brain function and structure has increasingly focused on complex brain networks identified in MRI and other brain scanning data. Since 2005, he has worked half-time for GlaxoSmithKline as Head of GSK’s Clinical Unit in Cambridge and Vice-President, Experimental Medicine. He is Deputy Director of the Wellcome Trust/GSK funded training programme in Translational Medicine and Therapeutics, Clinical Director of the Wellcome Trust/MRC funded Behavioural & Clinical Neuroscience Institute, and an honorary Consultant Psychiatrist and Director of R&D in Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Foundation NHS Trust. He has published about 350 scientific papers and he has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and the Academy of Medical Sciences.

 

PeterJonesProfessor Peter Jones: Peter Jones is Professor of Psychiatry and Head of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge.  He is a board member of Cambridge University Health Partners and directs the NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) for Cambridgeshire & Peterborough.

Peter’s research concerns the epidemiology of mental illness, particularly the psychoses, early life course influences on mental health and illness, and the interface between population-based and biological investigations, including genetics. He was elected FMedSci in 2003 and appointed as NIHR Senior Investigator in 2009.

 

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Professor Ray Dolan: 
Ray Dolan is Mary Kinross Professor of Neuropsychiatry at UCL and Director of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, at UCL.  He is a clinician scientist with a primary interest in the neurobiology of emotion and how emotion impacts on cognition, in particular decision making, using classical behavioural tools, computational analysis as well as neuroimaging methodologies, including fMRI and MEG.  He has published over 450 peer review papers and is consistently ranked among the top 5 most cited neuroscientists in the world in the field of Neuroscience and Behaviour.  He has received numerous awards including the Alexander Von Humboldt Research Award (2004), the Golden Brain Award from the Minerva Foundation (2006), the International Max Planck Research Award (2007).  In 2011 he was made a Visiting Einstein Fellow to the Humboldt University, Berlin.  He was elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci) in 2000 and Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2010.  He was elected a member of the Max Plack Society in 2012.

 

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Professor Peter Fonagy: Peter Fonagy PhD, FBA, is Freud Memorial Professor of Psychoanalysis; Head of the Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology at University College London; Visiting Clinical Professor, Harvard University; Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Yale University, School of Medicine and  Chief Executive at the Anna Freud Centre, London.  He is a clinical psychologist and a training and supervising analyst in the British Psycho-Analytical Society in child and adult analysis. His clinical interests centre around issues of borderline psychopathology, violence and early attachment relationships. His work attempts to integrate empirical research with psychoanalytic theory.  He has received numerous prizes, awards and other honours in the United Kingdom, USA and Israel.  He has held in excess of 50 research grants and authored or co-authored 16 books, published nearly 400 original papers and over 200 book chapters.

 

Postdoctoral Fellows

photoDr Eran Eldar: I have recently completed my PhD in neuroscience with Yael Niv at Princeton University. Earlier, I studied medicine and computer science in Israel, where I am originally from. I use computational modelling, pupillometry, fMRI and behaviour in humans to study issues concerning individual differences, neuromodulation, attention, learning, decision making and mood.

 

 

TobiasHauserDr Tobias Hauser: After studying Psychology, I did my PhD at the University Clinics for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Zurich. During this time, I investigated patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder using computational psychiatric methods. I now work as a postdoctoral fellow with Ray Dolan and my main interest is in the compulsivity spectrum and the computational mechanisms causing repetitive/perseverative behaviour.

 

 

 
Dr Ela Polek-Mac Daeid: Ela uses quantitative methods (e.g., multilevel modelling, latent class, growth mixture models) to conduct studies addressing problems related to individual and contextual predictors and developmental trajectories of mental health in young people.

 

RafaelRomeroGarciaDr Rafael Romero-Garcia: I’m a computer science engineer interested in how complex brain networks change across different physiological and pathological conditions. During my PhD in neuroscience at the Pablo de Olavide University (Spain) I analysed cortical network disruption during Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s Disease. I am currently working at the Brain Mapping Unit at the University of Cambridge where my main goal is to determine how structural and functional brain connectivity evolves during adolescence. Combining different MRI modalities with cognitive performance data we hope to improve our knowledge of brain development during this critical stage.

 

 

 

AnneLauraVanHarmelenDr Anne-Laura Van Harmelen: I am a Rubicon fellow in the Developmental and Life course research group at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge. My research focuses on cognitive and brain development in individuals that have experienced early life childhood maltreatment, and what effect the social environment (such as friendships, or bullying) has on that process. I obtained my PhD from Leiden University the Netherlands in 2013, where I investigated the impact of childhood emotional maltreatment on brain structure and functioning (www.annelauravanharmelen.com). I am passionate advocate for women in science, and the combination of parenthood with a scientific career.

PetraVertesDr Petra Vertes: I am an MRC Fellow in Biomedical Informatics at the Brain Mapping Unit (BMU), University of Cambridge. My work focuses on quantifying and modelling changes in brain network organization over developmental time. I obtained my PhD in physics at the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, investigating the effect of network topology on pattern recognition in networks of spiking neurons. I am also a co-founder and organizer of the Cambridge Networks Network, a forum for academics across different departments and institutes who share an interest in complex networks. To find out more about my current work please visit: http://pv226.user.srcf.net/

 

KirstieWhitakerDr Kirstie Whitaker: I am a postdoctoral fellow investigating white matter maturation during adolescence and the effects of mental health disorders on developmental trajectories in brain and behaviour. I obtained my PhD in Neuroscience from UC Berkeley in 2012 during which I studied the development of reasoning ability in childhood and adolescence. I am a Fulbright alumna and passionate advocate of open science, particularly the sharing of analysis code and experimental data. In my spare time I like to hike with my dog at my family home in the Lake District. To find out more please visit www.kirstiewhitaker.com.

 

Clinical Fellows

Moutoussis_M_Apr_07Dr Michael Moutoussis: I am a psychiatrist interested in the calculations (‘computations’) that the brain does as it handles emotionally important information. I first studied physics, psychiatry and psychological therapies. I then did research in computational neuroscience as applied to clinical psychology during my PhD. I’m based in University College London and within the NeuroScience in Psychiatry Network I work mostly with the computer-games that participants play. These games help us understand the styles of thinking and decisionmaking that different young people have. In my life outside science I’m the father of two young people – both within the age range of NSPN!

 

JorgeZimbronDr Jorge Zimbron: I am a senior trainee in General Adult Psychiatry who has taken a year out of training to work in research. I am currently coordinating the recruitment of patients for a pilot study funded by NSPN. We are recruiting 40 people, aged 14 – 24, who are under the care of psychiatric services in Cambridge and in London. The hope is to learn some valuable lessons from the pilot study that can be applied to a much larger study, also funded by NSPN, called NCAAPS. NCAAPS is due to start in 2014 and it will compare the results from participants in the ongoing U-Change study with people who suffer from mental health problems. Link: http://www.neuroscience.cam.ac.uk/directory/profile.php?jz308

 

PhD Students

profile_joost_haarsmaJoost Haarsma: I have recently started my PhD in cognitive neuroscience as part of the NSPN project. I’ve obtained a bachelor degree in psychology in the past and a research master degree in cognitive neuroscience last year. My main research interest is the development of psychiatric symptoms wherein I try to relate changes in neurobiological variables to functional processes likely implicated in the aetiology of psychotic (with a focus on delusional) symptoms.

 

MikeHartMichael Hart: I am a neurosurgery registrar in Cambridge doing a PhD as part of the NeuroScience in Psychiatry Network (NSPN). I’m interested in neuro-imaging and how complex brain networks develop in adolescence. My aim is to combine this knowledge of network plasticity with anatomical studies and apply it to neurosurgical scenarios.

 

 

Assistant Staff

lmv26Laura Villis – Research Project Administrator (Cambridge): I joined Developmental Psychiatry from Experimental Psychology in 2011, where I was working on research into healthy brain ageing from adolescence to old age. Before that I worked on diabetes and heart disease research at Imperial College London. I am a graduate of Cardiff University with a B.A. (Hons.) in English Literature.

More information coming soon