Professor of Psychiatry
I was always interested in the question of how the brain might explain mental functions and disorders — which led me into training as a psychiatrist.
This is perhaps not the easiest career move to make in medicine because psychiatry has traditionally been regarded as rather a “low rent” specialisation. I think this prejudice reflects the historical fact that relatively little is yet known about the objective correlates of mental symptoms; but this is changing as neuroscience advances rapidly and techniques like brain imaging are applied to an analysis of psychiatric disorders.
I was very fortunate to train in clinical practice and research methodology at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, where I was supported by the Wellcome Trust and worked closely with Prof Mick Brammer and many other colleagues. We developed various statistical methods for computerised analysis of structural and functional magnetic resonance images of the brain.
The areas of application that have most interested me are schizophrenia and other neurodevelopmental disorders, psychopharmacological effects on brain function, and the integration of imaging and genetics.
I have been a Professor of Psychiatry in Cambridge since 1999. I have set up the Brain Mapping Unit here and I am director of functional MRI at the Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre; I am also a co-director of CAMEO, a new clinical service for patients with early symptoms of psychosis.
I think the future generally looks bright for fundamental progress in our scientific understanding of the problems of psychiatry.
See also: profile on Cambridge Neuroscience
Tel: +44 (0)1223 336582
Fax: +44 (0)1223 336581