Portico in spring

Research Groups / Areas

The Division of Psychiatry is located at the Bloomsbury campus.

It has an excellent research record and in a recent analysis of the UK’s scientific output, was second only to the Institute of Psychiatry in terms of citation rates of published research in psychiatry (pdf).

It has research links with Marie Curie Palliative Care Unit, other UCL Departments and the Institute of Neurology (IoN).

The Head of Department is Professor Glyn Lewis.

Below are the three major research areas and their related projects that apply across all campuses of the Department:

The Division hosts two programmes of research into depression and alcoholism. One of these researches into risk factors for depression; the efficacy of psychological treatments; and the neurobiology of normal affect. 

Major grant funding comes through the European Commission, Wellcome Trust, MRC, DH and NIHR.

The other is a national consortium on the genetics of alcoholism called the UK Consortium on the Genetics of Alcoholism, which is exploring the role of genes increasing susceptibility to alcoholism through depression and criminality as well as genetic effects on cognitive damage caused by alcoholism.

Depression and Alcohol Related Projects

The Division of Psychiatry  at UCL and IoN (Institute of Neurology) undertake research of international standing that ranges from neurobiological mechanisms underlying schizophrenia and bipolar disorder to development of psychological interventions and evaluation of complex service delivery systems. Major grant funding comes from the Wellcome Trust, MRC, DH, NIHR and European Commission.

Psychosis Related Projects

  • Quality and Effectiveness of Supported Tenancies for people with mental health problems (QuEST): To provide evidence on the quality, cost and effectiveness of supported accommodation for people with mental health problems in England. Funded by the National Institute for Health Research (2012-2017). Helen Killaspy (CI), Stefan Priebe (QMUL), Michael King, Sandra Eldridge (QMUL), Paul McCrone (KCL), Geoff Shepherd (Centre for Mental Health), Maurice Arbuthnott (North London SURF), Gerard Leavey (Ulster), Jake Eliot (National Housing Federation), Sarah Curtis (Durham).
  • Cancer incidence in people with severe mental illness. An epidemiological study utilising  two national datasets including THIN. Funded by the Department of Health/ NHS Cancer Screening Programme 2010-11. David Osborn (CI), Michael King, Irwin Nazareth, K Walters, I Petersen and Jane Green (Oxford)
  • Cancer screening in people with learning disability. Comparative study in The Health Improvement Network Database 2010-11. Department of Health/ NHS Cancer Screening Programme. David Osborn (CI), I Nazareth, Angela Hassiotis, K Walters and I Petersen
  • Violence against adults with severe mental illness compared with the UK general population (2009-2013) MRC Fellowship. H Khalifeh (CI), David Osborn, Sonia Johnson and Louise Howard (IoP/ KCL)
  • Antidepressant Controlled Trial for Negative symptoms in Schizophrenia (ACTIONS). T Barnes (CI) Imperial 2009-2013 A national trial funded by the NIHR-Health Technology Assessment. David Osborn (PI), Helen Killaspy
  • Rehabilitation Effectiveness and Activities for Life (REAL): a multicentre study of rehabilitation services and the efficacy of promoting activities for people with severe mental health problems. Funded by NIHR for 5 years (2009-2014). Helen Killaspy (CI) and Michael King
  • Development of a European Measure of Best Practice for People with Long Term Mental Illness Living in Institutional Care ("DEMoBinc"). Funded by the European Commission for 3 years (2007-2010). Helen Killaspy (CI) and Michael King
  • Early detection of psychosis via community and educational organisations: a feasibility study. Funded by NIHR. Sonia Johnson (CI), Helen Killaspy
  • Rehabilitation and Recovery Services in Ireland: a multicentre study to investigate current service provision, characteristics of service users and 18 month outcomes for those with and without access to these services. Funded by Mental Health Commission for Ireland for three years (2007-2010). Dr Ena Lavelle (CI - Dublin). Helen Killaspy (PI), Michael King and Robyn Drake are involved from the Dept MH Sci at UCL
  • The Matisse Study - a randomised trial of interactive group art therapy for people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Funded by HTA for 4 years (2006-2010). Dr Mike Crawford (Joint CI-Imperial), Helen Killaspy (Joint CI), Michael King, David Osborn (PI)
  • Staff morale in inpatient mental health settings. Funded by the SDO for four years (2006-2010). Sonia Johnson (CI), Helen Killaspy, David Osborn.
  • Validation of the Mental Health Recovery Star. Funded by London Borough of Camden and Dept MH Sci for 18 months. Helen Killaspy (CI), Michael King, David Osborn.
  • Development of an intervention to enable mental health service users to manage perceived and experienced stigma. Funded by NoCLOR for two years. Michael King (CI), Helen Killaspy, Scott Stevens (co-Chair of Service User Research Forum - SURF).
  • Genetics of schizophrenia. Genetic, pharmacogenetic and pharmacogenomic studies of schizophrenia. Funded by the US NIH, Neuroscience Research Charitable Trust, Margaret Temple Schizophrenia Research Fund. Hugh Gurling (PI)
  • International Schizophrenia Genetics Consortium. A US, UK and Swedish consortium to study the molecular genetics of schizophrenia. Funded by the Stanley Foundation Pamela Sklar (PI, The Broad Institute, Boston), Hugh Gurling (PI)
  • Copy number variants in schizophrenia and epilepsy. A study of deletions and duplications in patients with schizophrenia and epilepsy. Sanjay Sisodyia (CI Institute of Neurology), Hugh Gurling (PI).
  • Systems biology of anti psychotic agents. Molecular mechanisms underlying the treatment of schizophrenia and manic depression by investigation of gene expression changes in the mouse brain and in cell culture. Funded by the BMA Margaret Temple Schizophrenia Research Fund, UCL IMPACT award. Andrew McQuillin (PI)
  • Genetics of bipolar affective disorder. Genetic, pharmacogenetic and pharmacogenomic studies of bipolar affective disorder. Funded by the International Case Control Consortium of Bipolar disorder and the MRC. Hugh Gurling (CI), Andrew McQuillin, Nick Bass.
  • The CORE Study is supported by an NIHR programme grant. It focuses on crisis resolution teams in mental health. Investigators include Sonia Johnson, Brynmor Lloyd-Evans and David Osborn.  One strand of work involves development and testing through a randomised controlled trial of a peer-delivered self-management intervention for people being discharged from crisis teams. The second strand involves development and testing of a fidelity scale to measure crisis team good practice. This is the first full draft of this fidelity scale, on which we very much welcome comments from all perspectives: Core Crisis doc.
  • PsyLife (www.psylife.eu) investigates the social determinants of psychotic symptoms and disorders at multiple levels of causation across the life course. The group is led by Dr James Kirkbride. The group is particularly interested in understanding how our social, built and physical environments can affect the risk of psychosis, and why migrants and their descendants show elevated rates of psychotic disorder. This research is explored through series of multilevel and longitudinal epidemiological investigations. 

The Division of Psychiatry is an international leader in dementia research.  Major grant funding comes from the MRC, Wellcome Trust, NIHR, local trusts and industry.

Dementia Related Projects
  • The MARQUE Project. Funded by NIHR/ESRC. Study Manager: Debbie Livingston
  • Thinking Fit Study. Funded by Essex County Council and NEPFT. Dr. Thomas Dannhauser CI, Zuzana Walker
  • Flutemetamol Imaging Study. Funded by GE Healthcare. Zuzana Walker (CI)
  • Mementine for the Long Term Management of Neuropsychiatric Symptoms in alzheimers disease EudraCT 2007. Funded by Lundbeck. Clive Ballard (CI), Zuzana Walker (PI)
  • Pan London survey of clinical outcomes of people with Down syndrome and dementia. Funded by NoCLoR. Andre Strydom (CI), Angela Hassiotis, Zuzana Walker
  • Improving the effectiveness of multidisciplinary team meetings for patients with chronic diseases. Funded by NIHR (HSR). Rosalind Raine (CI), Michael King (PI), Gill Livingston, Louise Jones
  • Helping Aged Victims of Crime: determining the psychological effects on crime on older people and a pilot randomised controlled trial of a Victim Improvement Package versus Treatment As Usual (HAVoC study). Funded by NHS Foundation Trust. Marc Serfaty (CI)
  • Strategies for dementia study: a pragmatic randomised controlled trial to determine the effectiveness of a manual based coping strategy programme in promoting the mental health of carers of people with dementia (START). Funded by HTA. Gill Livingston (CI), Claudia Cooper, Liz Sampson and Juanita Hoe
  • Study of end of life care of dementia in care homes. Funded by Kings Fund. Gill Livingston (CI)
  • The CHOICE study - Choice Optimisation for CarErs. Funded by The Bupa Foundation. Gill Livingston (CI), Claudia Cooper, Liz Sampson
  • HTA-SADD  trial of anti-depressants in dementia.Martin Orrell (PI) Gill Livingston (Joint CI)
  • CARE-DeM study - of dementia in the community. Funded by HTA. Steve Iliffe (CI), Gill Livingston (PI)
  • National Institute of Health Research: Support at Home-Interventions to Enhance Life in Dementia SHIELD. Funded by NIHR. Martin Orrell (CI)
  • Management of challenging behaviour in dementia at home and in care homes. Funded by NIHR. E. Moniz-Cook, Martin Orrell
  • Reminiscence groups for people with dementia and their family caregivers: pragmatic 8-centre trial of joint reminiscence and maintenance v usual treatment. Funded by HTA. B. Woods, Martin Orrell
  • National Audit of Dementia Services. Funded by Healthcare Commission. P. Lelliot, Martin Orrell
  • Challenges and Healthy Ageing: the role of resilience across the life course (ResNet). Funded by MRC. G. Windle, Martin Orrell
  • An optimised person centred intervention to improve mental health and reduce anti-psychotics amongst people with dementia in care homes. Funded by NIHR. C. Ballard, Martin Orrell
  • Individual Cognitive Stimulation Therapy for Dementia (iCST Trial). Funded by HTA (Trials Grant). Martin Orrell (CI)
  • NIHR Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) Programme: PB-PG-0609-18230  "I can’t forget to worry”: A pilot randomised controlled trial of CBT foranxiety in people with dementia. Funded by NIHR/RfPB. Aimee Spector, Martin Orrell, Michael King
  • TOP-COG study -  Towards Onset Prevention of Cognition Decline in Adults with Down Syndrome, funded by CSO - Scotland. Angela Hassiotis.

The Division of Psychiatry  naturally explores cross-disciplinary research that does .ucl.ac.uk/iris/browse/profile?upi=SFMIC21 not fall under the three main themes of Depression & Alcohol, Psychosis and Dementia. Below are some examples of these types of projects:

Cross-Disciplinary Themed Projects

Page last modified on 13 may 14 09:20