UoA 9: Psychiatry, Neuroscience and Clinical Psychology

This submission reports on one of three components of the extensive neuroscience research community at UCL. It focuses on basic and clinical research related to neurological and psychiatric disorders and complements the submission to Psychology (UoA 44), to Biological Sciences (UoA 14 and UoA 15), and to Primary Care and other Community based Clinical Subjects (UoA 8). Interactions within the UCL neuroscience community are extensive and fruitful and UCL’s adopted reporting process does not imply any boundaries to these interactions.

This submission comprises a single, large research group comprising 102 Category A, 8 Category C and 20 Category B staff. The research work of this group is presented in a single group, rather than in separate research groups, because such a return would not have captured the cross-cutting nature of the research. Instead, the work is presented in eight clinico-scientific themes. Many PIs work across the different themes and our postgraduate students are trained right across the group returned here, rather than in separate groups.

UCL produces the highest volume of quality neuroscience-related research of any university in the UK. For the field “neuroscience” it generated 30% of England’s contribution to the world’s most highly cited publications, according to work commissioned by the Department of Health. UCL also had a particularly large share of highly cited publications in Clinical Neurology (44%) and Neuroimaging (65%) (Leeuwen & Grant, 2006).

There are around 300 PIs at UCL working in neuroscience. Staff returned here collaborate with those returned to other UoAs (see section 3), and together lead research in molecular, cellular, systems, cognitive, computational and integrative neuroscience, as well as in clinical and translational neuroscience and clinical trial networks. These activities are now drawn together under the UCL Neuroscience Strategy Group (led by Hausser).

The 110 staff returned under UoA9 publish around 700 papers per year. This submission provides ample evidence that UCL’s performance in this area continues to be outstanding. Eight of these staff are rated in the ISI ‘Highly Cited’ category (Dolan, Frackowiak, Friston, Frith, Lees, Miller, Rothwell and Thompson).  Dolan, Frackowiak, Friston and Frith, all founding members of the FIL, are ranked among the 10 “most cited scientists” worldwide in all areas of ‘Behaviour and Neuroscience’ for 1996-2006.

UCL’s intense and varied neuroscience environment creates an outstanding location for training future generations of neuroscientists.  There are currently around 400 full and part-time postgraduate research students in eight programmes across the whole of UCL. This is a substantial contribution to the total UK effort in neuroscience training.

Our research is focused on eight themes as follows:

  • Inherited diseases and molecular, cellular and genetic neuroscience
  • Neurodegenerative disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Movement disorders and motor neuroscience
  • Cognitive neuroscience and human brain imaging
  • Computational neuroscience
  • Brain injury, brain repair and rehabilitation
  • Psychiatry

This return includes staff involved in research programmes in molecular, genetic, cellular, systems and computational neuroscience, and in many areas of clinical and translational neuroscience.

Staff are based at:

  • Queen Square The majority of 102 Category A and 8 Category C staff returned here (96/110) are based at Queen Square
  • Institute of Neurology - ION (84)
  • Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience – ICN (7)
  • Gatsby Unit of Computational Neuroscience (3)
  • High Field Laboratory (Medical Physics and Engineering) (2)
  • Those from the Royal Free Department of Clinical Neuroscience (6), Mental Health Sciences (7) and Physiology (1) work elsewhere in UCL.

The following are also located at Queen Square:

  • Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging (2006)
  • MRC Prion Unit (2001) and National Prion Clinic (2004)
  • MRC Centre for Neuromuscular Disease (2007)
  • Dementia Research Centre (2004)
  • DoH Coordinating Centre for the Clinical Research Network in Dementia and Neurodegenerative Diseases (DeNDRoN) (2005)
  • Spinal Repair Unit (2005)
  • MS NMR Research Unit (1984)

Queen Square also provides a base for the Institute for Movement Neuroscience (IMN) and the Centre for Neuroimaging Techniques (CNT).

The key clinical partnership is with the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN), part of the UCL Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH). All UCLH clinical neuroscience activity is located at NHNN; each year it treats 12,000 in-patients/day-cases and 60,000 outpatients. ION and NHNN operate a joint research strategy, sharing clinical academic staff, research space and governance, infrastructure and some areas of management. The main research themes at ION map onto the clinical firms at NHNN, facilitating translation. The NHNN currently has 123 clinical consultants; 46 hold UCL academic posts jointly at ION. There are also strong clinical partnerships between the Department of Clinical Neuroscience (Royal Free Trust) and between Mental Health Sciences and UCLH, Royal Free Trust and five local Mental Health Trusts.

Download full text of the RA5a statement for Psychiatry, Neuroscience and Clinical Psychology (pdf 104Kb)

Staff names below link to submitted publications:

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