Brain Sciences


Professor Michael King has passed away

15 September 2021

It is with deep sadness that we report the passing of Professor Michael King on Friday 10 September 2021.

Professor Michael King

Professor King will be known by many as the first Director of the UCL Division of Psychiatry. He led psychiatry research at UCL and before that the Royal Free Hospital for many years before the Division was created. The Division owes a great deal to Professor King for the successes we have experienced over the years.

Michael made many important contributions to the understanding and management of mental health problems in primary care, in risk prediction and the mental health issues and stigma faced by lesbian, gay and bisexual people. His interest in the mental health of patients at the end of life was instrumental in establishing the Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Department at UCL.

There are many of us in the Faculty who owe an enormous debt to Professor King’s help and support. His passing is a loss that many will feel personally as well as professionally.

Professor Alan Thompson, Dean of the Faculty of Brain Sciences, said: “Michael was an exceptional researcher and stimulating colleague and he will be greatly missed by everyone within the Faculty. His pioneering work in psychiatry helped establish the UCL Division of Psychiatry as a leader in the field and he was also a brilliant champion of LGBT issues at UCL. He inspired many people within the academic community and our thoughts are with his partner, Irwin, and his family at this sad time.”

Professor Glyn Lewis, Head of the UCL Division of Psychiatry, said: “This is a terrible loss. Michael was a huge influence on so many people during his time in UCL. We will miss him professionally but also for his humour and directness.”

Professor Helen Killapsy, Professor of Rehabilitation Psychiatry within the Division of Psychiatry, said: “Michael was a phenomenal methodologist and prolific researcher. His influence on the field of mental health is very far reaching with many collaborations across the world, across many different areas and over many decades. He was also a courageous and authoritative advocate for the rights of LGBT people. He supported the careers of many of us in the Division of Psychiatry and developed a truly diverse and supportive culture. This is such a sad time for so many people who benefited from his generosity of spirit and sharp intellect. He is much missed.”

We send our heartfelt condolences to his partner Professor Irwin Nazareth, and his family and friends.  

View the online book of condolence for Professor King