Dr Gemma Lewis awarded Wellcome Sir Henry Dale Fellowship

10 September 2021

Gemma Lewis

Congratulations to Dr Gemma Lewis on being awarded the prestigious Wellcome Sir Henry Dale Fellowship.

Dr Lewis, Senior research fellow and lecturer in psychiatric epidemiology in the UCL Division of Psychiatry, will focus her research under this Fellowship on 'Academic pressure and adolescent depression, self-harm and suicide'.

Discussing the Fellowship, Dr Lewis said:

"Depression and self-harm are two of the most common mental health problems, and their rates are rising among young people. A top priority for policy and public health is to develop mental health interventions that can be delivered in schools. One potential modifiable risk factor that could be targeted in universal whole-school interventions is academic pressure. The UK has some of the highest levels of academic pressure reported by adolescents, and this has risen in recent decades. Despite widespread concerns about academic pressure, it has rarely been investigated in relation to adolescent mental health. My fellowship will use large longitudinal datasets, and advanced methods of causal inference, to conduct the first longitudinal studies of whether academic pressure increases the risk of depression and self-harm and is a novel candidate for prevention."

The Sir Henry Dale Fellowship scheme provides support for postdoctoral researchers who aim to become independent scientists leading their own groups. The scheme is a partnership between the Royal Society and the Wellcome Trust.

The Division of Psychiatry wishes Dr. Lewis the best of luck for her Fellowship.