Prof Sonia Johnson

Prof Sonia Johnson


Wing B, 6th Floor
Maple House
149 Tottenham Court Road


  • Professor of Social and Community Psychiatry
    Division of Psychiatry
    Faculty of Brain Sciences

Joined UCL


My main interests are in the clinical and social needs and the treatment outcomes of people with significant mental health problems such as psychosis and bipolar disorder. The areas in which I've worked most have been acute care and early psychosis. I have had a major role in several studies of crisis services, including evaluations of crisis resolution teams and of alternatives to standard inpatient care. My clinical work is as consultant psychiatrist in the Camden and Islington Early Intervention Service for psychosis.

I am currently leading the CORE study, an NIHR programme grant  aimed at optimising the care delivered by crisis resolution teams (www.core-study.ucl.ac.uk), and the CIRCLE trial funded by the NIHR HTA programme to investigate the effectiveness of a contingency management intervention for cannabis use in early psychosis (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/circle). I am also one of the investigators in the mental health theme for the North Thames CLAHRC, in which my colleagues and I are developing and testing a self-management smartphone app for early psychosis. I am a co-applicant on three NIHR programme grants: ESMI, investigating perinatal care; AQUEDUCT, investigating crisis teams for older people; and ECLIPSE, investigating cognitive remediation in early psychosis. 

On twitter: @soniajohnson, @CoreStudyUCL, @CircleStudyUCL, @AriesStudyUCL.

Award year Qualification Institution
Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists
To be updated
1990 MSc
Master of Science
Social Psychology
London School of Economics and Political Science
1988 MB.ChB
Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery
University of Oxford
1985 BA Hons
Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
University of Cambridge

I trained in medicine at the Universities of Cambridge (pre-clinical) and Oxford (clinical). I also obtained a BA in Social and Political Sciences at Cambridge and an MSc in Social Psychology at LSE - my social sciences background has stood me in very good stead in developing my research career. 

I trained in psychiatry at the Bethlem Royal and Maudsley Hospitals and obtained my early research posts, including a post as Clinical Lecturer in Community Psychiatry, at the Institute of Psychiatry. In 1997 I moved to UCL as a senior lecturer, subsequently becoming a Reader (2007) and then Professor of Social and Community Psychiatry (2008).  My initial clinical consultant post was in the Drayton Community Mental Health Team. Since 2003 I have worked in the Camden and Islington Early Intervention Service, which I co-founded and have helped develop.


Bipolar disorder|*|Cross-sectional and cohort studies|*|Drug addiction|*|Epidemiology and treatment outcomes in early psychosis|*|Psychosis|*|Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs)|*|Schizophrenia|*|comorbid substance misuse in mental illness|*|womens mental health needs