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BSc MB BCh FRCPsych PhD
Associate Professor and Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist
- Head of OxBread Research Group
- Associate Professor in Eating Disorders Psychiatry
- Hon Consultant Psychiatrist : Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust & Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
- Visiting Professor, Department of Brain Sciences, Imperial College London
Senior Clinical Researcher - Translational studies in Eating Disorders
My translational research focuses on defining the neural, psychological and somatic processes underpinning eating disorders , and using this deeper understanding to derive and develop new forms of treatment.The transdisciplinary work of my team 'OxBread' and wider collaborators allows us to think' outside the box' to develop novel treatment strategies.
In particular I investigate the most severe form of eating disorder, Anorexia Nervosa, because more effective forms of treatment are urgently needed: Anorexia Nervosa has the highest mortality of any psychiatric disorder , at huge costs to individual lives and health care services. Anorexia Nervosa often leads to chronic morbidity, and current treatment strategies are limited. It is thus essential to develop novel, more effective treatments based on an understanding of the key processes maintaining the illness.
Since 2010 In collaboration with neuroscientists and neurosurgeons at the University of Oxford , we have investigated aberrant neural processes underlying Anorexia Nervosa and from this are developing new forms of treatment targeting these processes, such as Brain Stimulation . Since 2020 I have also been collaborating with Professor David Nutt and team at the Centre for Psychedelic studies, Imperial College London in a study of psilocybin as a treatment for Anorexia Nervosa. Our investigations use cutting edge forms of brain imaging in addition to psychological experiments. The ethics of treatment research is central to my work and I particularly value the voice of patients in guiding our studies- and use their accounts to guide the development of exciting new approaches to treatment . We strive to reduce stigma, promote recovery and reduce the cost on individuals their families and health services.
Extensive clinical experience with patients is central to my research: I was the first Consultant psychiatrist- to Oxfords inpatient unit at Cotswold house from 2003 and then worked in the NHS eating disorders service for 15 years before deciding to focus exclusively on clinical research studies since 2018. I have been particularly involved with supporting students with eating disorders.
Additionally, I teach and examine undergraduates and postgraduates in preclinical and clinical medicine about eating disorders, and supervise PhD students.