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Rebecca Park

BSc MB BCh FRCPsych PhD


Associate Professor and Hon 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.

Senior Clinical Researcher - Translational studies in Eating Disorders

Research themes:

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 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.

 In collaboration with neuroscientists and neurosurgeons in Oxford we have investigated aberrant reward processes in anorexia nervosa  and from this are  developing new forms of treatment targeting these processes. 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 undergraduates and postgraduates in preclinical and clinical medicine about eating disorders, and supervise PhD students.