Five Research Champions appointed

The National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre has appointed five Research Champions to deliver innovation in key strategic areas, as part of their commitment to the Athena Scientific Women's Academic Network (SWAN) and King’s College London Diversity and Inclusion charters.

Maudsley BRC research champions

Each Champion will lead and deliver innovation and transformative impact in the following areas of strategic priority:

Dr Faith Matcham: diversity and inclusion

Dr Faith Matcham is a post-doctoral research associate based in the Department of Psychological Medicine at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN), King’s College London. She coordinates the depression work stream of the Remote Assessment of Disease and Relapse – Central Nervous System (RADAR-CNS) Programme, which explores the potential for wearable devices and mobile phone sensors to predict outcomes in major depressive disorder.

Her research interests lie in the relationship between mental and physical health, and how we can use technology to improve the management of mental and physical comorbidity. Find out more about how we’re integrating mental and physical healthcare on the King’s Health Partners Mind & Body website.

Dr Paul Stokes: industry partnerships and strategic alliances 

Dr Paul Stokes studied medicine at the University of Birmingham and completed clinical training in Psychiatry at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. Dr Stokes joined the Centre for Affective Disorders in 2013 where his main research interest is to use neuroimaging to better understand the neurochemical brain mechanisms which mediate bipolar disorder and related co-morbid addictions. He is also very interested in the use of clinical trials and functional neuroimaging to assess treatments to improve mood and cognitive symptoms in mood disorders.

In his clinical work, Dr Stokes is a Consultant Psychiatrist with the National Affective Disorders Service at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, and is a Specialist Consultant Psychiatric Advisor in mood disorders for the UK Civil Aviation Authority.

Dr Valeria Mondelli: mental-physical health interface

Dr Valeria Mondelli is a Senior Clinical Lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London, and a Liaison Consultant Psychiatrist at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. In 2009, she completed her PhD at King’s College London, and she was then awarded an NIHR Clinical Lectureship. Her research interest focuses on the in the interplay between physical and mental health and on the role biological systems involved in the stress response.

She is currently leading a project to investigate the involvement of inflammation in the pathogenesis and treatment response in depression. Dr Mondelli is also starting a new project aiming to understand biological mechanisms involved in the link between obesity and depression.

Dr Sally Marlow: research impact and engagement

Dr Sally Marlow is Public Engagement Fellow in the Addictions Department at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London.  She is a BBC Broadcaster specialising in mental health and is currently working on ‘Storm and Stress’, a documentary series for BBC Radio 4. Sally also works on arts and mental health projects, and is Associate Editor for Culture at The Psychologist.

Dr Kinga Bercsenyi: translational neuroscience

Dr Kinga Bercsenyi obtained her masters degree in Human Biology and Neuroanatomy at Lorand Eotvos University in Hungary. She also studied systems biology at University of Luxembourg. Kinga completed her PhD in Professor Giampietro Schiavo's lab at the London Research Institute and the Institute of Neurology, University College London. Kinga is a Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow. She is studying the process of interneuron apoptosis during early postnatal development, a process which might have profound implications in the healthy development of both rodent and human neocortex.

Professor Matthew Hotopf, Director of the NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre, said:

Many congratulations to our five Research Champions. I very much look forward to working with each of you.
Our new Biomedical Research Centre Research (BRC) Champions have a unique opportunity to directly influence the BRC scientific strategy and develop leadership and management skills by leading one of the above-mentioned cross-cutting work streams.

Read more on the NIHR Maudsley BRC website

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