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Institute of Psychiatry

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Title: Institute of Psychiatry  
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Subject: Arthur Jensen, List of universities in the United Kingdom, Camberwell, King's College London, Hans Eysenck, IOP, John Bowis, Simon Baron-Cohen, Steven Rose, Derek Summerfield
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Institute of Psychiatry

Institute of Psychiatry
Entrance of the Institute of Psychiatry.
Established 1948[1]
Parent institution King's College London
Dean Professor Shitij Kapur
Location London, UK

The Institute of Psychiatry (IOP) is a research institution dedicated to discovering what causes mental illness and diseases of the brain. In addition, its aim is to help identify new treatments for them and ways to prevent them in the first place. The IOP is a school of King's College London, England. The Institute works closely with South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. Many senior academic staff also work as honorary consultants for the Trust in clinical services such as the National Psychosis Unit at Bethlem Royal Hospital.


The IOP shares a great deal of its history with the Maudsley Hospital, with which it shares the location of its main building. Originally the "Maudsley Hospital Medical School", it changed its name to the Institute of Psychiatry in 1948 with Aubrey Lewis being appointed to the inaugural Chair of Psychiatry at the institute (which he held until his retirement in 1966). The main Institute building was opened in 1967 and contains lecture theatres, administrative offices, the library, and the "Cafe Diner" canteen. The Henry Wellcome building was opened in 2001 and houses most of the IOP's psychology department. In 2002 the Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry (SGDP) Research Centre moved into a purpose-built building of their own. In 2004 a new Centre for Neuroimaging Sciences (CNS) was opened which provides offices, lab space, and access to two MRI scanners for neuroimaging research.

The Institute subscribes to a Statement of Common Purposes which states: "The Institute of Psychiatry and the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust work together to establish the best possible care for people who experience mental health problems. A key joint aim is promoting excellence in research, development and teaching in the sciences and disciplines key to the understanding and treatment of mental disorders and related disorders of the brain. This knowledge and the skills thus gained will be applied to prevention of these disorders, finding the most effective treatments and developing the best service models for the community."


Academic Health Sciences Centre

The UK’s largest Academic Health Sciences Centre is being created that integrates world-leading research, teaching and clinical service to deliver improvements in care for both local people and patients from further afield.


This department provides expert advice in the interpretation and use of statistical techniques in psychological research. All academic staff collaborate with researchers within the IOP as well as internationally. The Computing side of the department is responsible for the installation, maintenance, and upgrading of the IOP's IT infrastructure. This includes desktop and laptop PCs, SUN workstations, ethernet networks, wireless networks, as well as servers and data management. They work closely with members of the Neuroimaging section in their work using brain scanners.

The Biostatistics department opened in 1964, then as the Biometrics Unit by Professor A.E. Maxwell and now headed by Professor Andrew Pickles. The department holds particular expertise in multivariate statistical methods for measurement, life-course epidemiology and the analysis of experimental, genetic and neuropsychiatric data. The department provides both introductory and advanced training in applied statistical methodology, collaborate on studies of mental health based here and internationally, and undertake research in relevant applied methodology. In the area of Bioinformatics we have growing links to the NHS Specialist Mental Health Biomedical Research Centre (SLaM/KCL). The Department of Biostatistics also hosts the UKCRN accredited King's Clinical Trials Unit which provides randomisation, data management, analysis and trial management - all of which are available to researchers across King's Health Partners. The CTU provides support to both medicinal and non-medicinal clinical trials assisting researchers in the conduct of carrying out clinical trials safely and to a high scientific standard, by offering a range of services to ensure results are accurate and credible.

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

The department is dedicated to the study of developmental disorders such as ADHD, clinical depression, autism and learning difficulties. In addition to research, the department offers two taught courses, a diploma in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry[2] and an MSc in Child & Adolescent Mental Health.[3] The department has close links with the Michael Rutter Centre for Children and Young People at the Maudsley Hospital which has a number of specialist services for children and adolescents.

Computing and Knowledge Management

The computing team provides supports the computer network, file serving and image processing services. The knowledge management team provides information management support, encompassing library, records management and archive, e-learning, web and audio visual services.

Forensic Mental Health Science

Forensic Mental Health Science is the study of antisocial, violent, and criminal behaviours among people with mental disorders. Clients may have a pattern of antisocial behaviour that may include violence, crime, and substance abuse. The department's research focuses on antisocial behaviour as it appears in people with either major mental disorders or personality disorders. The objectives are to identify the causes of antisocial behaviour, create effective treatments, and prevent it from occurring in the first place. The department is closely allied to the Forensic Psychiatry Teaching Unit, which offers MSc courses in Clinical Forensic Psychology & Psychiatry[4] and Forensic Mental Health Science.[5]


MSc Neuroscience.

Centre for Neuroimaging Sciences

The Centre for Neuroimaging Sciences (CNS) is a joint venture of the King's College London Institute of Psychiatry and the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust (SLAM). Completed in early 2004, the centre provides, under one roof, an interdisciplinary research environment that combines the development of contemporary, high resolution structural, functional and metabolic mapping techniques, with expertise in the definition, diagnosis and treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders. The Clinical Neuroimaging Department, situated at the Maudsley Hospital, provides a full range of neuroradiographic imaging services, including Plain Radiography, Computerised Tomography (CT), and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). For research studies, the CNS houses a dedicated GE 3.0T HDx MRI scanner (which is also made available for clinical and advanced clinical scanning, where appropriate). Additionally, there is a General Electric SIGNA 1.5T neuro-optimised MRI system housed in an adjacent building. Both machines (along with the clinical 1.5T scanner, also General Electric HDx system) are capable of performing functional, spectroscopic, anatomical and pathological mapping techniques.


The IOP Psychology department was founded in 1950 and is currently one of the largest communities of clinical and health psychologists in the world. The department conducts world-class research in neuropsychology, forensic psychology, and cognitive behavioural therapy. Hans Eysenck set up the UK's first qualification in clinical psychology in the department, which has now evolved into a three-year doctoral 'DClinPsych' qualification, with many of the course lectures delivered by leading experts in the field. The course has 20 students in each year, the majority of whom go on to become clinical psychologists in the NHS. Clinically, members of the department offer expert services to the Maudsley Hospital, Bethlem Royal Hospital, King's College Hospital, Guy's Hospital and community mental health teams in the South London area. Members of the department also teach psychology to undergraduate medical students from the United Medical and Dental Schools of Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals. Psychiatric geneticist Peter McGuffin was awarded a fellowship at the Institute.

Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry (SGDP)

The SGDP centre is a multi-disciplinary research centre devoted to the study of the interplay between “nature” (genetics) and “nurture” (environment) as they interact in the development of complex human behaviour. Research at the SGDP acknowledges that there is no simple solution to the "nature versus nurture" debate; instead, expertise is combined across fields such as social epidemiology, child and adult psychiatry, developmental psychopathology, development in the family, personality traits, cognitive abilities, statistical genetics, and molecular genetics. In this way it is hoped that a greater understanding can be achieved in risk factors that might predispose an individual to depression, ADHD, or autism.

Section of Neurobiology of Psychosis

Our mission is to advance the understanding of the underlying neural mechanisms in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Our work on the major psychoses has focused on integrating cognitive measures and neuroimaging techniques, with perinatal, genetic and developmental data. The central aim is to characterize the core pathophysiological dimensions of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in the belief that our knowledge of these disorders can eventually become synthesised into a more coherent understanding of mental functioning. Pioneering and evaluating treatment interventions to improve the lives of affected patients and their families. Research into the aetiology and pathophysiology of psychosis is vital for providing a theoretical framework for developing long-term treatment strategies. However, it is also important to contribute to research that has the potential of improving patients’ care and quality of life in the more immediate future. The section has therefore initiated or participated a number of such treatment studies of new atypical antipsychotics and potential mood stabilising medication and is also developing computerised and web-based applications for disease self-management. The section head is Dr. Sophia Sophia Frangou supported by 15 postdoctoral and doctoral researchers.


Approximately 70% of the IOP's income comes from the research it conducts. Approximately 20% is from clinical work performed for the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. Approximately 10% of gross income is from taught courses offered to postgraduate students.[6]

Sources include the government's National Institute for Health Research and Higher Education Funding Council for England, grant-giving bodies such as the Medical Research Council (UK) and the Wellcome Trust, as well as other governmental, charitable and private-sector organisations. Individual research teams secure around £130 million of funds for their projects each year. Many projects are carried out in partnership with other university and health services, charities and private companies.[7]

The IOP and the pharmaceutical company Lundbeck are leading one of the largest ever academic-industry collaborations in research, known as NEWMEDS - Novel Methods leading to New Medications in Depression and Schizophrenia. The project is part of the Innovative Medicines Initiative developed by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations and the European Commission. NEWMEDS aims to facilitate the development of new psychiatric medications by bringing top scientists and academics together in partnership with nearly every major global drug company.[8]

Notable staff and students

Amongst notable staff of the Institute are the following:

See also

External links

  • Official website
  • The Institute recently published a comprehensive report of its research activities, which can be accessed here.[7]


Coordinates: 51°28′13″N 0°05′23″W / 51.4703°N 0.0898°W / 51.4703; -0.0898

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