1993 …2022

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research Focus


I am an expert in the genetics of complex psychiatric disorders, and a key contributor to large multi-national collaborative networks, generatingpublications in high-impact journals such as Nature, Nature Genetics and the American Journal of Human Genetics. 


This work has had a significant impact in moving this field forward. My leadership in these collaborations is evidenced by research output on the Web of Science (149 publications with 40,739 citations with an h index of 46) with four papers assessed as 3* or 4* by the internal review for return iin REF 2021.

I interested in developing measures of Recovery in this group of Patients, we have been funded by the DHSSPSNI to do a Rapid Review of these measures. I have experience in Creativity and was part of a HTA funded trial of Art Therapy. 


I teach and help organise the undergraduate medical course in Psychiatry. I have recently Produced a reportreviewing the  delivery of teaching at an undergraduate level in conjunction with a representative group of Psychatrists from Northern Ireland. We have produced a report with a number of suggestions  as a result of focus group work with undergraduates and Psychatrists. I also teach on the psychopharmacology course in third year.  I have organised aStudent Selected Component on Creativity and Mental illness



1984  MB BCh  Queen's University Belfast 

1992    M.D.Queen's University Belfast 

2001   European Certificate on Anxiety Disorders. Maastricht, Holland.

College membership:

1989     MRCPsych Royal College of Psychiatrists 

2005     FRCPsychRoyal College of Psychiatrists  

Career/Academic Appointments:

1993-94      Research Fellow, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA

1994-2001   Consultant Psychiatrist, Mater Hospital Trust Belfast

2001-           Senior Lecturer(Mental Health), Queens University Belfast

2006           Visiting Scientist at the Graybiel Lab, in the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at the          Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA.(Secondment) 

Administrative Positions:

2001-2008    Director of Research, Mater Hospital Trust

2007-2010    Member of Validation Committee (QUB)

2008-2015    Research Committee, Belfast HSC Trust

2011-           Academic Advisor, Northern Ireland Medical & Dental Training Agency 

2012-2017    Board member of Action Mental Health (Charity)

2013-2015   Chair of Medical staff, Mater Hospital, Belfast.

Other Professional Roles 

2008-2010   Member of HEFCE Clinical Senior Lecturer Appointments Scheme Panel 

2009-2020    Royal College of Psychiatry Academic Faculty 

2009-2020     Assessor for the General Medical Council for Fitness to Practice  GMC.

2011-2014      Royal College of Psychiatrists Leadership and Management Committee

2018-2019      Royal College of Psychiatry Representative on Medical Academic Staff Committee (BMA)

Academic Honours

 1989             Galloway Research Medal.(National Schizophrenia Fellowship)

1990              Young Scientist Award (Winter Workshop in Schizophrenia

1991              Merck Research Prize Winner (Royal College of Psychiatrists)1992Research Medal (Royal College of Medicine in Ireland)

1992           Richard Havelock CharlesScholarship and Gold Medal (QUB)



Invited Speaking Engagements, Presentations, Symposia & Workshops


2019     Art for the senses”MAC public space, Belfast.Art as a means of expression

20 18     Feile an Phobail Belfast, Northern Ireland. Creativity and Mental Health 

2017      China Medical University, Shenyang, China, Art therapy in Mental Health 

2017      Liaoning Provence Psychiatry Medical Seminar , Shenyang china, Mental Health Care In Northern Ireland

2017      Psychiatry in a Digital Age Irish College of Psychiatry  “How to get your abstract selected and reaching the required standard of an effective poster”.

2016      Institutions and Ireland: Trinity College Dublin,Medicine,Health and Welfare Boundaires, Diagnoses and Nation States 

2013       Royal College of Psychiatrists, Social and Rehabilitation section 

               The woven Figure: Can genetic factors influence recovery from schizophrenia? 

2013         Meeting of the Psychological Medicine Group at Glasgow University 

                 Can Genetic Epidemiology provide a narrative for mental health ? 

2006           The Possible Role of Cortico-Basilar-Thalamic Loops in the Symptoms of Schizophrenia  The          McGovern Institute, MIT, Cambridge, USA.

2005            Celtic Divisions of the RCPsych Meeting, Dublin.Schizophrenia on the Celtic Fringe 

2002           Obsessive Compulsive Symptoms in Schizophrenia St John of God Hospital, Dublin.

1996            Ckromosoman, estizofrenia, pairatzeko joeraekin zenikusia daukana ‘locus’ baten identifikazoid Esquizofrenia cereboy herencia. Camara de Comerico, Industriay Navegacion, Bilbao, Spain.


Organisation of Conferences 

2019           Irish College of Psychiatry International meeting 

2016-18       World Congress of Psychiatric Genetics (organising committee)


Journal :

Editor/Associate Editor
2013-present             Associate/Acting Deputy Editor,British Journal of Psychiatry

2010—present             Board member.Ulster Medical Journal

2006-present                Reviewer for Biological Psychiatry, Journal of Psychopharmacology. , Psychological Medicine, American Journal of Human Genetics.


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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