translational neuroscience & mental health

I am a neuroscientist researching how changes in the brain contribute to our mental and physical health.

I am currently an MRC Intramural Investigator Scientist and AXA Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge, MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, leading a team that forms part of the Cognition, Emotion, and Mental Health Programme led by Dr Tim Dalgleish. My training includes a postdoctoral position at the University of Cambridge Department of Psychiatry with Dr Valerie Voon, a PhD in Neuroscience at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, supervised by Prof Jonathan Roiser on the role of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in depression, and a BA (/MA) in Physiology, Psychology, and Philosophy at Magdalen College, University of Oxford, where I worked on reward processing in anorexia with Dr Ciara McCabe.

I use many different sorts of tools in cognitive neuroscience, biology, and psychiatry: for example, brain imaging (MRI/MRS), brain stimulation (tDCS/TMS), pharmacology, blood plasma analysis of immune markers, and behavioural/computational measures of cognition and perception.

My ultimate goal is to discover how cognitive neuroscience can be translated into new clinical treatments and prevention techniques, particularly for mental health conditions or symptoms falling at the intersection of physical and mental health. This roughly comprises three types of research:

1. Basic research that helps us understand what brain mechanisms go awry in neuropsychiatric disorders (especially those that are common across diagnoses, i.e. 'transdiagnostic') - e.g. this study in Scientific Reports or this one in Molecular Psychiatry

2. Practical research to figure out if certain neuroscientific techniques could be useful in a clinical context - e.g. these studies in SCAN and NeuroImage ; this study in Biological Psychiatry

3. Translational research to test neuroscience-based interventions in psychiatry, e.g. this clinical trial in Neuropsychopharmacology

Read some of my publications here

Read some media coverage about my research here

Twitter me here

I'm always happy to hear from people who are interested in my work, whether you're a fellow researcher, an expert by experience, or a member of the media looking for a scientist with expertise in brains and mental health. You can reach me on Twitter or via email (firstname.lastname@mrc-cbu.cam.ac.uk)