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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 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 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."
Biostatistics and Computing
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.
Child & 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 and an MSc in Child & Adolescent Mental Health. 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.
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 and Forensic Mental Health Science.
Neuroscience is the study of the nervous system, primarily associated with the brain. Researchers in this department carry out a range of studies into diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and motor neuron disease. The Institute of Psychiatry now houses the Medical Research Council Centre for Neurodegeneration Research, where pioneering research is conducted investigating disease of the CNS. This department offers an MSc course in Neuroscience, open to graduates from a range of backgrounds.
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 A 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 Hospitaland 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.
Former Staff and Students
Amongst former staff of the Institute are the following:
- E. J. Anthony
- E. W. Anderson
- E. A. Bennet
- Anthony Clare
- Jack Dewsbury
- Trevor Gibbens
- W. H. Gillespie
- Denis Hill
- Aubrey Lewis
- Bertram Mandelbrote
- Emanuel Miller
- Gordon Prince
- Henri Rey
- Martin Roth
- William Sargant
- Clifford Scott
- Peter Scott
- Michael Shepherd
- David Stafford-Clark
- Erwin Stengel
- William Trethowan
- Official website
- The Institute recently published a comprehensive report of its research activities, which can be accessed here.
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