1968‑74 King Edward VII School, Sheffield
1974‑75 AFS Scholar, Lamar Senior High School, Houston, Texas
1975‑78 Trinity Hall, Cambridge
Part 1a & b Medical Sciences
Part II History of Art
Thesis; "Marc Chagall and the Magic Flute"
1978‑81 University College, Oxford
Oxford University Clinical School
1984 MRCP (UK)
1989 M Sc. (Epidemiology), Univ of London.
1993 MD (University of London) Crime and Mental Illness: a Population Based Study of the Criminal. Careers of Incident Cases of Schizophrenia.
1999 F Acad Med Sci
Professor of Psychological Medicine: Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London (Senior Lecturer 1991-1994; Reader 1994-1996; Professor Epidemiological and Liaison Psychiatry 1996-2009).
Head: Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London
Vice Dean for Academic Psychiatry Institute of Psychiatry and South London and Maudsley Foundation Trust (2010-
Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist: South London and Maudsley and King’s College NHS Trusts.
Director: Gulf War Illness Research Unit, GKT School of Medicine/IOP, 1996- current: Now King’s Centre for Military Health Research (KCMHR)
Consultant Advisor in Psychiatry: British Army 2001- current
1981‑1982 House Surgeon, Northampton and House Physician, Oxford.
1982‑1984 SHO in General Medicine, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle‑upon‑Tyne.
1984‑1987 SHO/Registrar in Psychiatry, Bethlem Royal & Maudsley Hospitals.
1987‑1988 Senior Registrar Rotation, Bethlem Royal & Maudsley Hospitals, National Hospital for Neurology.
1988-1991 Wellcome Research Training Fellowship in Epidemiology. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine & Dept. of Forensic Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry.
1990-1991 Honorary Lecturer in Forensic Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry.
1991–2006 Director, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Research Unit, GKT School of Medicine/IOP and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Service, South London & Maudsley Trust.
2001–2008 Director, Clinical Trials Unit, South London and Maudsley Trust and Institute of Psychiatry.
MAIN AREAS OF ACTIVITY/ACHIEVEMENTS
EXPERIENCE IN RESEARCH:
I have published over 600 papers (H index 60) and obtained over £18,000,000 in grants.
My principal areas of interest have been:
The nature and treatment of unexplained symptoms/syndromes
My achievements include:
I founded the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) Research Unit at King’s College Hospital in 1994 which became the South London and Maudsley (SLAM) CFS Clinical Service in 1999
In 2003 I started the first UK Clinical Trials Unit specializing in mental health at SLAM/Institute of Psychiatry (IOP).
In 1996 I set up the Gulf War Illness Research Unit, which was launched in 2003 as the King’s Centre for Military Health Research (KCMHR).
I established the Academic Centre for Defence Mental Health.
I was elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences in 1999 and was elected to Council in 2009.
I was appointed a Foundation Senior Investigator, National Institute of Health Research in 2008.
I have served on numerous grant-giving bodies, including MRC, Wellcome, Mental Health Foundation, GSTT Special Trustees and others. I also served for 5 years on the King’s College Hospital Ethics Committee.
In 2009 I was shortlisted for the Royal College of Psychiatrist’s award of Academic Psychiatrist of the Year, and was King’s Media Personality of the year 2010
In Dec 2009 I was appointed Vice Dean for Academic Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry and the South London and Maudsley Trust.
A particular feature of my research has been its interdisciplinary character. I am above all a clinical academic whose work reflects my formal training in clinical epidemiology, but I have always fostered collaborations with other disciplines. Thus my body of work on unexplained symptoms and syndromes has involved collaborations with nearly all the medical specialties. Working on the nature of chronic fatigue syndrome and Gulf War Illness has led to joint grants and papers with colleagues in neurosciences, endocrinology, genetics and immunology.
I have also worked closely with the humanities, in particular, I have been awarded grants with colleagues in anthropology, history and sociology. I have had Ph D studentships and training Fellowships in which my co supervisors have been historians or medical sociologists. KCMHR has since its inception been a collaboration between the IOP and the Department of War Studies.
Over my career my research has had numerous translational impacts, for example:
My early work has significantly influenced the understanding of CFS – showing for example that “Yuppie flu” was a misnomer, obtaining the first UK estimates of prevalence, demonstrating the existence of hypothalamic-pituitary dysfunction and mild immune activation, showing the importance of prior depressive disorder in increasing the risk of subsequent CFS and others.
My early work has also significantly improved the management of chronic fatigue syndrome, reflected in the 2007 NICE Guidelines.
My work in military health led to a reassessment of how we view “Gulf War Syndrome”. It has also led to changes in policy regarding the treatment of UK Reservists on return from deployment, rules on the number and length of operational deployments, the replacement of the ineffective single session psychological debriefing with a new system of peer support, changes in policies on Forces Health Protection including vaccinations, new policies on substance misuse, and the development of new pilot sites for treating ex service personnel within the NHS. We also demonstrated the ineffectiveness of pre deployment mental health screening for the prevention of PTSD, which has enabled resources to be directed instead to improving community mental health services for the Armed Forces, and are currently engaged in a randomised controlled trial of post deployment screening.
My work on how normal people and populations react to adversity, based on studies of psychological debriefing, historical analyses of populations under adversity, and rapidly conducted population research after the 2005 London bombs, the Litvinenko Affair, how populations react to the threat of chemical/biological warfare and now swine flu has had a significant impact on policy and influenced government risk communication. Overall this programme of research suggests that in the aftermath of severe trauma/terrorism/disaster it is better to target resources on the small numbers of those with direct exposure and for whom successful treatments exist, and not provide ineffective mental health interventions to large numbers of people without direct exposure, as happens in other countries.
EXPERIENCE IN EDUCATION AND TEACHING
I have a particular interest in education and training and have experience delivering training across a wide range of clinical and non-clinical environments and to medical, nursing, occupational health, psychology, general practice and others.
Engagement with schools
I am an active member of “Debating Matters”, a Wellcome funded initiative to improve scientific literacy in UK schools. I take part in the London rounds, and judged the national finals. I have been invited to judge the finals of the equivalent programme in India in 2010. I also lecture to local schools and take part in the Access to Medicine programme.
Engagement with undergraduate students
Between 2002 and 2008 I was one of the team of GMC Visitors for new medical school, University of East Anglia.. I have extensive experience in undergraduate education (see below).
Engagement with clinical teaching
I was active in developing teaching and training materials relevant to the management of unexplained symptoms/CFS for many years.
Engagement with specialty training and education:
I regularly teach on critical appraisal/evidence based medicine. I was a founder member of the Cochrane Collaboration Depression Anxiety and Neurosis Group,. In 2004, I co developed a new Course Module in Clinical Trials for the MSc at IOP. I teach on the "Epidemiology in Context" at London School of Hygiene, and gave a keynote address at the 25th Anniversary of the MSc Course in Epidemiology.
In 2004 I established the Academic Centre for Defence Mental Health, to develop a research capability for mental health within the Defence Medical Services. The Centre offers training in research across the new Community Mental Health Teams, and host personnel on secondments to obtain higher degrees at IOP/KCL.
Engagement with Masters Programmes:
In 2005 I was instrumental in launching a new MSc in War and Psychiatry, a joint MSc of the Institute of Psychiatry and Department of War Studies, KCL (Leader Prof Edgar Jones). I am course Chairman and teach regularly on the course.
Engagement with Postgraduate programmes and students:
I have a strong interest in academic career development. I currently run a support group for four of our current ACFs, meeting monthly. I take part in the KCL Women’s Academic Initiative and the Academic Mentoring Scheme of the Academy of Medical Sciences.
I was on the organizing committee of, and took an active part in our first Summer School for academic psychiatric trainees, funded by NIHR (2009) and set up the over subscribed first “Academic Evening” for SLAM trainees (2009), both of which are now well established professors.
MD/Ph D SUPERVISION
I have successfully supervised 17 doctoral students to date, and am currently supervising three doctoral students, all in military health.
EXPERIENCE IN DELIVERING CLINICAL SERVICES:
I am a consultation-liaison psychiatrist with an Honorary Contract to King’s College Hospital.
My principal clinical role in SLAM is with the CFS service, where I am Consultant Psychiatrist. The service that I established in 1999 was the first NHS only service for CFS patients in the UK and has led to a National model. Together with many colleagues I was instrumental in developing and then showing in a series of RCTs a new treatment for CFS, now acknowledged as the first line of treatment for CFS in the 2007 Nice Guidelines. We have shown that the results of our routine clinical management now approach those obtained in our RCTs. Professor Chalder now leads the unit I established, which sees approximately250 new referrals per year. I remain clinically active as a consultant in the unit, and continue to see and assess new patients.
As Consultant Advisor to the Army I have been involved in assessing and auditing military mental health services, visiting mental health teams in the UK, Germany, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.
EXPERIENCE IN INTERNATIONAL WORK:
I organized the first ever-joint NATO/Russia Advanced Research Workshop in March 2002, which was set in the aftermath of 9/11, and considered the social and psychological consequences of terrorism. Following that I chaired for five years the NATO Advisory Committee on Social and Psychological Consequences of Terrorism, making several visits to Russia to promote related activities.
I have served on the European Science Foundation (ESF), served as an external reviewer of the NIH Portfolio of research into CFS (1999), was a visiting Chair in Auckland, New Zealand (2002), have served on several Veteran’s Administration Committees, undertake the external review of the Australian Centre for Veteran’s Health (2005/6), served on the organizing committee of the most recent European Festival of Science (ESOF) and am a co investigator and/or external advisor on three current large US grants into military health.
EXPERIENCE IN ADMINISTRATION:
I am Head of the Department of Psychological Medicine at the IOP, KCL, with all that entails. In addition I serve on the Academic Promotions Committees for IOP and KCL, the Research Strategy and Monitoring Group, I chair the Health and Safety Committee, and was for six years chair of the Institute Board, and also a member of KCL Council. Since 2008 I have been a member of the Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards (ACCEA) Panel for South London, reviewing 315 applications this year.
EXPERIENCE IN WORKING WITH UK GOVERNMENT:
I am or have been a member of the following committees:
2006- 2008 Scientific Advisory Panel on Emergency Response (Chair, Sir David King)
2008 – current Defence Scientific Advisory Committee (DSAC) (Chair Sir Peter Knight),
2008 – current Advisory Committee on Military Medicine
2006 – 2009 Health and Society Advisory Group,
Health Protection Agency (Chair Sir Ken Calman) and Emergency Response Group
2008- Mental Health and Employment High Level Steering Group (Chair Dame Carol Black).
EXPERIENCE IN PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT AND UNDERSTANDING OF SCIENCE:
Throughout my career I have been active in public engagement activities to improve public understanding, and hence support for, medicine, psychiatry and research. I wrote over 50 columns for the Times on science/medicine, and continue to appear frequently in various media outlets. I am a Trustee of Sense About Science. I was King’s Media Personality of the Year for 2010.
I am a Trustee of Combat Stress, the principal charity that assists ex service men and women with mental health problems. I also give advice and presentations for many service charities, such as the Royal British Legion, SSAFA, St Dunstan’s and many others. I have cycled six times to Paris to raise funds for the Royal British Legion.