Fellowships for medical science contributions

Ella Rhodes reports.

The Academy of Medical Sciences has named three psychologists among its new Fellows. They are among 47 world-leading UK researchers who have been elected for their contribution to medical research and health care.

Professor Chris Brewin’s (UCL) work has explored intrusive imagery in mental disorders, the design of mental health responses for survivors of disasters and terrorist attacks and has carried out experimental studies designed to influence rates of intrusive memory after trauma. He said he was delighted and honoured to be elected to a Fellowship of the Academy.

He told The Psychologist: ‘In my clinical and research work I have always tried to pay close attention to what patients have to say about the content and form of their troubling thoughts and memories. I believe their accounts provide an invaluable and underused source of understanding and insight, and I am deeply grateful to them for sharing what are often difficult and painful experiences with me.’

Edmund Sonuga-Barke (University of Southampton) was recognised by the Academy for ground-breaking studies of child and adolescent mental health conditions, particularly ADHD and associated conditions. On being elected he said: ‘I am surprised and humbled to be elected to such a prestigious and celebrated fellowship. I dedicate it to all the great teachers, mentors and colleagues who have had a formative influence on my ideas, and to my family.

‘I am especially beholden to Mrs Olga Maher who did so much to help children with dyslexia in Derby, and to Tim Miles, formerly Professor at the University of Bangor (and now sadly deceased), for giving me my initial chance to undertake higher education all those years ago. My hope is that this recognition will better enable my colleagues and me to work to raise awareness of, and address, the needs of children with mental health problems and developmental disabilities.’

Professor of Clinical Psychology and Rehabilitation (King’s College London) Dame Til Wykes (see ‘One on One’, July issue), has worked extensively with service users in her research on treatments for mental health problems and their outcomes. She also founded the Service User Research Enterprise, which encourages consumers of mental health services to become more involved in research.

She told us she was delighted to be elected to the Academy and added: ‘The Academy provides some great opportunities to connect with others in academia as well as the NHS and wider industry. In my research I work with, rather than on, service users, to demonstrate how this can then have much more impact on mental health and the NHS. I hope that being in the Academy will help to increase the spread of this type of research.’

Professor Sir Robert Lechler, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences, said in a statement: ‘These new Fellows represent the amazing diversity of talent and expertise among the UK medical research community. Through their election to the Fellowship, we recognise the outstanding contributions these individuals have made to the progress of medical science and the development of better health care.’ 

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