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Dr Ruihua Hou MD, MSc, PhD, SFHEA

Associate Professor in Psychiatry

Dr Ruihua Hou's photo

Dr Ruihua Hou is an Associate Professor in Psychiatry within Medicine at the University of Southampton.

Dr Hou’s research aims to uncover interactions between the central nervous system and the immune system, and how they contribute to neuropsychiatric function, with the goal of identifying potential therapeutic targets to alter neuroimmune mechanisms and improve clinical outcomes

Her main research interests are 1) psychoneuroimmunology in affective disorders – exploring interactions between the central nervous system and the immune system, and how these affect cognitive function and behaviour, with the goal of identifying potential therapeutic targets; 2) human psychopharmacology, with a special interest in neural mechanisms - the role of the locus coeruleus in neuropsychiatric disorders using MRI imaging technique and pupillometry, with the goal of identifying new pharmacological intervention targets.

Dr Hou qualified in medicine, and trained as a psychiatrist, reaching the level of Specialist Registrar and completing an MSc in mental health and psychiatry in 2001. She was then awarded a clinical fellowship and completed her clinical attachment at the Department of Psychiatry at Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham in 2003. After completing her PhD in psychopharmacology in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Nottingham in 2007, Dr Hou joined the Department of Psychiatry in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton.

Dr Hou has secured grants from ARUK and MRC and led a number of clinical studies in psychiatry as principle investigator and has published many research papers in peer-reviewed journals. Her work has been recognised at major neuropsychopharmacology congresses. She is an active member of the British Association for Psychopharmacology and the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology. She also holds an honorary contract with Southern Health NHS foundation Trust and has clinical attachments in both hospital and community mental health teams.

Dr Hou holds visiting professorships at university hospitals in Suzhou and Shandong in China. She has successfully initiated and implemented academic staff exchange and secured funding for research collaborations in the field of psychiatry between university hospitals in China and Southampton.

Dr Hou is the lead for the Bachelor of Medicine International Transfer programme introductory module and the lead for the Bachelor of Medical Science programme in psychiatry. She initiated the BMedSc research award in Psychiatry. She delivers lectures, seminars, and tutorials to medical students as well as supervising PhD, MSc, MMedSc, and BMedSc students. She was awarded the Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2015.

Qualifications:

Research interest

 

Dr Hou’s main research interests are:

  1. Psychoneuroimmunology in affective disorders – exploring interactions between the central nervous system and the immune system, and how these affect cognitive function and behaviour, with the goal of identifying potential therapeutic targets to alter neuroimmune mechanisms and improve clinical outcomes.
  2. Human psychopharmacology, with a special interest in the role of the locus coeruleus in neuropsychiatric disorders using MRI imaging technique, pupillometry, and pharmacological methodology, with the goal of identifying new pharmacological intervention targets.

 

Research aims

Dr Hou’s current research aims to 1) identify modifiable inflammatory processes or molecules; assess the effects of conventional medications on these processes; and develop behavioural and/or psychopharmacological intervention targets with the potential to alter neuroimmune mechanisms and improve clinical outcomes; 2) explore the role of the locus coruleus in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease using MRI imaging technique, with the goal of identifying new pharmacological intervention targets; 3) use of pupillometry to facilitate quantifiable measurements of cognitive load and brain activity, in particular to explore the potential role of noradrenaline in cognitive processing under experimentally induced anxiety.

  • BM(IT) module lead;
  • BM4/BM5: lecturer;
  • BMedSc: Supervisor and coordinator in psychiatry;
  • MSc and Doctoral programme: Co-supervising MSc and Doctoral programme students in psychology;
  • BM4/BM5: Teaching facilitator on BM4 and BM5 clinical tutorials;
  • Marker for BMedSc module and BM5 year 2 assignments
  • BM5 Personal tutor
  • DM/PhD examiner
  • Member of the BM5 Year 3 steering group
  • Member of the BM5 project group and representative of the academic unit
  • Member of the BM Psychiatry Strategy Group
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  • BM(IT) Introduction to Clinical Medicine module lead;
  • BM4/BM5: lecturer;
  • BMedSc: Supervisor and Lead in psychiatry;
  • MSc and Doctoral programme: Supervisor and examiner for MSc and Doctoral programme students in psychology;
  • BM4/BM5: Teaching facilitator on BM4 and BM5 clinical tutorials;
  • Marker for BMedSc module and BM5 year 2 assignments
  • BM5 Personal academic tutor
  • DM/PhD examiner
  • Member of the BM5 Year 3 steering group
  • Member of the BM5 project group and representative of the academic unit
  • Member of the BM Psychiatry Strategy Group

 

 

 

Dr Ruihua Hou
University Department of Psychiatry Academic Centre, College Keep, 4-12 Terminus Terrace, Southampton SO14 3DT

Email: r.hou@soton.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)23 8071 8537
Fax: +44 (0)23 8071 8532

Room number: College Keep 2-29

Room Number: 123 Coll. Keep//N2

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