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Professor Ruihua Hou

Professor Ruihua Hou

Associate Dean International

Research interests

  • 1) Psychoneuroimmunology studying how psychological processes, the central nervous system, and the immune system interact and impact mental health;          
  • 2) human psychopharmacology focusing on the role of the locus coeruleus in neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders, and novel interventions targeting the locus coeruleus-noradrenergic pathway;
  • 3) neuroinflammatory mechanisms underlying anxiety and affective disorders as well as comorbid anxiety, depression, and fatigue in inflammatory and autoimmune conditions.

More research

Accepting applications from PhD students.


Address: College Keep, Terminus Terrace, Southampton, SO14 3DT


Ruihua Hou is Associate Dean International in the Faculty of Medicine and Professor of Biological Psychiatry. Professor Hou qualified in medicine and trained as a psychiatrist. She completed a clinical fellowship followed by her PhD in psychopharmacology, both in the Department of Psychiatry at University of Nottingham. She joined University of Southampton in 2007.

Professor Hou has developed an international reputation for her research into neuroinflammation in anxiety and mood disorders funded by MRC. She also pioneered the integration of imaging technologies for research into the locus coeruleus funded by ARUK. Her research in these fields has led to ongoing international research collaborations.

Professor Hou is a strong advocate of internationalisation with a substantial track record of developing international collaborations. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and leads the BM(IT) programme.

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