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Psychology

Developmental psychologist recognised by the Academy of Medical Sciences

Published: 28 April 2016
Professor Sonuga-Barke
Professor Sonuga-Barke

Professor Edmund Sonuga-Barke from Psychology at Southampton, along with 46 other leading UK scientists, has been elected to the prestigious Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Over the last 27 years Professor Sonuga-Barke has worked at the University of Southampton where, together with colleagues, he has undertaken ground-breaking studies of child and adolescent mental health conditions – to better understand their causes and to then translate this knowledge into improved treatments. His work has especially focused on attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) – a relatively common and seriously debilitating neuro-developmental disorder. Integrating different basic science approaches, his work has shaped contemporary understandings of the roles of genes and environments in the pathogenesis of childhood disorders and how these effects are manifest in their neurobiological and psychological underpinnings during development. Building on insights from this work has led him to champion early intervention through innovative cognitive and behavioural therapies.

Edmund collaborates with colleagues all over the world and currently has visiting Chairs at Ghent University in Belgium, Aarhus University in Denmark and the University of Sussex. He is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

The new Academy of Medical Sciences Fellows have been elected for their outstanding contribution to medical research and healthcare, the generation of new knowledge in medical sciences and its translation into benefits to society. Fellows have expertise that spans paediatrics, genetics, neuroscience and oncology among many others and Professor Sonuga-Barke will join an illustrious group of Southampton colleagues previously awarded Fellowships by the Academy.

On hearing of the award Professor Sonuga-Barke 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. My hope is that it will better enable me to work to raise awareness of, and address, the needs of children with mental health problems and developmental disabilities. “

Professor Sir Robert Lechler PMedSci, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences said:

"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 healthcare.

Thanks to the experience and expertise of its Fellows, the Academy can play a crucial role in addressing the great medical challenges of our time, such as maintaining health in an ageing population, the spread of non-communicable diseases and multiple morbidities.

"We work with our Fellowship to create the essential connections between academia, industry and the NHS and beyond, to strengthen biomedical research and facilitate its translation into benefits for society.

We are delighted to welcome this year’s new Fellows to the Academy and I look forward to working with them all in the future."

The new Fellows will be formally admitted to the Academy at a ceremony on the 29th June 2016.

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