About the Psychopharmacology Committee

Contact the committee

If you are interested in the work of the committee, please contact hayley.shaw@rcpsych.ac.uk.


The committee are currently recruiting for 1 x Patient Representative and 1 x Carer Representative to join the committee. Further information.

Committee members

Professor Oliver Howes BM BCh MA MRCPsych PhD DM

Oliver Howes is Professor of Molecular Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and London Institute of Medical Sciences, Imperial College, London. His clinical work is as Consultant Psychiatrist at The Maudsley Hospital where, amongst other things, he runs a service for people with refractory psychoses.

His research interests centre on the causes and treatment of psychosis. His recent work has focussed on understanding the role of dopamine and neuroinflammation in the development of psychosis, the effects of antipsychotic drugs on the nervous and endocrine systems, & the causes of cognitive impairment in schizophrenia.

This work has been recognised through a number of awards including the Schizophrenia International Research Society Rising Star Award 2013, European Psychiatric Association Biological Psychiatry Prize (2012), the Royal Society of Medicine Psychiatry Prize (2010), Royal College of Psychiatrists research prize (2005), and the British Association of Psychopharmacology Clinical Psychopharmacology Prize (2007). He was made an honorary associate of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology in 2006.

Other career highlights include working as a junior potato scrubber on a farm. He spends his spare time selflessly trying to find the world’s best ice cream.

Declaration of interests

He has received investigator-initiated research funding from and/or participated in advisory/ speaker meetings organised by Angellini, Autifony, Biogen, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Eli Lilly, Heptares, Global Medical Education, Invicro, Jansenn, Lundbeck, Neurocrine, Otsuka, Pangea/Ontrack, Sunovion, Recordati, Roche, Rovi and Viatris/ Mylan. He was previously a part-time employee of Lundbeck A/v. Dr Howes has a patent for the use of dopaminergic imaging.

Professor Belinda Lennox FRCPsych DM

Belinda Lennox is Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford and Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist in the Early Intervention in Psychosis service for Oxford Health NHS FT.

She trained in General Adult Psychiatry in Nottingham, Oxford and Cambridge. Her interests are in discovering the causes of and developing more effective treatments for those with psychosis and in implementing those discoveries into clinical practice. She has undertaken neuroimaging studies to explore the brain basis of auditory hallucinations, and of different mood states in bipolar disorder.

Her current research is in the autoimmune basis of psychosis and she runs a clinic, jointly with neurologists, to assess and treat people with autoimmune psychosis, as well as running a clinical trial to test out this new approach. (www.sinapps.org.uk).

She is leading the evaluation of point of care devices for improving physical healthcare in those with mental illness, and undertakes health services research, aiming to develop the best model of care for people with psychosis.

Declaration of interests

No share holdings in pharmaceutical or medical device companies.

Has received funding from Johnson and Johnson and Arialys for scientific advice and/or participating in educational events. 

Main grant funding (past and present): MRC (UK), NIHR, Stanley Medical Research Institute, Wellcome Trust, Johnson and Johnson.

Professor Thomas R E Barnes MD FRCPsych DSc

Thomas R. E. Barnes is Emeritus Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Imperial College London, and joint head of the Prescribing Observatory for Mental Health at the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

His research in schizophrenia and its treatment has generated over 350 publications, including the Barnes Akathisia Rating Scale. He is a Past President of the British Association for Psychopharmacology and received the BAP Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019.

Past roles include membership of the Committee on Safety of Medicines and guideline groups for NICE and the BAP. He is a co-editor of the Maudsley Prescribing Guidelines.

Professor Sam Chamberlain MA MB/BChir Phd MRCPsych

Sam Chamberlain is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Southampton, and Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust. He leads two specialist NHS services: a clinic for impulsive-compulsive disorders in Southampton; and the regional Southern Gambling Service.

Conditions of interest include gambling disorder, hair pulling disorder, skin picking disorder, kleptomania (compulsive stealing), and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); as well as other emerging areas such as problematic usage of the Internet. Professor Chamberlain’s research focuses on three main areas: (1) developing and validating clinical tools; (2) measuring cognitive problems and brain circuits that contribute (including vulnerability markers); and (3) improving existing treatments and developing new ones. 

Declaration of Interest form (PDF)

Professor R Hamish McAllister-Williams BSc MB ChB PhD MD FRCPsych

Professor of Affective Disorders, Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University and Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist, Regional Affective Disorders Service, Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust.

Professor McAllister-Williams has been employed by Newcastle University since 1995, initially as a Clinical lecturer, then as an MRC Clinician Scientist Fellow and subsequently a Reader in Clinical Psychopharmacology. In 2017 he was promoted to a Personal Chair. Clinically, he is the lead consultant in the tertiary level Regional Affective Disorders Service based in Newcastle. This is the oldest and one of the largest such service in the UK providing outpatient and inpatient services for patients with treatment refractory mood disorders. Referrals to the service are received from across the UK and internationally.

Professor McAllister-Williams research focuses on the pathophysiology and treatment of both bipolar and unipolar affective disorders. He is a past General Secretary of the British Association for Psychopharmacology (BAP) and was appointed in 2012 as the BAP Director of Education. He is a major contributor to their CPD programme.

Declaration of interests

Professor McAllister-Williams has received speaker and consultancy fees, support for attending meetings and independent investigator led research awards from a number of pharmaceutical companies over several years including AstraZeneca, Bristol Myers-Squibb, Cyberonics, Eli Lilly, Ferrer, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen-Cilag, LivaNova, Lundbeck, Merck Sharp & Dohme, My Tomorrows, Otsuka, Pfizer, Roche, Servier, SPIMACO, Sunovion and Wyeth. The vast majority of such monies have been paid to his employer, Newcastle University. Neither he nor any of his immediate family hold any shares in, or have on-going financial relationships with, any pharmaceutical company.

Nicola is the deputy Chief Pharmacist at Essex Partnership University NHS Trust having previously been in a number of lead clinical roles in Mental Health Trusts. She is the registrar of the College of Mental Health Pharmacy (CMHP) and has been co-opted onto the committee to strengthen the link between the two organisations and support joint initiatives.

Nicola has been involved in a number of projects spanning different areas such as introducing a physical formulary across a mental health trust, supporting the development of the specialist pathway for mental health pharmacists, using prescribing indicators to improve psychotropic prescribing and improving clinicians and patients access to resources for medication.

Recently she has become interested in the impact of ethnicity on mental health treatments and outcomes and is currently involved in looking at updating research on mental health treatments across different ethnicities and is part of a working group to look at reducing restrictive interventions and improving early access to services to improve management of patients from all backgrounds. She has joined the working group on pharmacogenetics in mental health which is investigating how psychiatry may be able to use personalised medicines to improve outcomes.

Carmine Pariante is Professor of Biological Psychiatry at King’s College London and the editor of the mental health digital magazine Inspire the Mind.

Rupert McShane is Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford. He leads the Oxfordshire Interventional Psychiatry Service which has been operating a ketamine service for treatment-resistant depression since 2014. He also runs a memory clinic.

He was previously chair of the RCPsych ECT and Related Treatments Committee and led the Cochrane dementia group. His main interest is in implementation:  how can we make sure that therapies of proven value can be safely adopted into the NHS?

Dr Konstantinos Ioannidis MD, MSc, MRCPsych, AFHEA, PhD

Dr Ioannidis is a Consultant Psychiatrist and clinical lead of the Southern Gambling Service, a regional tertiary centre for the treatment of Gambling Disorder. He is also an Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer of the Department of Psychiatry, University of Southampton, UK.  

Dr Ioannidis has a clinical interest in behavioral addictions, eating disorders and OCD and an academic interest in impulsivity, compulsivity, statistical learning (methods) and resilience in mental health.

He has led on meta-analyses for the relationship between cognition and dimensions of behaviour (including impulsivity) with behavioural addictions, as well as the impact of problematic interactions with the online environment leading to body dissatisfaction and disordered eating.

He is currently developing national guidelines for the pharmacological management of gambling disorder, informed by network meta-analyses.

Declaration of interests

Dr Konstantinos Ioannidis receives a stipend from Elsevier for editorial work.

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