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Prof Sonia Johnson
Wing B, 6th Floor
Maple House
149 Tottenham Court Road
London
W1T 7NF
Appointment
  • Professor of Social and Community Psychiatry
  • Division of Psychiatry
  • Faculty of Brain Sciences
Biography

I trained in medicine at the Universities of Cambridge (pre-clinical) and Oxford (clinical). I also obtained a BA in Social and Political Sciences at Cambridge and an MSc in Social Psychology at LSE - my social sciences background has stood me in very good stead in developing my research career. 

I trained in psychiatry at the Bethlem Royal and Maudsley Hospitals and obtained my early research posts, including a post as Clinical Lecturer in Community Psychiatry, at the Institute of Psychiatry. In 1997 I moved to UCL as a senior lecturer, subsequently becoming a Reader (2007) and then Professor of Social and Community Psychiatry (2008).  My initial clinical consultant post was in the Drayton Community Mental Health Team. Since 2003 I have worked in the Camden and Islington Early Intervention Service, which I co-founded and have helped develop.

Research Themes
Research Summary

My main interests are in the clinical and social needs and the treatment outcomes of people with significant mental health problems such as psychosis and bipolar disorder. The areas in which I've worked most have been acute care and early psychosis. I have had a major role in several studies of crisis services, including evaluations of crisis resolution teams and of alternatives to standard inpatient care. My clinical work is as consultant psychiatrist in the Camden and Islington Early Intervention Service for psychosis.

I am currently leading the CORE study, an NIHR programme grant  aimed at optimising the care delivered by crisis resolution teams (www.core-study.ucl.ac.uk), and the CIRCLE trial funded by the NIHR HTA programme to investigate the effectiveness of a contingency management intervention for cannabis use in early psychosis (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/circle). I am also one of the investigators in the mental health theme for the North Thames CLAHRC, in which my colleagues and I are developing and testing a self-management smartphone app for early psychosis. I am a co-applicant on three NIHR programme grants: ESMI, investigating perinatal care; AQUEDUCT, investigating crisis teams for older people; and ECLIPSE, investigating cognitive remediation in early psychosis. 

On twitter: @soniajohnson, @CoreStudyUCL, @CircleStudyUCL, @AriesStudyUCL.

Teaching Summary

I really enjoy teaching and course development, and am particularly interested in training future academics in mental health. My main  educational role is as course director for two new MScs in the Division of Psychiatry, the MSc in Mental Health Sciences Research, aimed at aspiring clinical academics and researchers in the field of mental health, and the MSc in Clinical Mental Health Sciences, providing a broad range of options for in-depth post-graduate study of mental health practice and its underlying evidence base. We welcomed our first students in October 2014. 

Previously I was director for 10 years of the MSc in Psychiatric Research, a two year part-time masters that has aimed to provide a high quality training in research methods relevant to mental health research for trainee psychiatrists. This has now been replaced this by the broader MSc in Mental Health Sciences Research. 

Academic Background
1988 MB.ChB Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery – Medicine/Surgery University of Oxford
1985 BA Hons Bachelor of Arts (Honours) University of Cambridge
  MRCPsych Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists – Psychiatry To be updated
1990 MSc Master of Science – Social Psychology London School of Economics and Political Science
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