I qualified in medicine in Edinburgh in 1987. Following initial jobs in medicine and surgery, I was awarded a Wellcome Trust funded Clinical Training Fellowship in the Department of Pharmacology in Edinburgh where I gained a PhD for work studying the neurotransmitter serotonin (5-HT). I subsequently undertook initial clinical training in Psychiatry at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, moving to Newcastle University in 1995 as a Clinical Lecturer. In 1999 I was awarded a UK Medical Research Council Clinician Scientist Fellowship at Senior Lecturer/Consultant level to investigate to role of serotonin and the stress hormone cortisol in depression and gained a research MD degree from Newcastle University for this work. I was appointed Reader in Clinical Psychopharmacology in 2004 and then Professor of Affective Disorders in 2017 at Newcastle University. Since 1999 I have been a Consultant Psychiatrist in the Regional Affective Disorders Service (RADS) hosted within the Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Trust.
My work is split approximately 50/50 between doing clinical work and research.
My research focuses on both depression and bipolar disorder. I lead a number of large clinical trials of novel treatments. I am the academic lead for the Northern Centre for Mood Disorders (NCMD – http://mood-disorders.co.uk/).
Clinically I work as an outpatient consultant in RADS where I see patients who are referred by other psychiatrists. The service provides guidance for patients with difficult to treat mood disorders. In RADS, we make a detailed review of patient’s diagnosis and treatment and then identify a number of treatment options that may be considered. The patient’s care generally remains under the responsibility of their local psychiatrist. Occasionally we may recommend a planned admission to our inpatient unit for specific treatments. Because of the close links between the clinical service and active researchers, we are able to recommend treatment options that are not yet in routine use as well as facilitating involvement in ongoing research studies.
In addition to research and clinical work, I have a large teaching role. I was appointed Director of Education for the British Association for Psychopharmacology (BAP) in 2012. The BAP is the primary organisations providing independent education about medications used in mental health to psychiatrists. As the lead for NCMD I am also involved in organizing educational events for the general public (see http://mood-disorders.co.uk/education/). I lead and contribute to BAP treatment guidelines, and provide feedback to NICE. I have published over 150 scientific papers, reviews, book chapters and conference abstracts. My recent publications are listed on my University profile page (https://www.ncl.ac.uk/civi/staff/profile/hamishmcallister-williams.html#publications).