I am a Paediatric Neurodisability clinical academic with wide ranging research interests in the Neurodisability field, including investigating the neurobiological basis of disabilities, carrying out intervention studies to ameliorate disability, and undertaking research into clinical service delivery.
MB ChB (1996)
MD (Broader Autism Phenotype, 2007)
CCT in Paediatric Neurodisability, and Paediatrics (2007)
Member of the Executive Committee of the British Academy of Childhood Disability (2007-present)
Chair of the British Academy of Childhood Disability Strategic Research Group (2012-present)
Co-Chair of the Research Autism Scientific Advisory Committee (2012-present)
Member of the Castang Foundation Science Committee
Member of the British Autism Study of Infant Siblings (BASIS) Science Committee
Organising Committee member (lead for exhibition and sponsorship) and Scientific Committee member, The 25th European Academy of Childhood Disability (EACD) meeting, Newcastle-Gateshead, The Sage, Ocober 2013
Nov 2006 – May 2009 Consultant and Honorary Senior Lecturer, Paediatric Neurodisability, Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Institute of Child Health, London
Sept 2008 – May 2009 Senior Academic Research Fellow and Honorary Consultant Paediatrician University of Oxford and Oxford Children’s Hospital
I lead the Autism Spectrum Database-UK, which is a database of families of children with ASD, who have shown interest in participating in research. The database has two main aims: 1. To increase families access to research; and 2. To increase the number of families available to be recruited to researchers studies, resulting in improved research capacity. ASD-UK was funded by the UK autism charity Autistica in 2010 (£95 000). More than 650 families have joined ASD-UK, and we are now in touch with over 1000 families.
The ASD+ study - investigating changes in the co existing conditions of children with ASD, and their impact on the family (through Autistica Indian Fellowship, supporting Dr Beena Koshy; £88 000)
Virtual reality environments in the treatment of anxiety in children with ASD. This is a collaboration with the SME Third Eye, and is funded through a Newcastle University sponsored Daphne Jackson Fellowship to Dr Morag Maskey (£ 42 000)
Since 2011, I have led the International Molecular Genetic Study of Autism Consortium (IMGSAC). Data and family DNA are now housed in Newcastle. I lead IMGSACs role in the Autism Genome Project Consortium, a consortium of researchers from Europe and North America. The AGP aims to identify genetic casues of autism spectrum disorder, the relationship between genotype and ASD phenotype, and the clinical application of these findings.
I work with a number of collaborators nationally and internationally on ASD genetic studies (including on the UK10K project)
I also lead (or co lead) a number of other research projects:
A multicentre trial of the effectiveness of Glycopyrronium vs Hyoscine to treat drooling in children with neurodisability. Funding is from Wellchild (£57 000), the Castang Foundation (£60 000), The Children's Foundation (£21 000), and the British Academy of Childhood Disability (£25 000)
Together with Co PI Dr Peter Sullivan, I lead the Oxford based Dolphin research studies:
The effect of optimising nutrition on growth and neurodisability in children at risk of cerebral palsy
(£163 000 from the Castang Foundation)
The effect of optimising nutrition on growth and neurodisability in young children with confirmed cerebral palsy
(£183 000 from SPARKS)
As Co Investigator
I am part of a Newcastle led, multisite Research Programme regarding 'Transition'. This is a £2 million NIHR Programme grant for Applied Research, and is led by Professor Allan Colver (2012-2017). The Programme aims to answer the question: How can health services contribute most effectively to facilitating successful transition of young people with complex health needs from childhood to adulthood?
MeASURe: Measurement in Autism Spectrum Disorder Under Review. Review of outcome measurement in young children with ASD. NIHR HTA, £265 000, commenced May 2012 (PI Professor Helen McConachie, Newcastle University)
Preschool Autism Communication Trial 7-11 (PACT 7-11). Multisite MRC funded follow up of children in original PACT study. Commences spring 2013 (PI Professor Jonathan Green, University of Manchester)