Regius Professorships are a rare privilege – only 26 have been granted since the reign of Queen Victoria – and this month the first in Psychiatry has been awarded to Professor Sir Simon Wessely, who will take up the unique and prestigious role from 1 February 2017.
To mark the Diamond Jubilee in 2013, 12 Regius Professorships were awarded by Her Majesty The Queen to universities across the UK for exceptionally high quality teaching and research in a particular discipline. King’s was awarded the first ever Regius Professorship of Psychiatry and announced the appointment of Professor Sir Simon Wessely last week.
Awarded Knight Bachelor for services to Military Healthcare and to Psychological Medicine in 2013, Sir Simon was cited as having ‘dramatically improved mental health services for the Armed Forces.’ His academic work has led to a better understanding of Gulf War Illness and to more effective psychological support for the armed services. Sir Simon’s research has spread beyond the UK to the US and Australia and he works closely with a number of charities in support of ex-servicemen and women.
To mark the Diamond Jubilee in 2013, 12 Regius Professorships were awarded by Her Majesty The Queen to universities across the UK for exceptionally high quality teaching and research in a particular discipline.
‘Sir Simon has had a tremendous and distinguished career in psychiatry with an international research reputation. He is the ideal candidate to reflect the special partnership between King’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) and the Maudsley Hospital, which has fundamentally changed the science of psychiatry.’
Professor Edward Byrne, President & Principal of King’s College London
Sir Simon trained at the Maudsley and is now Chair of Psychological Medicine at the IoPPN, Co-Director of the King’s Centre for Military Health Research and President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. He said: ‘I know it’s a cliché but I want to emphasise that it was King’s and IoPPN that was awarded the Regius Chair, the first ever at King’s and the first ever in Psychiatry, to acknowledge the extraordinary contribution that King’s IoPPN and the Maudsley have made to psychiatry over the past century. That is something for us all to celebrate.’
As Regius Professor of Psychiatry Sir Simon will work alongside his colleagues to nurture and foster the discipline of psychiatry through a range of activities including:
• promoting the academic endeavour within psychiatry with a special emphasis on the next generation of trainees and disciplines
• promoting the place of psychiatry within medicine through fostering interactions with the other disciplines
• promoting the contributions that the IoPPN and King’s make towards improving mental health and its public understanding in the country and internationally
• helping the IoPPN, King’s and its King’s Health Partners in fundraising efforts in the service of psychiatry and mental health
Read the full story on the King’s website.