Professor Daniel Smith appointed Head of the Division of Psychiatry at the University of Edinburgh

We are delighted to announce that April will see Lister Fellow Professor Daniel Smith moving to the new post of Chair of Psychiatry and Head of the Division of Psychiatry within the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences at the University of Edinburgh.Daniel is currently Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Glasgow’s Institute of Health and Wellbeing – a position he held when he won the Lister Prize Fellowship in 2016. He studies the genetic epidemiology of mood disorders such as bipolar disorder and seeks to establish relationships between psychiatric disorders and different forms of cardiovascular disease. More recently, he has been developing a programme of research on circadian science and mental health.

Following the move, Daniel will continue his work as an Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist within NHS Lothian.

The Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences is world-leading in the field of neuroscience. Its researchers study the causes, consequences, and treatment of major brain disorders through laboratory and clinical research, with psychiatry research as a strategic priority. The Centre generates a significant and measurable impact on health and wellbeing, NHS policy, and public awareness.

“It’s a real honour to have been appointed to this role,” says Daniel. “After graduating from Edinburgh Medical School in 1996, I’m delighted to return. I hope to build on Edinburgh’s outstanding reputation for neuroscience research by identifying new opportunities for psychiatric research, clinical practice and teaching.”

“I’m thrilled that Danny will be leading our team of researchers, teachers and clinical academics here in Edinburgh,” says Professor Andrew McIntosh at the University of Edinburgh. “He is a leading researcher in bipolar disorder, circadian science and population mental health research. His appointment as Head of Division signals our intention to expand and thrive.”

Daniel’s new role will build on the excellent infrastructure of Edinburgh Neuroscience and the success of the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences. Longer-term, he hopes to develop circadian neuroscience as a research theme. There will also be important responsibilities in terms of overseeing the development of undergraduate and postgraduate learning in psychiatry.

“I’d like to acknowledge the important role that Lister Fellowship funding has had in helping me to develop my research career,” adds Daniel, “especially in terms of making the transition to leading my own research group.”

Basic and clinical research in mental health research has recently become a major focus for global research funders and governments, in recognition of the strong economic case for discovery science in mental health.

We at the Lister Institute are pleased to have helped support Daniel during his career so far and we look forward to sharing more about his important work at the University of Edinburgh in the future.