Current Work

 

Here are some of the key projects I am working on...

 

They range from work on how we can ethically use digital technology and social media data to better understand and treat mental health to unravelling the complex GSK3beta genetic network underlying hippocampal changes related to EPO treatment in depression. Over the summer I hosted my inaugural Summer 2017 Conference on Digital Mental Health - and plan to host again in 2018! I've been commissioned by The Lancet Psychiatry to write a Series of papers on artificial intelligence, digital psychiatry, ethics and society. I've also had some recent publications come out, such as Hip Hop Psych's latest material on Eminem and a cohort paper from the project I was Senior Manager on for 5 years called the Neuroscience in Psychiatry Network. More ideas are in the pipeline too, such as my anti-stigma jewellery line coming out in 2018 and a hip-hop rapping intervention neuroscience study.

 

2018 is going to be a stimulating, creative & productive year!


erythropoietin treatment in mood Disorders, gsk3beta, THE HIPPOCAMPUS & COGNTION

In 2016, a study I co-authored was ranked amongst the most cited papers in Biological Psychiatry showing that cognitive improvements in EPO-treated patients with mood disorders involves  increased hippocampal volume. We have now written a Review paper about EPO, cognition, depression and its underlying molecular mechanisms centred around GSK3beta. The manuscript is currently under review.

SAFE LAB COLUMBIA university: SOCIAL work, social MEDIA & neuroscience partnership

I am working with the SAFE Lab, a research initiative focused on examine the ways youth of colour navigate violence on and offline. We are currently developing a chatbot intervention in collaboration with Wysa-Touchkin. This will involve a pilot study centred around ensuring that youth of colour have a key say on how the chatbot is designed, how it appeals to them, and draws on local culture and language.

LANCET PSYCHIATRY COMMISSIONED SERIES on artificial intelligence, psychiatry & ethics

I am very excited and focused on writing several pieces for The Lancet Psychiatry on the topics of digital psychiatry, artificial intelligence, ethics and impact on society. This is a huge undertaking that I will be focusing on for 2017-2018. It will cover everything from ethical topics, the latest digital tools, and will also include a short film and other creative ways to approach these complex topics. Its astonishing how much I've learned so far!

my online life

My Online Life project is based on a novel online-offline framework presented in a Lancet Psychiatry article that I recently wrote. It emphasises the need to enrich existing offline cohorts with historical records of social media data to look for clues on relates to clinical, behavioural and neurobiological changes across time. I am keen to understand how qualitative and quantitative approaches can be integrated  to design better studies and provide deeper insights and impacts for digital interventions


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Artificial-Intelligence enabled mental health chatbot intervention

details coming soon

Why Geneticists should LEVERAGE social media data

Myself and colleagues are thinking of ways in which geneticists could and should be using social media data. This effort is being translated into a manuscript being drafted for submission to Nature Genetics. Social media phenotypes provide rich longitudinal traces of social information and come with numerous advantages over offline measures. This contemporary approach to 'deep social phenotyping' needs to be urgently incorporated into genetics studies and existing cohorts as this will very rapidly add another layer of social insights for genetic discoveries.

GSK3beta genetic network in depression:

Using a discovery and replication sample we replicated multiple two-SNP interactions with hippocampal volume in recurrent major depressive disorder (MDD). These replicable results involved variants in genes with functions relevant to depression, including endoplasmic reticulum stress, calcium regulation, and histone modifications. Our findings are relevant to cognitive impairments in depression and we speculate that micro RNA 124 and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma play important roles.


HIP HOP PSYCH

I am a co-founder along with Dr Akeem Sule of the social venture, HIP HOP PSYCH, which involves public health campaigning to de-stigmatise mental health in diverse settings (e.g., prisons, conference venues, nightclubs, African Caribbean Societies etc) by dissecting hip-hop lyrics for messages related to mental health. Our initiative also aims to improve recruitment of medical students into psychiatry and contribute ideas to research that refine psychotherapy and contribute to neuroscience advances. One of our latest achievements includes an essay we...

Neuroscience in psychiatry network 

I was the Senior Manager and a scientific contributor (2011-2016) for the Neuroscience in Psychiatry Network (NSPN), a £5.3 million grant awarded by the Wellcome Trust. I was responsible for NSPN governance, protocol development, ethics, R&D, developing operating procedures, study manuals, multi-site employment and management of scientific and clerical staff(~40 people), financial reporting, securing off-grant funding, sponsorship liaising, networking amongst NHS Trusts and organisations...

LIFE INSIDE THE CELL:

This unique intitiative workshop will help prisoners to explore several key areas of neuroscience that are highly relevant to their situations and that are focused on the theme of synaptic plasticity. Participants are invited to co-author a publication describing the schematic shown above and what it means to them. This project is at the early stages at the moment and we are seeking funds to support an art exhibition after the work has been completed. We are always looking for collaborators on this project too!

 

Other projects include exploring the role of the human kinome in Alzheimer's disease. I am also working in collaboration with the ALSPAC cohort to do a similar thing as I've done for My Online Life in a larger data set to test for replication.


More projects exist in the pipeline...coming soon.