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Head of the Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, has won the prestigious award from the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology in recognition of his ground-breaking work on the psychopharmacology of bipolar disorder.

Professor John Geddes, who is also director of R&D at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, and director of the NIHR Oxford Cognitive Health Research Facility, has been a pioneer in combining the power of large-scale epidemiological methods with the precision of neurobiological investigation to understand the underlying neurobiology and genetic mechanisms of bipolar disorder.

The ECNP Neuropsychopharmacology Award is presented annually and recognises distinguished research in applied and translational neuroscience.


John Geddes has been an outstanding leader in both the science and treatment of bipolar disorder. The large cohorts he has built by involving patients in his research have not only produced important new insights into the neurobiology of the disorder, but have resulted in new guidance for clinical practice. We consider him an excellent recipient of this award. - ECNP Award Committee chair Andreas Meyer-Lindenbergnter

His work on synthesising efficacy and safety data, clarifying the limits of knowledge and uncertainty, and identifying future discovery leads has won him an international reputation, and had a major impact on research, guidelines and clinical practice. He has conducted translational/early-phase research in both drug and psychological treatments and has developed innovative experimental medicine models. He has been principal investigator on a wide range of clinical trials, ranging from phase 1b industry-sponsored trials, through to high-intensity phase II/III trials. The multicentre clinical trial he designed comparing combinations of lithium plus valproate with lithium and valproate monotherapy in bipolar disorder and investigating lamotrigine vs placebo in tandem with quetiapine in bipolar depression are considered landmark studies in the field. He also collaborates in the development of new psychological treatments based on mindfulness, correction of cognitive biases, and patient psychoeducation and self-help.


It’s a great honour. ECNP is a really pioneering and farsighted organisation showing leadership in creating the right collaborative environment for discovery neuroscience-based treatment discovery for brain disorders. So it’s wonderful to have the work that I have done in collaboration with lots of other colleagues both within Oxford and internationally recognised in this way. - Professor John Geddes

The True Colours platform John Geddes developed to collect multiple data streams (physiological, behavioural, self-report), with its important new innovations in digital phenotyping, biomarkers, and experimental medicine models, has introduced new approaches to self-management and monitoring and opened up new treatment horizons for sufferers of bipolar disorder and mood instability.

John Geddes will receive the award during the 29th ECNP Congress on 17-20 September 2016 in Vienna, Austria, where he will deliver the ECNP Neuropsychopharmacology Award plenary lecture.

The ECNP Neuropsychopharmacology Award recognises innovative and distinguished research achievements in applied and translational neuroscience. The award is granted each year, alternating between basic science and clinical research.


The award is accompanied by a prize of €10,000, which the winner may share with junior collaborators. John Geddes has selected as joint recipients Dr Jennifer Rendell of Oxford University for her expertise as a clinical trialist and dedication to delivering benefits for patients and Dr Chris Hinds of Oxford University for his inspired and sustained technical innovation.

Read more about the ECNP.


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