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A tribute following the death of our dear colleague and friend Valeria Frighi, Senior Clinical Researcher in the Department of Psychiatry.

Dr Valeria Frighi

Dr Frighi, who was 67, died in a car crash in March.

She had been in the Department since 2006 and was an Honorary Consultant in endocrinology and diabetes at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust. 

Dr Frighi trained in medicine in Rome and worked as an endocrinologist and diabetes doctor in London and then as a clinician and researcher in Oxford at OCDEM (Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism) since 1988 working for two years as the clinical coordinator of a trial on the prevention of Type 2 diabetes in patients with impaired glucose tolerance (Early Diabetes Intervention Trial).

She became interested in metabolic effects of antipsychotics and set up research studies on endocrine pathology and bone disorders in people with intellectual disabilities and severe mental illnesses. She wrote Oxford Health’s guideline for management of antipsychotic induced hyperprolactinaemia.

Since 2018 her focus has been osteoporotic fractures in those with intellectual disabilities, and most recently to deliver a screening tool for primary care. Her work informed updated NICE osteoporosis guidelines.

She was funded by a series of grants from Baily Thomas charitable fund and NIHR RfPB (Research for Patient Benefit) and she worked with national charities such as Mencap, the Down’s Syndrome Association and the Royal Osteoporosis Association.

Professor Belinda Lennox, Head of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford, said:


Valeria was a dedicated and passionate researcher, working to improve health outcomes for people with severe mental illness and intellectual disabilities. She collaborated widely and undertook mixed methods research, and loved the teaching and students that she supervised and supported.

Valeria was a kind, thoughtful and compassionate person and a much-loved colleague and friend. She leaves a big gap and will be hugely missed by everyone here. Our thoughts remain with her family and friends.”

Professor Guy Goodwin, former Head of the Department of Psychiatry, said:


Valeria chose to work on the medical problems of people with learning difficulties. Her long standing conviction that their risk of fractures was a serious area of clinical neglect was vindicated by her major study published in Lancet eClinicalMedicine in 2022. An audio recording gives a first hand sense of the sincerity and enthusiasm that characterised her work. She was a lovely person. I feel fortunate to have known her.”


Please follow the link below to read the news on the NIHR BRC website.