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NCMH appoints new Director

The National Centre for Mental Health welcomes a new Director this month – Professor Ian Jones.

Former NCMH Deputy Director Professor Jones took over leadership of the Cardiff-based mental health research centre from Professor Nick Craddock on 1st April.

Professor Jones will bring his expertise as an Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist for Cardiff and Vale University Health Board to the role, as well as decades of research experience in the field of mental health.

Professor Jones’ particular research interests lie in perinatal mood disorders. He also has considerable experience in the field of bipolar disorder and a range of other psychiatric conditions.

In November 2013 Professor Jones was awarded the Psychiatric Academic/ Researcher of the Year prize by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and the BEPCymru psychoeducation programme he helped to develop has been nominated for an innovation award in this year’s British Medical Journal Awards.

“Professor Craddock is handing over an organisation in excellent health with a very bright future” said Professor Jones. “It’s both a great honour and a great responsibility to be following in his footsteps.”

Professor Nick Craddock, who spearheaded the project since its inception in 2011, retired on 1st April, but will remain involved with the centre’s research in an honorary capacity.

“It has been a great privilege and pleasure to lead the National Centre for Mental Health during the last three years” said Professor Craddock. “I am delighted that my close colleague and friend, Professor Ian Jones will be taking over as NCMH Director. This is an enormously exciting time for research in mental health, and we have a great team at NCMH. Ian has the vision and energy to lead NCMH forward.

“Whilst I will be focusing on new areas of interest, I will be continuing my involvement with mental health research, and look forward to seeing NCMH move from strength to strength under Ian’s leadership. ”

Professor Craddock retires as a world leading international expert on both bipolar disorder and psychiatric genetics, publishing over 300 scientific papers during his career.

As well as heading up the NCMH and holding a number of prestigious national and international positions, including elected Treasurer of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Professor Craddock also led the Bipolar Disorder Research Network, the largest study of bipolar disorder in the world.

Professor Craddock has worked as a scientific adviser to national charities Bipolar UK and APP, advised the BBC on a bipolar disorder storyline for EastEnders alongside Professor Ian Jones, and appeared on television several times, including in the multi-award winning BBC documentary The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive with Stephen Fry.

Professor Craddock has been a regular commentator in the national media as an expert on psychiatry and mental illness, and has been particularly vocal on issues such as mental health stigma and the key importance of research.

As well as his more high profile work as Director of NCMH, Professor Craddock has also provided guidance and mentorship to a large number of researchers and PhD students over the years, providing support  to these individuals, both clinically and academically, enabling them to develop successful careers in the UK and around the world.

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National Centre for Mental Health, Cardiff University, Hadyn Ellis Building, Maindy Road, Cardiff, CF24 4HQ
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