Sir Robin Murray FRS

Robin Murray is a psychiatrist concerned with finding the causes of psychosis, and improving its treatment. His work challenged the prevailing view of schizophrenia as an adult-onset brain disease, instead demonstrating that it is in part a neurodevelopmental disorder fuelled by insults to the brain during early life.

He has identified that environmental and social factors are of great importance in determining susceptibility to psychosis. He found that migrants to the United Kingdom have a much greater incidence of psychosis than their counterparts back home, which appears largely due to social adversity. Robin also identified an increased risk of schizophrenia following heavy use of cannabis, particularly in adolescence, and often speaks publically about this.

He currently researches the molecular effects of THC, the main psychotogenic ingredient of cannabis, and another component known as CBD, which appears to partly block the effects of THC; the high THC/CBD ratio in modern skunk cannabis carries more risk than traditional marijuana. Robin is now most interested in the interaction between predisposing genes and environmental factors in causing psychosis.

Subject groups

  • Health and human sciences

    Clinical neuroscience