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Fellows Directory

Simon Wessely

Simon Wessely

Sir Simon Wessely FMedSci FRS


Elected: 2021


Simon Wessely is a psychiatrist and epidemiologist, and the first ever Regius Professor of Psychiatry in this country, who has spent much of his career at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neurosciences at King's College London.

His research has covered many areas, starting with unexplained symptoms and syndromes,  He created and led the King's Centre for Military Health Research for 25 year. Much of what we know about the health and well being  of our Armed Forces past and present comes from that centre, and he is most active researcher in this field in the world.  A long standing interest in how people and populations react to adversity, and what we can do to improve this. led to him becoming the first director of the NIHR PHE Health Protection Research Unit for Emergency Preparedness and Response, very active during the COVID-19 pandemic. He has over 800 professional publications.

He has also shown leadership, policy and communication skills in many areas. He was a successful President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and the first psychiatrist to lead the Royal Society of Medicine in its history – using both positions to promote science, communication and public engagement in many different and innovative ways. He was the first winner of the John Maddox Prize for Standing Up for Science in 2012. His policy skills were recognised when he was asked by the then Prime Minister Theresa May to lead a much praised review of our mental health legislation, which is now being implemented.

Professional positions

Regius Chair of Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London
Past President, Royal College of Psychiatrists
Past President, Royal Society of Medicine

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