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Dr Ricardo Sainz-Fuertes  LMS, MSc, MRCPsych
MRC Clinical Research Training Fellow
Specialist Registrar in Psychiatry

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emailcontact this person
tel020 7848 0623
fax020 7848 0632
addressDepartment of Old Age Psychiatry and MRC Centre for Neurodegeneration Research
Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London
Box PO70
De Crespigny Park
London SE5 8AF
location M1.09.09
Main Wing
departmentsOld Age Psychiatry
alsoGeneral Psychiatry


Ricardo Sainz-Fuertes is a Specialist Registrar in General Adult Psychiatry at The South London and Maudsley Trust (Guy’s rotation).

He is currently working full time developing a pilot study on protein expression in Schizophrenia under the supervision of Professor Robin M. Murray (Divison of Psychological Medicine and Psychiatry) and Professor Simon Lovestone (MRC Centre for Neurodegeneration Research).

Dr Sainz-Fuertes was born in Cartagena, Spain in 1972 and graduated from medical school in Barcelona in 1997.

He arrived in the UK to pursue specialist training in Psychiatry and spent two and a half years working with patients with treatment resistant psychosis at Burnley with Dr Michael A. Launer.

He was then invited to participate in a research project in schizophrenia genetics funded by GENSET (a private genetic research company), and of which Professor Robert W. Kerwin from the Institute of Psychiatry was the Principal Investigator.

Dr Sainz-Fuertes was subsequently employed by GENSET in its headquarters in Paris, and became responsible for the coordination of a multi-centered study that led to the discovery of the novel genes G-72 and G-30 in a former theoretical genomic desert region. During his time in Paris he completed a course in Human and Comparative genetics at the University of Paris VII.

When GENSET was bought by SERONO in 2002, Dr Sainz-Fuertes returned to London were he worked briefly with Professor Kerwin on a clinical trial of Aripiprazole before doing a MSc in Research Methods in Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry. He was also working as a staff grade at the Bethlem Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit.

Dr Sainz-Fuertes started his basic psychiatric training at The Maudsley in 2003 and became member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 2005.

He was subsequently appointed to the Guy’s scheme of The South London and Maudsley Trust as a Specialist Registrar in General Adult Psychiatry. Dr Sainz-Fuertes’ first placement was in Forensic Psychiatry at the Trevor Gibbens Unit, a Regional Medium Secure Unit in Maidstone, Kent. He used his special interest sessions to assess patients suffering from treatment resistant schizophrenia under the direct supervision of Professor Kerwin. Dr Sainz-Fuertes is also currently involved in research at the department of Forensic Mental Health Science with Professor Sheilagh Hodgins where they are looking at Services for patients with Mental Disorder and Antisocial Behaviour.

Dr Sainz-Fuertes is currently working under the supervision of Professor Robin Murray and Professor Simon Lovestone analyzing protein expression in plasma samples of patients suffering from Schizophrenia using Proteomic techniques such as Two-Dimensional gel electrophoresis (2DGE) and mass spectrometry (LS/MS/MS).

His main aim is to pursue an academic career in Psychiatry. He was awarded a Clinical research Training Fellowship by the Medical Research Council in 2007 to study protein expression in Schizophrenia and is completing his PhD.

In the short-term, Dr Sainz-Fuertes intends to train in biological psychiatric research and continue with his specialist training in Psychiatry concomitantly.

In the long-term his plan is to become a clinician-scientist and to develop his interest in the etiology, diagnosis and treatment of psychotic disorders.

teaching activities

Dr Sainz-Fuertes was involved in in-house teaching of psychiatric trainees and medical students during his placement as a Specialist Registrar in Forensic Psychiatry.

Dr Sainz-Fuertes is currently involved in the teaching of psychiatric trainees at the in-house MRCPsych course at The Maudsley.



Dr Sainz-Fuertes has worked in the Neuroscience department at the University of Barcelona from December 1991 until January 1993 in the development of an animal model of Alzheimer’s disease using microinjections of ibotenic acid in localised areas of the rat brain.

He was trained the use of stereotactic equipment as he operated on rat brains, fixing and extracting them using cryotomy techniques to prepare slides for immunoassay.

He has also used optic and electronic microscopy.

From February 2001 until August 2002 Dr Sainz-Fuertes was responsible for the Section of Psychiatry at the Department of Medical Research and Genetic Epidemiology at GENSET (a genetic research company). He coordinated an international multi-centered study on the genetics of Schizophrenia managing a team of research assistants and lab technicians.

Dr Sainz-Fuertes has helped recruiting subjects for pharmacogenomics and genetic studies and have been trained in the administration of scales such as SCID, SCAN, DIGS, FIGS, PANSS, CGI, BAS and HDS.

He is also formally trained in HCR-20.

Dr Sainz-Fuertes is currently being trained in proteomic techniques, processing blood samples for protein separation and doing 2-Dimensional Gel Electrophoresis using the Ettan IPGphorII system and the Ettan DALT II separation unit. He is also being trained on scanning and performing image analysis on the resulting gels.


During his clinical training in Psychiatry Dr Sainz-Fuertes has gained experience in General Adult, Old Age, Learning Disabilities, Eating Disorders, Liaison, Forensic and Emergency Psychiatry.

He has worked in both community and in in-patient settings including Psychiatric Intensive Care Units and Forensic Medium Secure Regional Units.

Dr Sainz-Fuertes’ special interest is in treatment-resistant psychotic disorders and he worked for a year as a Specialist Registrar for Professor Robin Murray at the National Psychosis Unit at the Bethlem Royal Hospital.

Dr Sainz-Fuertes worked in a Community Mental Health Team in Lambeth for a year and is currently working in the Lambeth Early Onset (LEO) ward.


Do community mental health teams caring for severely mentally ill patients adjust treatments and services based on patients’ antisocial or criminal behaviours?
Hodgins S, Cree A, Khalid F, Patel K, Sainz-Fuentes R, Shortt M, Mak T, Riaz M.
Eur Psychiatry. 2009 Sep;24(6):373-9. Epub 2009 Sep 1.

Alzheimer’s Disease, Diagnosis and the Need for Biomarkers.
Hooper C, Lovestone S, Sainz-Fuertes R.
Biomark Insights. 2008 May 27;3:317-323.

A dopamine D2 receptor gene-related polymorphism is associated with schizophrenia in a Spanish population isolate.
Parsons MJ, Mata I, Beperet M, Iribarren-Iriso F, Arroyo B, Sainz R, Arranz MJ, Kerwin R.
Psychiatr Genet. 2007 Jun;17(3):159-63.

Association of the dysbindin gene with bipolar affective disorder.
Gerome Breen, Diana Prata, Sarah Osborne, Janet Munro, Maggie Sinclair, Tao Li, Susan Staddon, David Dempster, Ricardo Sainz, Barbara Arroyo, Robert W Kerwin, David St. Clair,and David Collier.
American Journal of Psychiatry. 2006 Sep;163(9):1636-8

Neuroleptic induced heat stroke in the severely mentally ill; a case report
Kerwin R., Osborne S., Sainz R.
Journal of Psychopharmacology. 2004; 18(1): 121-123

Genetic and physiological data implicating the new human gene G72 and the gene for D-amino acid oxidase in schizophrenia.
Chumakov I, Blumenfeld M, Guerassimenko O, Cavarec L, Palicio M, Abderrahim H, Bougueleret L, Barry C, Tanaka H, La Rosa P, Puech A, Tahri N, Cohen-Akenine A, Delabrosse S, Lissarrague S, Picard FP, Maurice K, Essioux L, Millasseau P, Grel P, Debailleul V, Simon AM, Caterina D, Dufaure I, Malekzadeh K, Belova M, Luan JJ, Bouillot M, Sambucy JL, Primas G, Saumier M, Boubkiri N, Martin-Saumier S, Nasroune M, Peixoto H, Delaye A, Pinchot V, Bastucci M, Guillou S, Chevillon M, Sainz-Fuertes R, Meguenni S, Aurich-Costa J, Cherif D, Gimalac A, Van Duijn C, Gauvreau D, Ouellette G, Fortier I, Raelson J, Sherbatich T, Riazanskaia N, Rogaev E, Raeymaekers P, Aerssens J, Konings F, Luyten W, Macciardi F, Sham PC, Straub RE, Weinberger DR, Cohen N, Cohen D, Ouelette G, Realson J.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2002; 99: 13675-80

last updated: Tuesday, April 06, 2010