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Professor Sir Robin M MURRAY  MD DSc FRCP FRCPsych FMedSci FRS
Professor of Psychiatric Research, Institute of Psychiatry
Honorary Consultant, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

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Institute of Psychiatry
Box  P063
De Crespigny Park
United Kingdom, SE5 8AF

location Floor 5
Main Wing
departmentsPsychosis Studies


Robin Murray decided on a career in psychiatry at high school and in pursuit of this, trained in medicine at the University of Glasgow. However, after qualifying he was deviated into researching the chronic renal failure induced by the massive abuse of a local headache powder, Askit Powders. After this he started in psychiatry at the Maudsley Hospital, and has remained there ever since apart from one year at the National Institute of Mental Health in the USA; fortunately this latter did not do him much harm! He has been Dean of the Institute of Psychiatry, and Professor of Psychiatry there, but now focusses on research into schizophrenia. In 1987 he and Shon Lewis were among the first to suggest that schizophrenia might in part be a neurodevelopmental disorder. He, and the many very able colleagues with whom he has been priviledged to work, demonstrated the important role of environmental factors in the aetiology of schizophrenia including obstetric events and other early childhood hazards. Later they showed the contribution of social adversity to the high rates of schizophrenia in African-Caribbean people living in the UK. Most recently they have demonstrated that prolonged heavy abuse of cannabis can contribute to the onset of psychosis and are researching why some people are especially vulnerable to this commonly used drug. He has written numerous papers and books, not all of them boring! He has been President of the European Association of Psychiatrists, has a Research Unit named after him in the University of Sao Paulo, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2010.

activities and interests

Clinical Care

My main clinical activity is the care of people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and the development of better treatments for these disorders. I assess, advise and treat patients referred to the National Psychosis Unit at the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust. People with psychotic illnesses from across the UK come to see us for advice as outpatients and may be admitted to our in-patient unit. If patients are not eligible fror such referrals I am willing to see them privately.

teaching activities

Director of MSc in Psychiatric Research

I enjoy teaching both undergraduates and postgraduates, and in 2005 was designated by the BMA as one of their teaching role models in medicine.

I have supervised 40 PhD and 5 MD Theses. Many of my students have been brilliant and after teaching me a lot, have gone on to become professors in their own right (in cities as far afield as Tokyo and Chengdu)


Management Skills

I have tried to avoid drowning, not always successfully, in the useless committees that Universities and the NHS spawn. One thing that has kept me afloat has been the knowledge that initiating new developments and services with colleagues is more valuable than attending awaydays with management consultants.


An up-to-date list of publications can be found here

Schizophrenia Forum

Interviews with Robin Murray about his research interests can be found here

last updated: Thursday, January 27, 2011