Golam M Khandaker, University of Cambridge, UK
Khandaker is a psychiatrist interested in the interactions between the immune system, brain and mind. Funded by the Wellcome Trust, his research group investigates novel immunological mechanisms and treatment options for depression, schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders. Khandaker is particularly interested in the role of low-grade inflammation (measured by cytokines, genes and peripheral immune cells). Khandaker uses population-based epidemiological cohort studies to examine causes and psychiatric consequences of inflammation. Khandaker uses clinical and immune-phenotyping to gain a better understanding of psychiatric patients who display evidence of low-grade inflammation. In addition, Khandaker uses clinical trials to examine the effect of novel immune-modulating drugs on cognition and mood. His work may help to inform more personalised approaches to treating major psychiatric disorders. Clinically, Khandaker has a special interest in the management of treatment resistant depression and depression in people with chronic inflammatory physical illness.
Notable work includes cohort studies showing an association of depression with circulating interleukin 6 (IL-6) levels and with genetic variants known to regulate activity of IL-6, which indicate that IL-6/IL-6R pathways may be causally linked to risk of depression. Khandaker received Young Investigator Awards from the International Early Psychosis Association (2014), the International Congress on Schizophrenia Research (2015), and he was selected as a Rising Star in Psychiatry by the UK National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) in 2017.
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