Inspiring Careers: Dr Belinda Lennox

Name: Dr Belinda Lennox

Job title: University lecturer and clinical psychiatrist

Dr Lennox’s research focuses on the biological basis of psychosis. She is both an academic lecturer and clinical psychiatrist, working as a consultant psychiatrist to the first episode psychosis service in Cambridge, CAMEO.

1. Why did you choose psychiatry?

I chose psychiatry as I wanted to be an academic neuroscientist and psychiatry is the neuroscientific discipline that deals with the most interesting functions of the brain.

2. What do you do now as a psychiatrist?

I am a clinician that sees patients every week, and this is vital for keeping my focus on the relevance of the research that I do, and also reminds me every day of the critical importance of advancing the scientific understanding of mental illness, which is still so stigmatized in our society. I spend half my time working as a researcher, undertaking studies using the techniques of functional brain imaging, and the other half working with young people with a first presentation of psychosis in the CAMEO early intervention in psychosis team.

3. One key publication interested students should read:

I would recommend that medical students read this pilot study describing pathogenic antibodies in cases of first episode psychosis, as a  demonstration of the biological basis of at least some cases of mental illness.

  • Zandi MS, Irani SR, Lang B, Waters P, Jones PB, McKenna P, Coles AJ, Vincent A, Lennox BR (2011) Disease-relevant autoantibodies in first  episode schizophrenia. J Neurol 258(4):686-8. PubMed.

4. Cambridge Neuroscience profile