Inspiring Careers: Dr Sam Chamberlain

Name: Dr Sam Chamberlain, Ph.D.

Job title: Psychiatric Trainee (CT2) and academic researcher (Ph.D.)

Dr Chamberlain has completed a Ph.D. in the neurochemical and neural substrates of cognition. He is particularly interested in obsessive-compulsive disorder and trichotillomania (compulsive hair pulling).

1. Why did you choose psychiatry?

It has been a source of befuddlement to me as to how one can get – conceptually – from a greyish organ the size of a melon, to human experience in all its diversity and richness, in health and disease. I chose psychiatry because of my interest in the human brain and in people; and because, throughout my foundation training in other disciplines, I felt that mental health issues were challenging and for this reason often overlooked.

2. What do you do now as a psychiatrist?

I am a psychiatric trainee (CT2) based at the Cambridge and Peterborough Foundation Trust and Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge. My main research interests are in (i) understanding the brain basis of impulsive-compulsive spectrum disorders; and (ii) understanding the mechanisms through which existing and novel medications target cognition and psychiatric symptoms.

3. One key publication interested students should read:

Translational approaches to frontostriatal dysfunction in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder using a computerized neuropsychological battery. Chamberlain SR, Robbins TW, Winder-Rhodes S, Müller U, Sahakian BJ, Blackwell AD, Barnett JH. Biol Psychiatry. 2011 Jun 15;69(12):1192-203. Pubmed link.

4. Cambridge Neuroscience profile.