CIPPRes clinic logo

An NHS-Imperial collaborative research initiative set up to conduct pioneering psychopharmacology & psychedelic research at St Charles' Hospital

The CIPPRes clinic buildingPurpose

The CNWL-Imperial Psychopharmacology & Psychedelic Research (CIPPRes) Clinic, launched in early 2021 at St Charles' Hospital, is a collaborative, multidisciplinary research initiative between Imperial College London and CNWL (Central & North West London Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust). The CIPPRes Clinic is set up to deliver exciting new experimental psychopharmacology research that could have a major positive impact in mental health and neuroscience. Clinic activities will focus on investigations of the brain’s mono-amine transmission and of brain/psychological actions of classic psychedelics and ketamine, in healthy populations and in addictions, OCD, eating disorders, and affective disorders. Multi-modal imaging study designs will be employed to assess neurotransmission and possible mechanisms, including brain plasticity and psychological flexibility, behind the therapeutic potential of the compounds in question. Imaging methods will include positron emission tomography (PET), functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and electro-encephalography (EEG). PET/MRI will be undertaken at Hammersmith Hospital.

Who are involved?

The NHS-based CIPPRes Clinic will be run in close association with Imperial’s Centre for Psychedelic Research and Division of Psychiatry where most of the research staff will be anchored. The CIPPRes-based research will build on more than a decade of cutting-edge research by the Imperial College team. Researchers, data analysts, therapists and support staff from Imperial and clinical CNWL staff/trainees will work side by side on the outlined projects, while also collaborating with academics from around the world to deliver pioneering work. Strengths of the research team include seminal discoveries on mono-amine transmitter systems in addiction and depression, brain and therapeutic effects of psychedelics and associated compounds, as well as substantial experience running observational and citizen science (survey-based) studies, lab-based open-label studies, mixed model (survey-lab) studies, as well as randomised placebo-controlled clinical trials. Importantly, CIPPRes’ collaborative activities will allow both for unique research training opportunities for trainees and other staff in CNWL (and potentially also neighbouring Trusts) and for an important exchange of knowledge between academics and clinicians. The CIPPRes Clinic is headed by Dr David Erritzoe, Clinical Senior Lecturer and Consultant Psychiatrist in general adult psychiatry (Imperial and CNWL), who is also the principal or chief investigator on the studies listed below.

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Ongoing and planned studies (sponsored by Imperial College London)

  • Functional MRI study using reward circuit paradigms in problem gamblers and age-gender matched controls (Funded by Academy for Medical Sciences)
  • Ketamine plasticity multi-imaging PET-MRI-EEG study in healthy volunteers (Funded by GE Healthcare)
  • Microdosing LSD/psilocybin with self-blinding model, EEG acquisition and psychological testing. (1st phase completed and published in eLife by Szigeti et al in March 2021; Funded by NIHR & Mydecine)
  • OCD study with medium dose psilocybin, with EEG neuroplasticity and cognitive flexibility testing.  (Funded charity donation to Profs Nutt & Fineberg)

Associated studies not undertaken in CIPPRes

  • Phase 1 & 2 trial with DMT infusions in healthy and patients suffering major depression. (Funder & Sponsor: SmallPharma Ltd)
  • Global 5-MeO-DMT Survey Study (Sponsor: Imperial College)

Funding

In addition to study-specific funding, CIPPRes receives funding from CNWL and Mydecine.

CNWL Steering Group for CIPPRes

  • Dr David Erritzoe, Director of CIPPRes Clinic
  • Dr Jo Emmanuel, Medical Director, Jameson Division
  • Dr Jasna Munjiza, Clinical Director, R&D Lead CNWL
  • Dr Graham Behr, Westminster Clinical Director
  • Additionally, senior CNWL and Imperial staff (e.g. from finance and pharmacy) will be invited for meetings with the steering group as required.

Team members

Dr Alan Cross

Alan Cross

Dr Alan Cross
Honorary Clinical Research Fellow; Specialist Registrar in Psychiatry

Dr Elinor Farrell

Dr Elinor Farrell

Dr Elinor Farrell
Honorary Clinical Research Fellow; Specialist Registrar in Psychiatry

Nancy Katati

Nancy Katati

Nancy Katati
Honorary Clinical Research Fellow; Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Psychiatry

Luca Pellegrini

Luca Pellegrini

Luca Pellegrini
Clinical Research Fellow; Specialist Trainee in Psychiatry

Dr Mamas Pipis

Dr Mamas Pipis

Dr Mamas Pipis
Honorary Clinical Research Fellow; Specialist Registrar in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Key collaborators

Michelle Baker Jones

Michelle Baker Jones

Michelle Baker Jones
Lead Therapist (DMT therapy for depression) - Hammersmith Medicines Research

Dr Graham Campbell

Dr Graham Campbell

Dr Graham Campbell
Lead Psychiatrist (DMT therapy for depression) - Hammersmith Medicines Research

Laura Kaertner

Laura Kaertner

Laura Kaertner
Honorary Research Associate, Centre for Psychedelic Research, Imperial College London

Dr Arabo Shahenian

Dr Arabo Shahenian

Dr Arabo Shahenian
Consultant Psychiatrist, CNWL NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Meg Spriggs

Dr Meg Spriggs

Dr Meg Spriggs
Post-doc, Centre for Psychedelic Research, Imperial College London

Atilla Szabo

Atilla Szabo

Atilla Szabo
Research Fellow at the K.G. Jebsen Center for Neurodevelopmental Disorders