Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Brain Sciences

Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist







Commonwealth BuildingHammersmith Campus





I lead the Child and Adolescent Mental Health research team in the Division of Psychiatry, of which I am also Deputy Head. I am also lead for Multimorbidity and Mental Health for the North West London Applied Research Collaboration (ARC). Our research aims to improve understanding and interventions for children and young people (CYP) with feeding and eating disorders and those living at higher weight, as well as a broader focus on young people's mental health through population health research. In particular we focus on risk factors and early intervention, and seeks practical and scale-able solutions, from parent training to policy change, that directly influence outcomes. In the ARC, our applied health and care research responds to, and meets, the needs of local populations and local health and care systems for the care of people with multimorbidity and frailty, including where mental illness is a comorbidity. 

I am National Speciality Advisor on Eating Disorders to NHS England, developing and disseminating best practice and training for the care of people with eating disorders from prevention through to inpatient care, and also young people at higher weight, for example through the CYP obesity oversight board. I am a practising Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist in CNWL Children and Young People's Eating Disorders Service. I lead the training academy for CNWL CAMHS and Eating Disorders services. I served on the NICE guideline committee for eating disorders, the NICE quality standards committee, the NHS England Expert Reference Group developing the commissioning guidance for children and young people‚Äôs eating disorders services (CYP EDS), and helped develop the Quality Standards for CYP EDS. I lead the National Whole Team training for CYP EDS. 

I am Clinical and Strategic Director for National Audits and Research in the College Centre for Quality Improvement at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, with current responsibility for delivery on the National Audits of Psychosis and Dementia. I co-founded the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Surveillance System (CAPSS) for research into rare disorders and events in child mental health, hosted in CCQI. I am past chair of the Eating Disorders Faculty of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych) and was a member of the RCPsych Board of Trustees and the International Advisory Committee. I led development and revision of the guidelines on the management of medical emergencies in eating disorders

I am Past President of the Academy of Eating Disorders, the largest international eating disorders professional association, and instigated development of the British Eating Disorders Society

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Viner R, Russell S, Saulle R, et al., 2022, School Closures During Social Lockdown and Mental Health, Health Behaviors, and Well-being Among Children and Adolescents During the First COVID-19 Wave A Systematic Review, Jama Pediatrics, Vol:176, ISSN:2168-6203, Pages:400-409

Nicholls D, Becker A, 2020, Food for thought: bringing eating disorders out of the shadows, British Journal of Psychiatry, Vol:216, ISSN:0007-1250, Pages:67-68

Viner R, Ward J, Hudson L, et al., 2019, Roles of cyberbullying, sleep and physical activity in mediating the impact of social media use on mental health and wellbeing: findings from a national cohort of English young people, The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health, Vol:3, ISSN:2352-4642, Pages:685-696

Mitrofan O, Petkova H, Janssens A, et al., 2019, Care experiences of young people with eating disorders and their parents: qualitative study, Bjpsych Open, Vol:5, ISSN:2056-4724

Viner RM, Kinra S, Nicholls D, et al., 2018, Burden of child and adolescent obesity on health services in England, Archives of Disease in Childhood, Vol:103, ISSN:0003-9888, Pages:247-254

Pinhas L, Nicholls D, Crosby RD, et al., 2017, Classification of childhood onset eating disorders: A latent class analysis, International Journal of Eating Disorders, Vol:50, ISSN:0276-3478, Pages:657-664

O'Connor G, Nicholls D, Hudson L, et al., 2016, Refeeding Low Weight Hospitalized Adolescents With Anorexia Nervosa: A Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial, Nutrition in Clinical Practice, Vol:31, ISSN:0884-5336, Pages:681-689

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