Our people

The NIHR funds and supports world-class experts in the field of mental health. In addition, our experts in the NIHR Clinical Research Network (National Specialty Leads) can advise on delivering your mental health study in the NHS.

Professor Kathryn Abel photo

Professor Kathryn Abel

Professor Kathryn Abel is the NIHR Clinical Research Network National Specialty Lead for Mental Health.

Professor Abel is Professor of Psychological Medicine and Reproductive Psychiatry & Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at the University of Manchester. She trained in Oxford and London and undertook her psychiatry training at the Institute of Psychiatry from 1991-2001. She is an expert on women’s mental health focussing on maternal condition and its effects on offspring outcomes, gender sensitive service development, and reproductive psychiatry involving mothers, maternal mental illness and their children. She has held a number of prestigious research awards including a five year MRC Research Fellowship and is currently the holder of a European Research Council Consolidator award until 2021.

Professor Abel is principal applicant or co-applicant on a number of NIHR grants examining biological and environmental effects on patient outcomes, and holds grants to assess a range of women-centred services and service developments in the NHS. With SCIE, NICE, NHS Evidence and DHSC she developed an e-learning tool to improve reproductive (and pregnancy related) health in patients with mental illness and is currently funded to examine its use in clinical settings.

Professor Abel has a wealth of experience as a mental health clinician working with severe mental illness and in gender sensitive service development. She leads a group of 15 researchers, is a member of the Royal College of Psychiatry Academic Faculty Executive.

She has been the NIHR Clinical Local Research Network Greater Manchester Division 4 Lead for Dendron, Mental Health and Neurology delivering high quality research for NHS patients with its highest ever recruitment recorded for her first year managing a budget of over £1million and recruiting over 5,000 patients to NHS studies.

E: kathryn.abel@manchester.ac.uk