Shitij Kapur, MBBS, PhD, FRCPC
Vice Dean and Professor
Head, Section on Schizophrenia, Imaging and Therapeutics
Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College
Dr. Shitij Kapur, MBBS, FRCPC, PhD is currently the Vice Dean (Research) and Professor at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, UK. He moved to this post in 2007 after serving as Canada Research Chair for Schizophrenia and Therapeutic Neuroscience, Chief of Research at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto.
He graduated from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, did his psychiatric training at the University of Pittsburgh – where he developed an interest in the biology of schizophrenia. He subsequently completed a PhD and Fellowship at the University of Toronto and his main research interest is in the use of brain imaging and animals models to understand the basis of psychosis and its treatment. His work has shown that all antipsychotics (typical and atypical) block dopamine D2 receptors in patients, though to different degrees – and that these differences are clinically very meaningful. It has shown the consequences of too much D2 blockade and has helped move the field towards lower doses and better understanding of the basis of antipsychotic action. He has questioned the standard “delayed onset” hypothesis and by virtue of imaging and clinical studies has shown that antipsychotic start action within days – thus prompting research into new clinical designs and treatment strategies. Working with basic science colleagues Dr. Kapur has focused on how animal models can be used to derive more innovative treatments for Schizophrenia – and this work has pointed to the central importance of appropriate dosing, ‘sensitization’ and the difference between continuous and intermittent dosing in Schizophrenia. His latest work uses psychological theories, computational models, and phenomenological experience of patients and combines them into a “salience hypothesis” to provide a more holistic understanding of the experience of psychosis and the impact of antipsychotic medications.
Dr. Kapur has published over a hundred and eighty papers, made dozens of presentations worldwide, served on Scientific Advisory Boards of international companies and has received numerous national and international awards, AE Bennett Award of the Society for Biological Psychiatry, Paul Janssen Award of the CINP and is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.