Dr Rachel Upthegrove MBBS, MRCPsych PhD

Dr Rachel Upthegrove

Institute of Clinical Sciences
Senior Clinical Lecturer

Contact details

+44 (0)121 301 2355
+44 (0)121 301 2351
Institute of Clinical Science (affiliated to Institute of Inflammation and Aging)
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
The Barberry National Centre for Mental Health
25 Vincent Drive
B15 2FG

Rachel is a Clinical Senior Lecturer in Psychiatry with active research interests in the field of major mental illness; particularly schizophrenia, affective disorders and suicide. Clinically Rachel has worked for over 19 years in psychiatry, 10 of which within the field of Early Intervention in Psychosis and Youth Mental Health.


  • PhD University of Birmingham 2011
  • MPhil University of Birmingham 2001
  • Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists 1999
  • MBBS University of London 1993


Rachel qualified with MBBS at the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine in 1993, and after house jobs and two years of general medicine in London moved to Birmingham to begin a career in Psychiatry. In the closing days of the asylum era, exposure to severe mental illness piqued a longstanding interest in understanding these disorders, comorbidities and predictors of poor and fatal outcomes. As a consultant psychiatrist from 2006, Rachel developed and lead the South Birmingham Early Intervention Service, and latterly served as Head of Profession for the Youth Service.


  • Year 4 Psychiatry Specialty Lead
  • BMedSc Psychological Medicine Programme Lead 

Postgraduate supervision

Masters students

Sofia Zahid
Mirabel Pelton 

PhD Students

Carl Krynicki (first supervisor)
Markella Grigoriou (first supervisor)
Alexander Tate (second supervisor)


Rachel’s primary research interests and background encompass the investigation of schizophrenia and psychosis, with particular emphasis on the importance of symptom dimensions and outcomes.

Current projects include:

1. The HUSH Study: How we Understand Hallucinations. Charitable Trust Funded Study £26,000. C.I. Dr Rachel Upthegrove 2013-2015 Using phenomenological interviews and ethnographic diary methods, The AVH study aims to gain a deeper insight of the experience of hearing voices. The techniques used for data collection have previously been shown to encourage reflexive thinking and foster open discussion. Results obtained will inform further qualitative and neuroimaging work to explore whether themes emerging from this phenomenological approach map onto our current understanding of the biological processes underpinning AVH in schizophrenia and non-psychotic illness.

2. BeneMin Study: NIHR EME funded RCT. C.I. Prof Bill Deakin £3.6 Million 2012-2015 BeneMin is a multisite, double blind, randomised controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of minocycline in addition to standard care in preventing the development or worsening of negative symptoms of schizophrenia. This study builds on the demonstrated proof of concept of the efficacy of minocycline on negative symptoms in two placebo-controlled clinical trials in patients on stable treatment.

3. BioPoP: Biological correlates of dimensional symptoms of psychosis. This study aims to discover whether neuroimaging and cellular biomarkers can be identified for specific symptom dimensions in first episode psychosis. This has important implications for the accurate early identification of patients with poor prognosis and the development of novel, targeted, treatments.

Other activities

  • Consultant Psychiatrist Early Intervention Service
  • Previous Assistant Clinical Director Youth Service, BSMHFT
  • ST4-6 Trainer in Psychiatry
  • Year 5 Welfare Tutor


Upthegrove R, Chard C, Jones, L, Gordon –Smith K, Forty L, Jones I and Craddock N. (2015) Adverse Childhood Events and Psychosis in Bipolar Affective Disorder.  British Journal of Psychiatry 206 (3) 191-197

Danuta M. Lisiecka, John Suckling, Thomas R.E. Barnes, Imran B. Chaudhry, Paola Dazzan, Nusrat Husain, Peter B. Jones, Eileen M. Joyce, Stephen M. Lawrie, Rachel Upthegrove and Bill Deakin: The benefit of minocycline on negative symptoms in early-phase psychosis in addition to standard care - extent and mechanism (BeneMin): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.Trials. (2015) 16:71 DOI 10.1186/s13063-015-0580-

Upthegrove, R. (2015). Bullying, victimisation, and psychosis. The Lancet Psychiatry 10.1016/S2215-0366(15)00176-5

Kam SM, Singh SP, Upthegrove R. What needs to follow early intervention? Predictors of relapse and functional recovery following first-episode psychosis. Early Interv Psychiatry. 2015;9(4):279-83.

Upthegrove, R., Manzanares-Teson, N., & Barnes, N. M. Cytokine function in medication-naive first episode psychosis: A systematic review and meta-analysis. 2014 Schizophrenia Research, 155(1), 101-108.

Upthegrove, R., Ross, K., Brunet, K., McCollum, R., & Jones, L. Depression in first episode psychosis: The role of subordination and shame. 2014 Psychiatry Research, 217(3), 177-184

UpthegroveR, Birchwood M , Ross K. Brunett  R. McCollum R, Jones L The evolution of depression and suicidality in first episode psychosis; Acta Psych Scandinavica 2010, 122:3, 211-218

Birchwood, M., Iqbal, Z., and Upthegrove, R. (2005) Psychological pathways to depression in schizophrenia Studies in acute psychosis, post-psychotic depression and auditory hallucinations. Eur .Arch. Psychiatry and Clin.Neurosci. 255, 202-212