Professor Rachel Upthegrove MBBS, FRCPsych, PhD

Professor Rachel Upthegrove

School of Psychology
Professor of Psychiatry and Youth Mental Health
Consultant Psychiatrist Early Intervention in Psychosis

Contact details

School of Psychology
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Rachel is Professor of Psychiatry and Youth Mental Health at the University of Birmingham, and Consultant Psychiatrist in the Birmingham Early Intervention Services. Her research Interest is within the field of major mental illness; particularly schizophrenia and co-morbid depression in early phases of illness. Recent projects have developed the investigation of inflammatory models of psychosis and machine learning in prognostic indicators in early phases of developing mental ill health.


  • PhD Birmingham 2011
  • MPhil Birmingham 2001
  • FRCPsych 2017
  • MRCPsych 1999
  • MBBS University of London, Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine 1994


Rachel qualified from the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine and after house officer and general medical SHO posts began training Psychiatry in Birmingham in the beginning of service developments for assertive community care. Rachel completed general and specialist adult psychiatry training working part time, whilst developing active research interests in Schizophrenia and First Episode Psychosis.


Postgraduate supervision

  • Carl Krynicki
  • Markella Griogoriou
  • Paris Lalousis
  • Rowena Jones
  • Margaret Hardiman
  • Emily Fisher


Neuroimmunology and Psychosis: Immune dysfunction, particularly low-grate inflammation could be causally linked to psychosis: our evidence suggests inflammation is present prior to psychosis onset and is unrelated to medication effects. Recent trials of anti-inflammatory agents in psychosis have yielded mixed results. Current research projects aim to identify the stage of illness and phenotypic profile of patients with psychosis that is related to aberrant immune function. Thus future trials of novel or repurposed agents may be conducted with a refined, targeted approach. 

Personalised Prognostic Tools for Early Psychosis Management. PRONIA EUFP7 funded PRONIA uses routine brain imaging and complementary data to optimise candidate biomarkers for the prediction and staging of psychoses and aim to generate a prognostic system that generalises well across different mental health services. We will also implement new multi-modal risk quantification tools to predict mental health-related disability in young help-seekers. The fusion of these tools with clinical knowledge will produce cybernetic prognostic services that accurately identify help-seekers at the highest risk of psychosis, poor functioning and suicide-related mortality. More information is available via the Pronia website.

Depression in Schizophrenia: NIHR and EU funded research has developed the evidence base for the frequency, importance and prognostic implications of depression in First Episode Psychosis, including that of poor functional outcomes and increased risk of completed suicide. Recent meta-analysis led by this group confirm that antidepressants are effective for patients with schizophrenia and depression. Current projects will develop the evidence base for preventative interventions and whether stopping depression developing in the early phases of psychosis can improve a range of outcomes.

Research Groups and Centres:

Other activities

  • NIHR CRN Specialty Lead for the West Midlands
  • Council Member of the British Association for Psychopharmacology
  • Deputy Editor for the British Journal of Psychiatry


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  

Kam SM, Singh SP, Upthegrove R. (2016) What needs to follow early intervention? Predictors of relapse and functional recovery following first-episode psychosis. Early Interv Psychiatry 9 (4):279-83.

Upthegrove, R., Ives, J., Broome, M. R., Caldwell, K., Wood, S. J., & Oyebode, F. (2016). Auditory verbal hallucinations in first-episode psychosis: a phenomenological investigation. British Journal of Psychiatry Open, 2(1), 88-95.

Marwaha S, Thompson A, Upthegrove R, Broome MR (2017) 15 Years on- Early Intervention for a new generation.  Editorial, British Journal of Psychiatry 209 (3), 186-188

Upthegrove R, Marwaha S, Birchwood M. (2017) Depression in Schizophrenia: Depression and schizophrenia: cause, consequence or trans-diagnostic issue? Schizophrenia Bulletin 43 (2): 240-244

Gregory A, Mallikarjun P and Upthegrove R (2018) Treatment of Depression in Schizophrenia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis British Journal of Psychiatry 211(4):198-204]

McGinty J , Haque MS, Upthegrove R (2018)Depression during first episode psychosis and subsequent suicide risk: A systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies. Schizophrenia Research 195:58-66

Di Capite S, Upthegrove R, Mallikarjun P. (2018) The relapse rate and predictors of relapse in patients with first‐episode psychosis following discontinuation of antipsychotic medication Early Intervention in Psychiatry12(5), 893-899

Mallikarjun P, Lalousis PA  Dunne TF Heinze K  Reniers RLEP, Broome MR , Farmah B, Oyebode F, Wood SJ, Upthegrove R (2018) Aberrant salience network functional connectivity in auditory verbal hallucinations: a first episode psychosis sample. Translational Psychiatry 27;8(1):69

Perry, Upthegrove, Thompson, Marwaha, Zammit, Khandaker (2018)Relationships between dysglycaemia, immune activation and psychotic experiences: findings from a UK birth cohort. Schizophrenia Bulletin 45(2), 330-338.

Koutsouleris, N., Kambeitz-Ilankovic, L., Ruhrmann, S., Rosen, M., Ruef, A., Dwyer, D. B. Upthegrove R, & Schmidt, A. (2018). Prediction models of functional outcomes for individuals in the clinical high-risk state for psychosis or with recent-onset depression: a multimodal, multisite machine learning analysis. JAMA Psychiatry 75 (11),1156-1172

Deakin, B., Suckling, J., Barnes, T. R., Byrne, K., Chaudhry, I. B., Dazzan, P, Joyce, E. Upthegrove, R and Dunn G (2018). The benefit of minocycline on negative symptoms of schizophrenia in patients with recent-onset psychosis (BeneMin): a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The Lancet Psychiatry5(11), 885-894.

Rowland, T., Perry, B. I., Upthegrove, R., Barnes, N., Chatterjee, J., Gallacher, D., & Marwaha, S. (2018). Neurotrophins, cytokines, oxidative stress mediators and mood state in bipolar disorder: systematic review and meta-analyses. The British Journal of Psychiatry213(3), 514-525

Perry, B. I., Khandaker, G. M., Marwaha, S., Thompson, A., Zammit, S., Singh, S. P., & Upthegrove, R. (2019). Insulin resistance and obesity, and their association with depression in relatively young people: findings from a large UK birth cohort. Psychological medicine, 1-10.