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


Highlight publications

PRONIA Consortium, Lalousis, PA, Schmaal, L, Wood, S, Reniers, R, Barnes, N, Chisholm, K, Griffiths, L, Stainton, A, Wen, J, Hwang, G, Davatzikos, C, Wenzel, J, Kambeitz-Ilankovic, L, Andreou, C, Bonivento, C, Dannlowski, U, Ferro, A, Liechtenstein, T, Riecher-Rössler, A, Romer, G, Rosen, M, Bertolino, A, Borgwardt, S, Brambilla, P, Kambeitz, J, Lencer, R, Pantelis, C, Ruhrmann, S, Salokangas, RKR, Schultze-Lutter, F, Schmidt, A, Meisenzahl, EM, Koutsouleris, N, Dwyer, D & Upthegrove, R 2022, 'Neurobiologically based stratification of recent-onset depression and psychosis: identification of two distinct transdiagnostic phenotypes', Biological Psychiatry, vol. 92, no. 7, pp. 552-562.

Upthegrove, R, Marwaha, S & Birchwood, M 2017, 'Depression and schizophrenia: cause, consequence or trans-diagnostic issue?', Schizophrenia bulletin, vol. 43, no. 2, pp. 240-244.

PIMS collaboration 2022, 'Inflammation and brain structure in schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric disorders: A Mendelian randomization study', JAMA psychiatry, vol. 2022, no. 5, pp. 1-11.

Morales-Munoz, I, Palmer, E, Mallikarjun, P, Marwaha, S & Upthegrove, R 2021, 'Persistent childhood and adolescent anxiety and risk for psychosis: a longitudinal birth cohort study', Biological Psychiatry.

PRONIA Consortium 2020, 'The psychopathology and neuroanatomical markers of depression in early psychosis', Schizophrenia bulletin, vol. 2020, sbaa094.

Recent publications


Wannan, CMJ, Nelson, B, Addington, J, Allott, K, Anticevic, A, Arango, C, Baker, JT, Bearden, CE, Billah, T, Bouix, S, Broome, MR, Buccilli, K, Cadenhead, KS, Calkins, ME, Cannon, TD, Cecci, G, Chen, EYH, Cho, KIK, Choi, J, Clark, SR, Coleman, MJ, Conus, P, Corcoran, CM, Cornblatt, BA, Diaz-Caneja, CM, Dwyer, D, Ebdrup, BH, Ellman, LM, Fusar-Poli, P, Galindo, L, Gaspar, PA, Gerber, C, Glenthøj, LB, Glynn, R, Harms, MP, Horton, LE, Kahn, RS, Kambeitz, J, Kambeitz-Ilankovic, L, Kane, JM, Kapur, T, Keshavan, MS, Kim, SW, Koutsouleris, N, Kubicki, M, Kwon, JS, Langbein, K, Lewandowski, KE, Light, GA, Mamah, D, Marcy, PJ, Mathalon, DH, McGorry, PD, Mittal, VA, Nordentoft, M, Nunez, A, Pasternak, O, Pearlson, GD, Perez, J, Perkins, DO, Powers, AR, Roalf, DR, Sabb, FW, Schiffman, J, Shah, JL, Smesny, S, Spark, J, Stone, WS, Strauss, GP, Tamayo, Z, Torous, J, Upthegrove, R, Vangel, M, Verma, S, Wang, J, Rossum, IWV, Wolf, DH, Wolff, P, Wood, SJ, Yung, AR, Agurto, C, Alvarez-Jimenez, M, Amminger, P, Armando, M, Asgari-Targhi, A, Cahill, J, Carrión, RE, Castro, E, Cetin-Karayumak, S, Mallar Chakravarty, M, Cho, YT, Cotter, D, D'Alfonso, S, Ennis, M, Fadnavis, S, Fonteneau, C, Gao, C, Gupta, T, Gur, RE, Gur, RC, Hamilton, HK, Hoftman, GD, Jacobs, GR, Jarcho, J, Ji, JL, Kohler, CG, Lalousis, PA, Lavoie, S, Lepage, M, Liebenthal, E, Mervis, J, Murty, V, Nicholas, SC, Ning, L, Penzel, N, Poldrack, R, Polosecki, P, Pratt, DN, Rabin, R, Rahimi Eichi, H, Rathi, Y, Reichenberg, A, Reinen, J, Rogers, J, Ruiz-Yu, B, Scott, I, Seitz-Holland, J, Srihari, VH, Srivastava, A, Thompson, A, Turetsky, BI, Walsh, BC, Whitford, T, Wigman, JTW, Yao, B, Yuen, HP, Ahmed, U, Byun, AJS, Chung, Y, Do, K, Hendricks, L, Huynh, K, Jeffries, C, Lane, E, Langholm, C, Lin, E, Mantua, V, Santorelli, G, Ruparel, K, Zoupou, E, Adasme, T, Addamo, L, Adery, L, Ali, M, Auther, A, Aversa, S, Baek, SH, Bates, K, Bathery, A, Bayer, JMM, Beedham, R, Bilgrami, Z, Birch, S, Bonoldi, I, Borders, O, Borgatti, R, Brown, L, Bruna, A, Carrington, H, Castillo-Passi, RI, Chen, J, Cheng, N, Ching, AE, Clifford, C, Colton, BL, Contreras, P, Corral, S, Damiani, S, Done, M, Estradé, A, Etuka, BA, Formica, M, Furlan, R, Geljic, M, Germano, C, Getachew, R, Goncalves, M, Haidar, A, Hartmann, J, Jo, A, John, O, Kerins, S, Kerr, M, Kesselring, I, Kim, H, Kim, N, Kinney, K, Krcmar, M, Kotler, E, Lafanechere, M, Lee, C, Llerena, J, Markiewicz, C, Matnejl, P, Maturana, A, Mavambu, A, Mayol-Troncoso, R, McDonnell, A, McGowan, A, McLaughlin, D, McIlhenny, R, McQueen, B, Mebrahtu, Y, Mensi, M, Hui, CLM, Suen, YN, Wong, SMY, Morrell, N, Omar, M, Partridge, A, Phassouliotis, C, Pichiecchio, A, Politi, P, Porter, C, Provenzani, U, Prunier, N, Raj, J, Ray, S, Rayner, V, Reyes, M, Reynolds, K, Rush, S, Salinas, C, Shetty, J, Snowball, C, Tod, S, Turra-Fariña, G, Valle, D, Veale, S, Whitson, S, Wickham, A, Youn, S, Zamorano, F, Zavaglia, E, Zinberg, J, Woods, SW & Shenton, ME 2024, 'Accelerating Medicines Partnership® Schizophrenia (AMP® SCZ): Rationale and Study Design of the Largest Global Prospective Cohort Study of Clinical High Risk for Psychosis', Schizophrenia bulletin, vol. 50, no. 3, pp. 496-512.

Hoheisel, L, Kambeitz-Ilankovic, L, Wenzel, J, Haas, SS, Antonucci, LA, Ruef, A, Penzel, N, Schultze-Lutter, F, Lichtenstein, T, Rosen, M, Dwyer, DB, Salokangas, RKR, Lencer, R, Brambilla, P, Borgwardt, S, Wood, SJ, Upthegrove, R, Bertolino, A, Ruhrmann, S, Meisenzahl, E, Koutsouleris, N, Fink, GR, Daun, S & Kambeitz, J 2024, 'Alterations of Functional Connectivity Dynamics in Affective and Psychotic Disorders', Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging.

Casetta, C, Santosh, P, Bayley, R, Bisson, J, Byford, S, Dixon, C, Drake, RJ, Elvins, R, Emsley, R, Fung, N, Hayes, D, Howes, O, James, A, James, K, Jones, R, Killaspy, H, Lennox, B, Marchant, L, McGuire, P, Oloyede, E, Rogdaki, M, Upthegrove, R, Walters, J, Egerton, A & MacCabe, JH 2024, 'CLEAR – clozapine in early psychosis: study protocol for a multi-centre, randomised controlled trial of clozapine vs other antipsychotics for young people with treatment resistant schizophrenia in real world settings', BMC Psychiatry, vol. 24, no. 1, 122.

Griffiths, K, Mellado, MR, Chung, R, Lally, J, McQueen, G, Sendt, K-V, Gillespie, A, Ibrahim, M, Richter, A, Shields, A, Ponsford, M, Jolles, S, Hodsoll, J, Pollak, TA, Upthegrove, R, Egerton, A & Maccabe, JH 2024, 'Changes in immunoglobulin levels during clozapine treatment in schizophrenia', Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, vol. 115, pp. 223-228.

Wenzel, J, Badde, L, Haas, SS, Bonivento, C, Van Rheenen, TE, Antonucci, LA, Ruef, A, Penzel, N, Rosen, M, Lichtenstein, T, Lalousis, PA, Paolini, M, Stainton, A, Dannlowski, U, Romer, G, Brambilla, P, Wood, SJ, Upthegrove, R, Borgwardt, S, Meisenzahl, E, Salokangas, RKR, Pantelis, C, Lencer, R, Bertolino, A, Kambeitz, J, Koutsouleris, N, Dwyer, DB, Kambeitz-Ilankovic, L & PRONIA Consortium 2024, 'Transdiagnostic subgroups of cognitive impairment in early affective and psychotic illness', Neuropsychopharmacology, vol. 49, no. 3, pp. 573-583.

Palmer, ER, Griffiths, SL, Watkins, B, Weetman, T, Ottridge, R, Patel, S, Woolley, R, Tearne, S, Au, P, Taylor, E, Sadiq, Z, Al-Janabi, H, Major, B, Marriott, C, Husain, N, Katshu, MZUH, Giacco, D, Barnes, NM, Walters, JTR, Barnes, TRE, Birchwood, M, Drake, R & Upthegrove, R 2023, 'Antidepressants for the prevention of depression following first-episode psychosis (ADEPP): study protocol for a multi-centre, double-blind, randomised controlled trial', Trials, vol. 24, no. 1, 646.

Betz, LT, Penzel, N, Rosen, M, Bhui, K, Upthegrove, R & Kambeitz, J 2023, 'Disentangling heterogeneity of psychosis expression in the general population: Sex-specific moderation effects of environmental risk factors on symptom networks', Psychological Medicine, vol. 53, no. 5, pp. 1860-1869.

Griffiths, SL, Bogatsu, T, Longhi, M, Butler, E, Alexander, B, Bandawar, M, Everard, L, Jones, PB, Fowler, D, Hodgekins, J, Amos, T, Freemantle, N, McCrone, P, Singh, SP, Birchwood, M & Upthegrove, R 2023, 'Five-year illness trajectories across racial groups in the UK following a first episode psychosis', Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, vol. 58, no. 4, pp. 569-579.

Morales-Muñoz, I, Mallikarjun, PK, Chandan, JS, Thayakaran, R, Upthegrove, R & Marwaha, S 2023, 'Impact of anxiety and depression across childhood and adolescence on adverse outcomes in young adulthood: a UK birth cohort study', British Journal of Psychiatry , pp. 1-9.

Lalousis, PA, Schmaal, L, Wood, S, Reniers, R, Cropley, VL, Watson, A, Pantelis, C, Suckling, J, Barnes, N, Pariante, CM, Jones, P, Joyce, E, Barnes, TRE, Lawrie, SM, Husain, N, Dazzan, P, Deakin, B, Weickert, CS & Upthegrove, R 2023, 'Inflammatory subgroups of schizophrenia and their association with brain structure: A semi-supervised machine learning examination of heterogeneity', Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, vol. 113, pp. 166-175.

Herniman, SE, Wood, SJ, Khandaker, G, Dazzan, P, Pariante, CM, Barnes, NM, Krynicki, CR, Nikkheslat, N, Vincent, RC, Roberts, A, Giordano, A, Watson, A, Suckling, J, Barnes, TRE, Husain, N, Jones, PB, Joyce, E, Lawrie, SM, Lewis, S, Deakin, B & Upthegrove, R 2023, 'Network analysis of inflammation and symptoms in recent onset schizophrenia and the influence of minocycline during a clinical trial', Translational Psychiatry, vol. 13, no. 1, 297.

Altaweel, N, Upthegrove, R, Surtees, A, Durdurak, B & Marwaha, S 2023, 'Personality traits as risk factors for relapse or recurrence in major depression: a systematic review', Frontiers in Psychiatry, vol. 14, 1176355.

Osimo, EF, Perry, BI, Mallikarjun, P, Prichard, M, Lewis, J, Katunda, A, Murray , GK, Perez, J, Jones, P, Cardinal, RN, Howes, OD, Upthegrove, R & Khandaker, G 2023, 'Predicting treatment resistance from first-episode psychosis using routinely collected clinical information', Nature Mental Health, vol. 1, pp. 25-35.


Jauhar, S, Arnone, D, Baldwin, DS, Bloomfield, M, Browning, M, Cleare, AJ, Corlett, P, Deakin, JFW, Erritzoe, D, Fu, C, Fusar-Poli, P, Goodwin, GM, Hayes, J, Howard, R, Howes, OD, Juruena, MF, Lam, RW, Lawrie, SM, McAllister-Williams, H, Marwaha, S, Matuskey, D, McCutcheon, RA, Nutt, DJ, Pariante, C, Pillinger, T, Radhakrishnan, R, Rucker, J, Selvaraj, S, Stokes, P, Upthegrove, R, Yalin, N, Yatham, L, Young, AH, Zahn, R & Cowen, PJ 2023, 'A leaky umbrella has little value: evidence clearly indicates the serotonin system is implicated in depression', Molecular Psychiatry, vol. 28, no. 8, pp. 3149-3152.

Review article

Marwaha, S, Palmer, E, Suppes, T, Cons, E, Young, AH & Upthegrove, R 2023, 'Novel and emerging treatments for major depression', The Lancet, vol. 401, no. 10371, pp. 141-153.

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