Professor Steve Williams

Professor Steve Williams


Professor Steve Williams is the lead of our Neuroimaging theme.

I am the Founder, Director and Head of the Centre for Neuroimaging Sciences based at the Institute of Psychiatry and Maudsley Hospital, King’s College London. I graduated from Loughborough University in 1985 then spent a formative year working in high resolution NMR spectroscopy for Beecham Pharmaceuticals in Harlow before seeking a higher degree. 

In 1988, I became the University of Cambridge’s first PhD in Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Subsequently, I went on to set up a University of London Intercollegiate Imaging facility at Queen Mary College which focused on the development and application of magnetic resonance techniques in a wide range of pre-clinical models of disease. In 1994, I moved to the Institute of Psychiatry to champion the application of neuroimaging in CNS disorders.

I have co-authored over 400 papers and chapters in leading neuroscience journals, and in 2014 I was elected a Fellow to the Academy of Medical Sciences in recognition of my scientific achievements.


2013 Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, USA
1999 Professor of Imaging Sciences; Head of Department of Neuroimaging; and Founder, Director and Head of Centre for Neuroimaging Sciences, Institute of Psychiatry (IOP), King’s College London, UK
1994 Senior Lecturer in Neuroimaging, Institute of Psychiatry (IOP), King’s College London, UK
1988 Lecturer specialising in Magnetic Resonance Techniques/Manager of High Field NMR Imaging and Spectroscopy, Facility for University of London Intercollegiate Research, Department of Chemistry, Queen Mary & Westfield College, UK

PhD NMR Imaging, University of Cambridge, UK
BSc (Hons) Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Loughborough University, UK

My recent work has focused on the translation of imaging techniques from bench to bedside, with an ever-increasing emphasis on the development of new tools for diagnosis and prediction of response to treatment.

For the past decade my aim has been to make brain imaging an essential clinical tool in psychiatry which could have far-reaching effects. If imaging can provide more accurate diagnosis and visualisation of aberrant neurobiology then this will help reduce the current stigma surrounding numerous mental illnesses as well as improve the patient’s insight of their condition and compliance with treatment.  With this in mind, my collaborators and I have developed or improved existing imaging methods to investigate numerous psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia, depression, Alzheimer’s disease and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Recently the team have also reported novel image analysis approaches which can aid the diagnosis of adult autism following just 15 minutes of imaging assessment. The same methods can also indicate whether a patient is likely to respond to treatment – one of the biggest bugbears of psychiatry which could save months of wasted time, misery and frustration.

I am extremely grateful for the wide range of funding which supports me and my department. These include the Wellcome Trust, NIHR, Medical Research Council and European Union as well as numerous industrial partners including GE Healthcare, Pfizer, Lilly, Roche, Eisai, Takeda and Janssen.



Developing brain imaging for better diagnosis, understanding of disease, prediction of response to treatments, and patient stratification for trials.

Training & development

We attract outstanding candidates with a range of experience and offer a variety of training schemes and secondment opportunities.