Professor Barbara J Sahakian – Cognition and Mental Health Theme Lead

Professor Sahakain has had a long and distinguished career as Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology at the University of Cambridge Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute. She is also an Honorary Clinical Psychologist at Addenbrooke’s Hospital and a Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge. She is a Fellow of the British Academy and the Academy of Medical Sciences and a Member of the International Expert Jury for the 2017 Else Kröner-FreseniusStiftung Prize. She is a Past President of the British Association for Psychopharmacology and of the International Neuroethics Society.

Professor Sahakian has an international reputation in the fields of psychopharmacology, neuropsychology, neuropsychiatry, neuroimaging and neuroethics. She is best known for her work on problems of cognition and motivation in brain injury, ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ cognitive deficits in depression and early detection and early treatment with cholinesterase inhibitors in Alzheimer’s disease. She has over 450 publications in scientific journals.

Professor Sahakian co-invented the neuropsychological CANTAB and EMOTICOM tests ( and the University of Cambridge/PEAK Advanced Training Programme and the Wizard Apprentice Memory Game (

Professor Sahakian has contributed to Neuroscience and Mental Health Policy, including the UK Government Foresight Project on Mental Capital and Wellbeing (Beddington et al., 2008, Nature), the Strategy for Mental Health for the Medical Research Council (Sahakian et al., 2010, The Lancet) and the Grand Challenges in Global Mental Health (Collins et al., 2011, Nature). She is on the Committee for the Strategy for Neuroscience and Mental Health for the Department of Health.

Cognition and Mental Health Theme