Knighthood for genetics pioneer
16 June 2014
Professor Mike Owen has been awarded a Knighthood in the Queen's birthday honours for services to Psychiatry and Neuroscience. Professor Owen is a leading expert in the genetics of psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders.
He has published over 500 scientific papers and identified novel genetic risk factors for a number of disorders including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, Alzheimer's disease, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and Dyslexia.
Professor Owen said: "Obviously any success I might have had has depended on the work and support of many others.
"I'd like to thank my academic colleagues, junior and senior, as well as my administrative and technical colleagues over more than 20 years. This award is testament to what you've achieved.
"Also I've had great support from the MRC ever since I was a PhD student and more recently I have been supported by NISCHR and the Wellcome Trust.
"I have also had superb institutional support first from the former UWCM and since 2004 from Cardiff University.
"This award is also testament to the strength of Psychiatry and Neuroscience in Cardiff. I believe that in establishing Cardiff University's MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics and the Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute we have laid the foundations for 20 years of even greater success in tackling psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders.
Professor Owen's recent research activities have focused on the translation of genetic findings into benefit for patients through research on disease mechanisms, classification and diagnosis as well as in public engagement and communication.
He is the current Head of the Institute of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences in the School of Medicine and Deputy Head of the School of Medicine. As Head of the Research Institute of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences he oversaw the department becoming the UK's best in the latest Research Assessment Exercise.
He is also the Director of the Medical Research Council's Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics.
In addition to his research activities, Professor Owen continues to work as a consultant in General Adult Psychiatry. He has previously been President of the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics and a member of the council of the Academy of Medical Sciences.
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Riordan said: "Professor Mike Owen is an outstanding researcher and a key member of the University community.
"He's led some of the most important discoveries in the genetics of psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders during the last two decades. More widely, his work has helped raise the profile of mental illness.
"His efforts in securing and leading both the University's MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics & Genomics and Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute has put Cardiff University firmly on the map for our world-leading research in this field.
"It is inspiring to see members of the Cardiff University community being recognised in this way.
"I congratulate Professor Owen on this much deserved honour."