Prof. Athula Sumathipala gives inaugural professorial lecture at Keele University
Athula Sumathipala, Professor of Psychiatry at Keele University and Hon Director IRD, gave his inaugural lecture at Keele’s programme of Inaugural Professorial Lectures 2015-16, on Monday, 16 May 2016. The title of his lecture is “From Colombo to Keele: A journey to reduce the global health research divide”. The Keele’s programme of Inaugural Lectures are given by newly established professors within the University and aim to give an illuminating account of the speaker’s own subject specialism. The lecture was chaired by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Trevor McMillan.
The lecture covered his research career that started in Sri Lanka that has ranged from observational to intervention studies, which have influenced policy and practice in the field. These include research exploring the prevalence and heritability of Common Mental Disorders extending to metabolic syndrome and bioethics. He described establishing the Sri Lankan Twin Registry and the Institute for Research and Development, for internationally competitive research and achievements made, such as the first ever island wide mental health survey. He discussed the power of international collaboration in research and the value of bi-directional knowledge flow between South to North. Lastly, his journey back to UK and to Keele University; plans on translational research and new approaches to developing interventions to optimise management of people with co-morbid mental and physical long-term health conditions.