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Catherine Kaylor-Hughes

Neuroscientist, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences



Dr Catherine Kaylor-Hughes studied at the University of Sussex and achieved her BSc Hons in Neuroscience in 2000. She then went on to study at Sussex for her DPhil in Neuroscience from 2000-2003, before working at the University of Sheffield from 2003-2010 as a post-doctoral researcher in the Sheffield Cognition and Neuroimaging Laboratory (SCANLab). After this she came to the University of Nottingham as a research fellow for the CLAHRC-NDL until its completion in December 2013.

Catherine is currently working as the Mental Health Theme Clinical Trial Manager on several studies within the new CLAHRC - East Midlands and is research lead on a trial of online interventions for Depression and Anxiety. She is also part of the imaging analysis team on a multi-centre NIHR EME Funded RCT comparing connectivity guided TBS with repetitive TMS in treatment resistant depression.

Expertise Summary

Catherine's research interests lie in finding earlier treatments and providing better accessibility to mental health care and wellbeing through pragmatic, cost effective and clinically significant trials and interventions. More specifically she has managed research into the effectiveness of interventions with a view to timely implementation into NHS practice in the long term for depression and anxiety, health anxiety, ADHD, and Self-Harm.

Working within the Collaboration for Leadership and Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC-EM), Catherine has expertise in designing complex clinical and pragmatic trials that include mixed method designs, digital technology applications and randomised controlled trials; all of which require coordination of effective outcomes through implementation frameworks and strong stakeholder networks.

She also has significant experience of the design of imaging protocols for use in functional and structural MRI trials in health and disease. She is an experienced user of SPM and has recently begun to integrate FSL protocols in image processing for the purposes of identifying sites for connectivity guided TMS.

Teaching Summary

Catherine has taught on a number undergraduate and postgraduate courses throughout her career so far including:

MSc - Molecular Aspects of Brain Disease; Molecular Medicine course module 'Neuropsychiatry and NeuroImaging; MSc - Visual and Auditory Evoked Response Potentials.

Year 4 Medical - Design and Application of Structural and Functional Brain Imaging

BSc Evolution, Sensory Systems and Physiology and Behaviour

Supervision: Masters Research; BMedSci (Phase 1b); UG Community Internship Aspire to Go Further; Research into Practice (RIPIples)

Mentoring: University Staff Mentor of Research Associates

Research Summary

Dr Kaylor-Hughes' main research interests are within neuroscience, cognitive psychology and mental health.

More recently her research has focussed on applied healthcare clinical trials within Mental Health. Here Catherine provides oversight of the mental health studies running within the CLAHRC East Midlands, consulting with the research teams to help shape the design, implementation and maintenance of RCT clinical studies that are testing a number of methodologies and interventions including:

  • - Therapy through video conferencing to reduce symptoms of distress in people using Urgent Care Services
  • - Technology to reduce time to diagnosis in ADHD
  • - Remote therapy to help young people who Self-Harm
  • - Online Interventions for Depression and Anxiety - A Public Health Approach

Selected Publications

Past Research

Previously Catherine has used structural and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging to investigate the biology of avolition in schizophrenia and to explore complex cognitive behaviours such as lying, verbal fluency, free association and social hierarchies in health and disease.

  • Using the latest fMRI technology to study the neural processes of higher cognitive tasks and spontaneous behaviours in healthy individuals and people suffering from neuropsychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia. Correlating imaging data with extensive neuropsychological tests of higher brain function to determine those areas of neural circuitry that are affected in people suffering from disorders of this kind in order that we may learn more about the nature and course of these illnesses. This study was funded by the MRC, Principle Investigator Professor S.A.Spence.
  • In collaboration with Professor Gavin Reynolds, Queens University, Belfast, the genetic factors underlying such neuropsychiatric disturbances were also being examined. Using genotyping analysis in conjunction with cognitive testing we hope to elucidate and confirm some of the many genetic determinants of symptoms relating to particular neuropsychiatric diseases. It was hoped that this will eventually contribute to promoting more effective treatments early on in a patient's psychiatric illness.
  • Other research areas involving fMR Imaging included studying the anatomy of vocal lying and verbal fluency tasks in healthy individuals.
  • Dr Kaylor-Hughes' DPhil (PhD) involved studying time course and sensory processes, in particular vision and eye movements, involved in real-world implicit learning tasks, such as driving.

School of Medicine

University of Nottingham
Medical School
Nottingham, NG7 2UH

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