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Dr.Hamid Alhaj Associate Professor and Consultant Psychiatrist Academic RankAssociate Professor

Specialization:

  • Psychiatry

Research Interests:

  • Dr Hamid's research interests are focussed on understanding the aetiology of common and severe mental health problems such as mood and psychotic disorders and developing innovative approaches to manage them. He has conducted studies to examine neurocognitive function in depression and schizophrenia, utilising functional neuroimaging techniques. He is paritcularly interested in the clinical research directly linked to identifying better approaches to manage the way that healthcare is delivered for patients with mental health difficulties.

Contact

• Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT), Royal College of Psychiatrists, London, UK (2014) • Postgrad Diploma in Clinical Research (with Distinction), Newcastle University, UK (2012). • MRCPsych, Royal College of Psychiatrists, London, UK (2011). • PhD in Psychiatry, Newcastle University, UK (2007). • MD, Faculty of Medicine, Aleppo University, Aleppo, Syria (2000).
• Associate Professor of Psychiatry (October 2020- current) Employer: The University of Sharjah, UAE • Consultant Psychiatrist (December 2020- current) Employer: University Hospital Sharjah, UAE • Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer (September 2014-current) University of Sheffield, United Kingdom • PLAB Examiner (September 2016- 2020) The General Medical Council, Manchester, United Kingdom • Consultant Psychiatrist (September 2014- October 2020) Employer: SHSC NHS Foundation Trust • Director of Medical Education (June 2018- September 2020) Employer: Sheffield Health and Social Care (SHSC) NHS Foundation Trust • Foundation Training Programme Director (July 2015- July 2018) Health Education England in Yorkshire and the Humber • Clinical Lecturer in Psychiatry (Feb 2013- Aug 2014) Employer: University of Sheffield • Specialty Registrar in Psychiatry and Honorary Postdoctoral Research Associate (Aug 2007- Jan 2013) Employer: County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, Northern Deanery
"• Oral presentation: Quality Improvement, Research and Publishing. Pre-conference training, 24th Annual NAPICU Conference, Glasgow University, UK, September 2019. • Oral presentation: The Impact of Environment on the Use of De-escalation, Restraint and Seclusion on Psychiatric wards (The EnDoRSe Study). Design in Mental Health Network Annual Conference in Coventry, UK, May 2019. • Oral presentation: How Well Do We Know Our Benzodiazepines? Joint BAP NAPICU Educational Meeting on the Multidisciplinary Management of Acute Disturbance in Cambridge, UK, March 2019. • Oral presentation: A practical guide to the use of seclusion in mental health settings. Joint BAP NAPICU Educational Meeting on the Multidisciplinary Management of Acute Disturbance in Cambridge, UK, March 2019. • Poster presentation: The impact of the physical environment on seclusion rates and patient experience in psychiatric settings: a systematic review of the literature. Presented at the Royal College of Psychiatrists International Congress in London, UK, July 2019. • Chairing session: psychiatric trauma in acute care – after Grenfell, 23rd Annual NAPICU Conference, Lougborough University, UK, September 2018. • Oral presentation: De-escalation and Seclusion Environment Study, 23rd Annual NAPICU Conference, Lougborough University, UK, September 2018. • A Trust-wide Audit of Physical Observation Monitoring of Adult Inpatients Requiring Rapid Tranquillisation, Presented at the Royal College of Psychiatrists International Congress in Birmingham, UK, June 2018. • The impact of implementing the “Safewards model” on a Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), 6th International Child and Adult Behavioral Health Conference, Abu Dhabi, UAE March 2018. • A Systematic Review of the Effect of Sensory Modulation on Restrictive Practice in the Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit. Presented at the Royal College of Psychiatrists International Congress in Edinburgh, UK, June 2017. • Staff and patient surveys of the impact of implementing the Safewards model on a Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit. Presented at the Annual NAPICU Conference in Dublin, September 2017. • Shedding light onto the neurobiology of mood disorders: Experience from the CAN-BIND project. Invited speaker at the Royal College of Psychiatrists International Congress in London, UK, June 2016. • Effects of Enhanced Home Treatment on Psychiatric Inpatients Speed of Recovery: Focus on Biophysical and Social Determinants of Treatment Response. Poster presentation at the Royal College of Psychiatrists International Congress in London, UK, June 2016. • Developing a culturally appropriate psycho-education package for the Syrian refugees. The Royal College of Psychiatrists International Congress in London, UK, June 2016. • Prevention of vitamin D deficiency in an adult psychiatry inpatient setting. The Royal College of Psychiatrists International Congress in London, UK, June 2016. • Effects of Musical Mood Induction on the Specificity of Autobiographical Memory, The Royal College of Psychiatrists International Congress in Birmingham, UK, June 2015. • Effects of Anodal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) on emotional perception of music, The Royal College of Psychiatrists International Congress in Birmingham, UK, June 2015. • Promoting resilience by the development of psycho-education package for Arabic speaking Syrian refugees in Sweden, The Royal College of Psychiatrists International Congress in Birmingham, UK, June 2015. • Functional neuroimaging of autobiographical memory as an endophenotype of depression, The Royal College of Psychiatrists International Congress in London, UK, June 2014. • Prefrontal cortex engagement in those at genetic risk of schizophrenia: a functional MRI genetics study, The Royal College of Psychiatrists International Congress in London, UK, June 2014. • How does the oral contraceptive pill affect working memory and executive function? The Royal College of Psychiatrists International Congress in Edinburgh, UK, July 2013. • A study of the effect of oral contraceptive pill on neuropsychological function. Presented at the international congress of the Jordanian association of psychiatrists, Amman, Jordan, June 2012. • A review of the evidence-based treatment of depression in bipolar affective disorder. Presented at the international congress of the Jordanian association of psychiatrists, Jordan, June 2012. • Tryptophan depletion reduces the specificity of autobiographical memory in healthy adults with a family history of depression. Presented at the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) Thematic Conference, Istanbul, Turkey, June 2011. • Enhanced 5 HT1A Auto-receptor Function in Depression. Royal College of Psychiatrists Faculty of General & Community Annual Conference, Newcastle, UK, October 2011 • Specificity of modulation by citalopram of central corticosteroid effects on spatial working memory. British Neuroscience Association Meeting, Harrogate, UK, April 2011. • Effects of corticosteroids on EEG hemispheric asymmetry in humans: a review of the literature. British Association for Psychopharmacology conference, Harrogate, UK, 2010 • NIHR Trainees Meeting, Manchester, UK (2010) • Correlations between cortisol concentration and the laterality of the neural circuitry of episodic memory in depression, Bristol, UK, April 2010 • EEG hemispheric asymmetry in depression: a review of the literature MHRN National Scientific Conference, Bristol, UK, April 2010. • A Retrospective Study of Aripiprazole Treatment in Patients with Refractory Mood Disorders. RCPsych Faculty of Academic Psychiatry annual meeting in Cardiff, 2009. • Tryptophan and kynurenine metabolism in young adults with a positive family history of depression. British Association for Psychopharmacology conference, Harrogate, UK, 2008 • Effects of DHEA Administration on Auditory Evoked Potentials. The British Neuroscience Association conference, Harrogate, UK, 2007. • Cortisol Administration Alters the Laterality of the Neural Circuitry of Episodic Memory. British Association for Psychopharmacology conference, Harrogate, UK, 2007. • Correlations between Cortisol Concentrations and the Laterality of the Neural Circuitry of Episodic Memory in Depression. British Association for Psychopharmacology conference, Oxford, UK, 2006. • LORETA Source Localization of the Electric Activity Associated with Episodic Retrieval Following DHEA and Placebo Treatments in Healthy Men. British Association for Psychopharmacology conference, Harrogate, UK, 2005. • Effects of DHEA on the Neural Correlates of Episodic Memory. Presented at International Pharmaco-EEG meeting, Antwerp, Belgium, September 2004. • An Investigation of the Neural Correlates of Episodic Memory in Drug-Free Depression. Society of Biological Psychiatry meeting in New York, USA, 2004. • DHEA Improves Mood and Recollection in Healthy Young Men. International J of Neuropsychopharmacology. CINP international meeting, Paris, France, 2004. • Effects of DHEA on Neuropsychological Function, Mood and Salivary Cortisol Levels in Healthy Young Men. British Association for Psychopharmacology conference, Harrogate, UK, 2004. • Event-Related Brain potentials investigation of the effects of four-day, high-dose course of cortisol on the neural correlates of episodic memory. British Association for Psychopharmacology conference, Cambridge, UK, 2003."
"• Member, the General Medical Council, UK (Reference 6136564): Full registration with a licence to practise • Member, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, UK. (Reference 820111): in good standing for CPD and peer appraisal. • Member, the British Medical Association (BMA), UK. • Member, the MDDUS, UK."
"• The Impact of Environment on the Use of De-escalation, Restraint and Seclusion on Psychiatric wards (The EnDoRSe Study). Joined project supported by Design in Mental Health Network (DiMHN) and NAPICU • Development of Emirati Pharmacogenomics Passport: towards practicing personalized medicine in UAE."
"Peer-Reviewed Journal Papers • Mahmood T, El-Asrag ME, Poulter JA, Cardno AG, Tomlinson A, Ahmed S, Al-Amri A, Nazari J, Neill J, Chamali RS, Kiwan N, Ghuloum S, Alhaj HA et al, A Recessively Inherited Risk Locus on Chromosome 13q22-31 Conferring Susceptibility to Schizophrenia, Schizophrenia Bulletin, sbaa161, https://doi.org/10.1093/schbul/sbaa161 • Edafe O, Bibby L and Alhaj HA (2018) Prevention of vitamin D deficiency in psychiatric inpatients, Journal of Psychiatric Intensive Care, DOI: 10.20299/jpi.2018.012 • McAllister-Williams RH, Alhaj HA, Massey A, Pankiv J, Reckermann U (2014) Somatodendritic 5- hydroxytryptamine1A (5-HT1A) autoreceptor function in major depression as assessed using the shift in electroencephalographic frequency spectrum with buspirone. Psychological Medicine. 2014 Mar;44(4):767-77. • Yates S, Smith E, Alhaj HA, and McAllister-Williams RH (2013). Future perspectives on the pharmacological management of depression. Clinical Investigation 3:2, 137-151 • Alhaj HA, Selman M, Jervis V, Rodgers J, Barton S, McAllister-Williams RH (2012). Effect of low- dose acute tryptophan depletion on the specificity of autobiographical memory in healthy subjects with a family history of depression. Psychopharmacology 2012. Jul; 222(2):285-92 • Pariante CM, Alhaj HA, Arulnathan VE, Gallagher P, Hanson A, Massey AE, McAllister-Williams RH (2012). Central glucocorticoid receptor-mediated effects of the antidepressant, citalopram, in humans: A study using EEG and cognitive testing. Psychoneuroendocrinology 2012. May; 37(5):618-28. • Alhaj H, Wisniewski G, McAllister-Williams RH. The use of the EEG in measuring therapeutic drug action: focus on depression and antidepressants. Journal of Psychopharmacology 2011, 25(9), 1175-1191. • Lajin B, Alachkar A, Hamzeh AR, Michati R, Alhaj HA (2011). No association between Val158Met of the COMT gene and susceptibility to schizophrenia in the Syrian population. North Am J Med Sci 2011; 3: 176-178. • Alhaj HA, Massey AE and McAllister-Williams RH (2006). Effects of DHEA Administration on Episodic Memory, Mood and Cortisol in Healthy Young Men: A Double-Blind, Placebo- Controlled Study. Psychopharmacology, 2006; 188: 541-551. • Alhaj HA, Massey AE and McAllister-Williams RH (2007). A Study of the Neural Correlates of Episodic Memory and HPA Axis Status in Drug-Free Depressed Patients and Healthy Controls. Journal of Psychiatric Research April-June 2007, 41, 3-4, 295-304. • Alhaj HA and McAllister-Williams RH (2008). Effects of Cortisol Administration on the Laterality of Neural Circuitry of Episodic Memory Retrieval in Healthy Subjects. Journal of Psychiatric Research. Journal of Psychiatric Research. Book Chapter • Alhaj HA and McAllister-Williams RH (2008). Adrenal steroids and episodic memory: relevance to mood disorders. In: Ekrem Dere, Alexander Easton, Lynn Nadel, Joe Huston, ed. Handbook of Episodic Memory. Elsevier. Books • Alhaj, HA 2009. Effects of Adrenal Steroids on Mood and Memory: Electrophysiological Studies in Depressed Patients and Healthy Subjects. LAP Lambert Academic Publishing ISBN 978-3- 8383-2193-6, Paperback, 276 • Alhaj HA (2007). Little Visions, a collection of short stories (in Arabic). Dar Ninawa Publications, Damascus. • Alhaj HA (2000). The healthy basis of child nursing and feeding (in Arabic), MD thesis. Aleppo University, Syria. Selected Abstracts • Alhaj HA, Selman M, Rodgers J, Barton S and McAllister-Williams RH (2011) Tryptophan depletion reduces the specificity of autobiographical memory in healthy adults with a family history of depression. Turkish Journal of Psychiatry 22(2) Suppl. 1 (OP29) page 64. • Alhaj HA and McAllister-Williams RH (2010) Effects of corticosteroids on EEG hemispheric asymmetry in humans: a review of the literature, Journal of Psychopharmacology. 24(3) suppl. A22. • Alhaj HA, Arulnathan VE, Gallagher P, Marsh RA, Massey AE, Pariante CM, McAllister-William RH. (2009) Citalopram Modulation of the Effects of Cortisol on Attention and Memory. Journal of Psychopharmacology • Alhaj HA and McAllister-Williams, RH (2007). Cortisol Administration Alters the Laterality of the Neural Circuitry of Episodic Memory. Journal of Psychopharmacology 21(7) suppl. A37 • Alhaj HA and McAllister-Williams, RH (2007). Effects of DHEA Administration on Auditory Evoked Potentials, British Neurosci. Assoc. Abstr. Vol. 19 P144 • Alhaj HA and McAllister-Williams, RH (2006). Correlations between Cortisol Concentrations and the Laterality of the Neural Circuitry of Episodic Memory in Depression. Journal of Psychopharmacology 20(5) suppl A71 (SO12) & A61 (TD15). • Alhaj HA and McAllister-Williams, RH (2004). DHEA Improves Mood and Recollection in Healthy Young Men. International J of Neuropsychopharmacology 7(S2) S340-341 (P02.135). • Alhaj HA and McAllister-Williams, RH (2004). An Investigation of the Neural Correlates of Episodic Memory in Drug-Free Depression. Biological Psychiatry 55(1S-242S): 141. "
"• Affective Sensitivity to Music in Remitted Depressives; MSc thesis Courtney Mulligan 2015 • The Effect of Enhanced Home Treatment follow-up on Psychiatric Inpatient Length of Stay; BMedSci thesis Rachel Hallam 2016 • Prevalence of OCD-like symptoms among UAE residents during the Covid -19 pandemic. University of Sharjah, College of Medicine Undergraduate Students o Leen Mustafa Zakwan Kassas o Amena Mohamad Ali o Hend Emad Ahmed Ibrhaim o Hamid Mohammad Askari o Leena Amir Atitalla Mohamed Ali o Noura Basel Al Nasere "
"• Three Clinical Excellence Awards from SHSC NHS Foundation Trust (2016-17). • NAPICU Team of the Year Award (2016). • The Margaret Slack Fellowship, Royal College of Psychiatrists (2014). • Professor Erwin Stengel Memorial Prize for Academic Excellence, University of Sheffield (2013). • 2nd Trainee Research Poster Presentation Prize at the Royal College of Psychiatrists International Congress in Edinburgh, UK (2013). • Academic Clinical Lectureship, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) (2013). • The Academic Faculty of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Conference Award (2009). • Academic Clinical Fellowship, NIHR (2008-2011). • British Association of Psychopharmacology (BAP)/ Eli Lilly Fellowships (2006 & 2007). • Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) PhD Scholarship (2001-2004). • BBC Arabic Service prize for short stories (1998)."
"Throughout his academic career, Dr Hamid Alhaj has obtained extensive experience in teaching and medical education. This includes specific techniques in managing and providing individual, small and large group teaching. He has consistently received positive feedback for his particular ability to engage with his audience in a highly interactive way. He has demonstrated commitment for teaching, and he has been given ample opportunity to educate undergraduate and postgraduate students topics of psychiatric disorders in a variety of settings in Newcastle, Sheffield, London, Cambridge as well as Sharjah University. In his role as a Senior Clinical Lecturer at the University of Sheffield, he has been involved in developing and delivering the curriculum of undergraduate and postgraduate medical and dental students. He has also taught at the MBBS, BDS and MRCPsych Courses. He is an accredited trainer of foundation, core and higher trainee doctors and has monitored trainees’ development of skills and knowledge to ensure safe and effective delivery of high-quality care. Having completed his coaching training, he has utilised this approach to provide coaching to a number of doctors within Yorkshire and the Humber region. Further, he has completed several courses specifically designed for senior educators, including the CorBLIME, a Leadership in Medical Education Training Course organised by the National Association of Clinical Tutors (NACT). These events have given him the opportunity to develop a shared process of enhancing the collective and individual capacity of people to accomplish their work roles effectively. Being a PLAB Examiner, he was closely involved in the quality assurance of Overseas Medical Graduate’ skills and competencies to be able to register with the General Medical Council and perform expected tasks up to the standards of UK medical graduates. Through his previous role as Foundation Training Programme Director, he had the opportunity to passionately oversee the development and delivery of the medical training and curriculum of postgraduate trainee doctors across the South Yorkshire Scheme. Specifically, he has been involved in designing, developing and leading a number of major training projects. These included developing resilience, achieving excellence and enhancing human factors among foundation doctors across South Yorkshire. These projects received excellent feedback from trainees and evidence suggested improvement in trainees’ performance and better management of their difficulties. As Director of Medical Education at Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Trust, Dr Hamid took the lead in ensuring the quality control of training programmes across regional NHS Trusts. His role included supporting and developing clinical supervisors as educators and ensuring that education is fully integrated with the delivery and requirements of the service both operationally and strategically. He was successful in obtaining a grant from Health Education England to help doctors to return to training via establishing a ‘Mindful SuppoRTT’ (Supporting Return to Training) Programme. This has been extremely successful with outstanding feedback from participants and facilitators."
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