Current Members

Professor Craig Melville

Professor of Intellectual Disabilities Psychiatry

Professor Melville graduated in medicine from the University of Glasgow BSc (Hons) in 1990 gaining an MBChB in 1993. After completing higher specialist training in General Adult Psychiatry and Learning Disabilities Psychiatry in 2003, he completed a higher degree (MD, University of Glasgow 2010). His current post is at the Glasgow University Centre for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.
His research interest include:
  • Physical activity, walking and sedentary behaviour
  • Obesity and weight loss
  • Complex, behaviour change interventions
  • Social disadvantage, deprivation and health
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders and mental health
  • Intellectual Disabilities.

Professor Frank Pollick

Professor of Psychology

Professor Pollick obtained his BS degrees in physics and biology from MIT in 1982, an MSc in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University in 1984 and a PhD in Cognitive Sciences from The University of California, Irvine in 1991. Following this he was an invited researcher at the ATR Human Information Processing Research Labs in Kyoto, Japan from 1991-97.
His research interest is in the perception of human movement and the cognitive and neural processes that underlie our abilities to understand the actions of others. In particular, current research emphasises brain imaging and how individual differences involving autism, depression and skill expertise are expressed in the brain circuits for action understanding. Research applications include computer animation and the production of humanoid robot motions.

Professor Helen Minnis

Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Helen Minnis is a Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Glasgow.  Professor Minnis spent time working as an Orphanage Doctor in Guatemala in the early 1990s prior to training in Psychiatry, and this stimulated an interest in the effects of early maltreatment on children’s development.
‎Professor Minnis’s research focus has been on Attachment Disorder:  clinical aspects, assessment tools and behavioural genetics.  She is now conducting intervention research for maltreated children including a randomised controlled trial of an infant mental health service for young children in foster care. 

Dr. David Simmons

Psychology Lecturer

I have spent most of my academic career researching visual perception. My earliest publications are on depth perception, colour vision, visual texture and other aspects of basic spatial vision.  In the last 20 years, however, my research interests have broadened considerably to include visual aesthetics (especially the link between colour and emotion), visual appearance (in particular how best to characterize post-surgical facial scarring), synaesthesia and, my current main focus, perception in Autism. This latter interest has resulted in work on “sub-group” committees of the Scottish Government’s “Scottish Strategy for Autism” and I am now a member of the editorial boards of the journals “Perception/i-Perception” and “The Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders”. I am also an Associate Researcher in the charity Scottish Autism’s Centre for Practice Innovation.

Dr. Jason Lang

Clinical Lecturer

I am an Honorary Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Registrar and split my work between research and clinical practice. My main interests are around neurodevelopmental disorders and adverse childhood experiences. I also have an interest in neuroimaging and epigenetics. I am currently involved in developing a pilot study which aims to look at MRI imaging, epigenetic data, biochemical, immunological and stress responsivity data in young people exposed to Adverse Childhood Experiences.

Abdullah Habib

PhD student

I graduated with a BA in Psychology from the university of Missouri St. Louis in 2012 before attending Anglia Ruskin University and obtaining my MSc in Clinical child psychology in 2014. I am currently in my final year of PhD in Psychiatry where I found the Glasgow Autism Research Group. My research interests include Autism spectrum disorder, Affective disorders, Executive Functioning, Brain Stimulation, Brain Imaging and Psychopharmacology.
My current work focuses on Autism spectrum disorder, cognitive impairments, and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). I am investigating the cognitive impairments individuals with ASD have, specifically working memory impairment, and see if brain stimulation would enhance these impairments.

Leesuel Shim

PhD student

My research interests are the multisensory perception in autism, in particular, how autistic traits impact on the processing of social information (speech and gesture), and the cross-cultural study with those are on autism between UK and South Korea.
My PhD project investigates that how autistic people show differently in their brain networks when they process speech and gesture in conversation using fMRI. I obtained my BS degree in Speech-language pathology from Hallym University in 2004 and an MA in Speech pathology in West Virginia University in 2008 and a Msc in Brain imaging method from University of Glasgow in 2015. I worked as a speech therapist in South Korea from 2008-2014

Greta Todorova

PhD student

I have recently graduated from my MSc in Research Methods of Psychological Science at the University of Glasgow with Distinction in 2017 and in 2016 I graduated from the BSc (Hons) Psychology. I am currently undertaking an ESRC PhD and am researching motion and biological motion processing in autism and how theories like predictive coding may help to explain deficits in this domain. My research will directly test the ability of the predictive coding framework to explain perceptual difficulties in ASD. Providing support for this framework will provide an evidence base for therapies based on learning and environment enrichment as forms of interventions. My undergraduate and master’s research focused on surveillance and how different degrees of expertise affect the way actions are perceived and was in collaboration with Prof Hongjing Lu form UCLA.

Katie Rutherford

PhD student

My research interests include: autism spectrum disorders and mental health, measurement of mental health conditions, psychological treatments for mental health conditions, and social communication and functioning. My PhD projects investigates the influence of social communication to the therapeutic alliance and, in turn, to therapeutic outcome. Furthermore, my research seeks to address how psychological treatment for anxiety in adults who have an autism spectrum disorder can circumvent social communication deficits to achieve a positive therapeutic alliance and successful treatment outcome.