Dr Hamid Alhaj

Dr Hamid AlhajConsultant Psychiatrist and Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer

Telephone: 0114 2261588

E-mail: h.alhaj@sheffield.ac.uk

Career history

  • Dr Hamid Alhaj obtained his MD from Aleppo University, Syria and PhD from Newcastle University, UK. He did his specialty psychiatric training within the Northern Deanery, where has was awarded an Academic Clinical Fellowship at Newcastle University from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). This facilitated the development of his academic and research work, while completing his clinical training.
  • In 2013, he was awarded an NIHR Clinical Lectureship at the University of Sheffield, where he completed his higher specialty training (CCT) in General Adult Psychiatry and further developed new research skills and ideas.
  • He was appointed as a substantive consultant psychiatrist in 2014 on Rowan Ward within the Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust. In addition, he holds an honorary senior clinical lecturer contract with the University of Sheffield.

Research interests

  • Dr Alhajā€™s main research interest involves the neurobiology and psychopharmacology of psychiatric disorders. He has utilised neuroimaging techniques such as functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG) to investigate the cognitive changes in patients with mood and psychotic disorders as well as healthy individuals.

Selected Awards

  • Margaret Slack Travelling Fellowship, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, London (2014)
  • The Professor Erwin Stengel Memorial Prize for Academic Excellence in Psychiatry, University of Sheffield (2013)
  • 2nd Trainee Research Poster Presentation Prize at the Royal College of Psychiatrists International Congress in Edinburgh (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)
  • British Neuroscience Association (BNA) Bursary Meeting (2007)
  • Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) PhD Scholarship (2001-2004)
  • BBC Arabic Service prize for short stories (1998)

Academic roles and expertise

  • Editor, Arab Journal of Psychiatry, Jordan.
  • Expert guest on various TV and radio programmes.
  • Personal and Academic Tutor of undergraduate medical students
  • Academic supervisor of postgraduate students
  • Educational and clinical supervisor of trainee doctors.
  • Invited speaker and chair at the Royal College of Psychiatrists International Congress.
  • PhD examiner: University of Karachi, Pakistan and University of Sheffield, UK.
  • Deputy Director of Studies, Phase 3A, the Medical School, University of Sheffield, UK (2014)
  • Secretary of the Clinical Academic Society, University of Sheffield, UK (2014)
  • Member of the Department of Neuroscience Research Committee, University of Sheffield (2013-2014).

Professional memberships

  • Member, the General Medical Council (GMC), UK.
  • Member, the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych), UK.
  • Member, the British Medical Association (BMA), UK.
  • Member, the British Association for Psychopharmacology (BAP), UK.
  • Member, the Medical Defence Union (MDU), UK.

Selected publications

  • 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.
  • 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 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 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 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.
  • 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.

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