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  • SE5 9RJ

    United Kingdom

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Personal profile

Biographical details

Dr Alex Dregan is a Senior Lecturer in Psychiatric Epidemiology in the Department of Psychological medicine, at the IoPPN, King’s College London. He obtained his PhD from the Institute of Education, University of London where he trained in life course epidemiology. Leveraging prospective data from the BCS70 cohort, he documented pervasive adverse outcomes during adult years among children placed in the care of local authorities during the 1970s and 1980s. He also posses an MSc in Applied Psychology from Cardiff University and a BSc (Hons) in Psychology from the University of Surrey.

Research interests

Dr Dregan research is oriented towards depression-related multimorbidity across the life-course, its etiology, drivers and progression towards more complex patterns over time. His work also seeks to identify optimal prescribing practices to avert adverse drug effects and improve functional outcomes for patients on multiple drug combinations with antidepressants (polypharmacy). Towards achieving these goals, he emloys advanced epidemiological methods (eg., causal mediation, latent class analysis) in combination with AI techniques (data mining, prognostic modeling) to electronic health records (CPRD) and pooled cohorts data (birth cohorts, UK Biobank). He has been the PI of an MRC-funded award  that harmonised data across three UK birth cohorts (BCS70, NCDS58, and NSHD46) as a unique resource for understanding the role of depression in the life-course trajectory of physical multimorbidity. 

His work also involves the use of natural experiment designs to evaluate the impact of large-scale interventions, such as the IAPT in long-term conditions (LTC), on disease progression and patient-centred outcomes in the context of discordant mental and physical multimorbidity. His research has recently expanded to understand the role of gut-brain axis in the etiology and outcomes of depression-related multimorbidity and treatment response to antidepressants.  Dr Dregan substantive research has been supported through competitive funding from UKRI, NIHR, and charitable organisations, as well as a growing network of national and international collaborators.   

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, A life course perspective on the association between early life risk factors and adult psychosocial outcomes of children from public care in the British Cohort Study 1970., IoE Institute of Education

Award Date: 1 Jan 2010

Master of Science, Cardiff University

Award Date: 1 Jan 2003

Bachelor of Science, University of Surrey

Award Date: 1 Jan 2002


  • RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
  • BF Psychology


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