Dr Samantha Jane Brooks, Ph.D.
Senior Lecturer in Cognitive Neuroscience
Liverpool John Moores University,
Tom Reilly Building Room 3.12.,
Faculty of Science,
Byrom Street, Liverpool. L3 3AD.
Tel. 0151 231 8776.
To share cognitive neuroscience research skills with undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral candidates. To build international collaborations and conduct research studies examining the neural correlates of impulse control in health and disorder.
I am a Chartered Member of the British Psychological Society (No. 109734), and trained in cognitive neuroscience at King’s College London (Maudsley Hospital), specialising in clinical neuroimaging techniques (e.g. fMRI). I have raised over $1 million across international research projects in UK, Sweden and South Africa, and have published over 75 articles and 4 book chapters since gaining my PhD in 2010. My work, which has a current H index of 28 and over 3000 citations, demonstrates empirical research and theory about the brain processes of appetite, addiction and impulsivity. I have held two international postdoctoral fellowships (Uppsala, Sweden and University of Cape Town, South Africa), and two senior lectureships, the latest in Liverpool, UK. I have permanent residency in South Africa, and continue to collaborate with international colleagues. I currently teach undergraduate and postgraduate cognitive neuroscience, and supervise honours, masters and doctoral students.
2012 – 2014: DEPT. OF PSYCHIATRY AND MENTAL HEALTH, UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
Postdoctoral Fellow, conducting research examining the neural correlates of working memory training in substance use disorders; Development of Leadership and Professional Skills for Young Researchers course.
2010 – 2012: DEPT. OF NEUROSCIENCE, UPPSALA UNIVERSITY, SWEDEN
Postdoctoral Fellow examining the neural correlates of adolescent eating disorders and the early risk biomarkers; Teaching Certificate (Higher Education).
2002-2010: DEPT. OF PSYCHOLOGICAL MEDICINE, INSTITUTE OF PSYCHIATRY, KING’S COLLEGE, LONDON, UK
Ph.D. in Psychological Medicine and Neuroimaging; MSc. In Neuroscience (Merit)
1996 – 2000: DEPT. OF PSYCHOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF GREENWICH, LONDON, UK
Post-graduate certificate in education (PGCE), specializing in teaching A-Level Psychology; Honours, Psychology, BSc. Psychology.
2018 – PRESENT: SCHOOL OF NATURAL SCIENCES AND PSYCHOLOGY, FACULTY OF SCIENCE, LIVERPOOL JOHN MOORES UNIVERSITY, UK
Senior Lecturer (Tenure Track) in Cognitive Neuroscience, conducting research into the neural correlates of impulse and appetite control using neuropsychological tasks and brain imaging techniques (SPM with fMRI, fNIRS). Additionally, lecturing cognitive neuroscience and quantitative research methods at undergraduate and postgraduate level, continuing international collaborations with University of Cape Town; Department of Neuroscience Uppsala University; and colleagues in UK.
2015 – 2018: BRAIN BEHAVIOUR UNIT, DEPT. OF PSYCHIATRY AND MENTAL HEALTH, UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
Lecturer in Neuroimaging/Neuroscience and co-leader of the Psychiatry Neuroimaging Group (PNG); undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral student supervision, teaching neuroanatomy, neurocognition and neuroimaging lectures and workshops.
2014 – 2015: BRAIN BEHAVIOUR UNIT, DEPT. OF PSYCHIATRY AND MENTAL HEALTH, UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
Research Assistant examining cognitive deficits in a South African schizophrenia large cohort study
2012 – PRESENT: DEPT. OF NEUROSCIENCE, UNIVERSITY OF UPPSALA, SWEDEN
Collaborator on neuroimaging studies relating to adolescent eating disorders.
2007 – 2009: KING’S COLLEGE LONDON – SCHOOL OF MEDICINE, DIVISION OF GENE AND CELL BASED THERAPY, ACADEMIC DEPT. OF DIABETES
Research assistant at the Academic research department of Diabetes, KCL. Interviewing Type 2 Diabetes patients who were engaged in mindfulness therapy
2006 – 2007: INSTITUTE OF PSYCHIATRY, KING’S COLLEGE LONDON, DIVISION OF PSYCHOLOGICAL MEDICINE, FORENSIC AND PSYCHOSIS DEPARTMENT
Research assistant at department of psychological medicine, working on the Aetiology and Ethnicity of Schizophrenia and other Psychoses (AESOP) study. Conducting semi-structured interviews with local patients being treated for schizophrenia, and data entry/analysis
2000 – 2006: PSYCHOLOGY DEPARTMENT, EPPING FOREST COLLEGE, BORDERS LANE, LOUGHTON, ESSEX, UK
A-Level Psychology Lecturer (University entrance exams) – psychology, biology, research methods, statistics
British Psychological Society – Chartered Member (#109734)
South African Neuroscience Society (SANS)
Neuropsychoanalytic Society (NPSA)
Society for the Study of Addiction (SSA)
Computational: Statistical Parametric Mapping (SPM) for brain imaging analyses; basic Matlab scripting, R Statistics, basic ability to update code for preprocessing and data analysis. EPrime and Presentation for MRI-compatible paradigm design.
Administrative: Grant proposal writing and submission (e.g. various large grants in Sweden such as the Brain Foundation, VR; last grant obtained was NIH – NIDA- R21 in Cape Town). Budget management for multi-researcher study. Successful ethics applications for various studies in UK, Sweden, South Africa. Successful VISA applications for myself (resulting in South African Permanent Residency) and for colleagues (advising on which forms and how to complete). Record-keeping for student personal tutorials, and for marking dissertations, coursework, lab-work.
Team-working: During my PhD studies I led a small team of 4 MSc students in their data collection and write-up for dissertations. During my first postdoctoral fellowship at Uppsala University in Sweden, I devised and led an fMRI study examining the neural correlates of adolescent eating disorders. This meant designing and implementing the paradigm, managing MSc and doctoral student data collection and analyses, and grant applications for the project. During my second postdoctoral fellowship in Cape Town I was tasked with leading and managing various MRI data analysis projects, which led to many student publications and successful thesis completion. During my time in Cape Town, I also designed and conducted – with various part-time students – an fMRI study to examine the neural effects of working memory training in people with methamphetamine use disorder. Also during my post in Cape Town I co-lead the Psychiatry Neuroimaging Group. In my new post at Liverpool John Moores University, I am leading a MSc module in Cognitive Neuroscience that involves negotiating with four other colleagues in the delivery of course materials.
Time-management: I always submit grant applications, reviews and publication submissions on time, preferably before the deadline, and prioritise according to the amount of intellectual effort required. I always ensure to arrive at lectures I am due to present approximately 15 minutes prior to the start in order to check the equipment and my slides. I keep a regular review of pending assignments and up-coming grant applications. Moreover, I keep regular meetings with my students to ensure they are on target with their data collection and thesis write up.
Communication: My lectures are for various levels of students, from foundation, to undergraduate to postgraduate, demonstrating my ability to communicate complex information about cognitive neuroscience to different abilities. I also regularly present at international conferences – to medical practitioners, scientists and to the public. As my personal website demonstrates, I have given radio interviews and I regularly write for a local Cape Town online newspaper, bringing neuroscience concepts to everyday events.
Project management: I have acquired project management skills during the development and implementation of various brain imaging and neuropsychological studies in the UK, Sweden and South Africa. Specifically, I led one of the first fMRI studies of the neural correlates of anorexia and bulimia nervosa during my doctoral studies at King’s College, London (2005-2010). Thereafter, during my first postdoctoral fellowship in Uppsala, Sweden I designed, implemented and managed (e.g. involving approximately 5 MSc and 2 PhD students) an fMRI study examining the neural correlates of adolescents with a new eating disorder diagnosis. After this, during my second postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Cape Town, I designed, implemented and managed a small group of students on a project examining how working memory training might alter brain processes in people with methamphetamine disorder. My project management has been highly successful, as many of my students have gained high quality theses, publications and new brain imaging skills (e.g. using SPM).
IT: Highly proficient in excel (e.g. common data equations, matrix formatting, data manipulation), Powerpoint (animations, slide timings, video embedding), MS Word Formatting, R Statistics, SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences), which I also teach to students.
I am an avid mountain climber (with ropes) and scrambler (hiking across difficult mountain terrains). I have volunteered for a charity in the UK delivering cooked meals to people with HIV who were unable to cook for themselves. The first plane I flew in was also a parachute jump in Scotland at age twenty. I like traveling around the world, and I can speak, write and understand Swedish. I have permanent residency in South Africa and a full UK driving license. I write a monthly article for a local newspaper in Cape Town about neuroscience in everyday life.
Postdoctoral supervisor (Sweden): Professor Helgi Schioth, Head of Section of Functional Pharmacology, Department of Neuroscience, Uppsala University, Biomedical Centre, Uppsala, Sweden. 751 24. Phone: +4618-471 4160. Email: Helgi.Schioth@neuro.uu.se
Current line manager (Liverpool UK): Dr Helen Poole, Subject Leader in Applied Psychology and Neuroscience, Liverpool John Moores University, School of Natural Sciences and Psychology. Phone: +44 (0)151 904 6307. Email: H.M.Poole@ljmu.ac.uk
Ms Sabina Funk (Cape Town, South Africa) – completed thesis with first class honours and top of her class, also has contributed to two publications with me. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ms Kate Pothiawala (Liverpool, UK) – about to complete her thesis under my supervision. K.Pothiawala@2018.ljmu.ac.uk
Psychiatry Research Trust (PRT), Research Into Eating Disorders (RIED): Nina Jackson Fellowship for doctoral studies PRT: Funds to complete an fMRI study with bulimic patients PRT: Funds for scan costs during the fMRI project with anorexic patients
Gunvor och Josef Anérs stipendium; A Karlssons stipendium; LR Åkerhams stipendium; Tore Nilsons stipendium; Swedish Research Council; Brain Foundation; Kempe-Carlgrenska Fonden; Tore Nilsons stipendium; Thurings stipendium; Gunvor och Josef Anérs stipendium; TOTAL: €800,000
2012-2018 (SOUTH AFRICA):
Brain Behaviour Initiative (UCT); Claude Leon Fellowship, South Africa; National Research Foundation (NRF), South Africa; ABMRF Alcohol Foundation (USA); PreSeed Award Funding (UCT) South Africa; NIH NIDA R21 DA040492 “Contingency management neuroplasticity and methamphetamine abuse in South Africa” South African PI; TOTAL: €400,000
Current teaching (Liverpool John Moores University, UK):
4203PSYSCI: Individual Differences and Developmental Psychology
5202PSYSCI: Quantitative Research Methods
5203PSYSCI: Cognitive and Biological Psychology
5205PSYSCI: Careers and Employability
5206PSYSCI: Contemporary Issues in Psychology
6200PSYSCI: BSc Hons Dissertation supervision
6203PSYSCI: Cognitive Neuroscience
7100HEAPSY: MSc Dissertation supervision
7102BRAIN: MSc Cognitive Neuroscience
Previous teaching (University of Cape Town, South Africa):
MSc Med Neuroscience (by dissertation) supervision of students
Weekly workshop covering cognitive neuroscience and neuroimaging
Previous teaching (Uppsala University, Sweden):
MSc Cognitive Neuroscience: Neuroscience of appetite in addiction and eating disorders
Supervision of students
2005 – 2010: Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, London, UK
Hannah Dickson Masters in Neuroscience - supervisor (completed)
Smitha Chandashakar Masters in Neuroscience - supervisor (completed)
Karen Fitzpatrick Masters in Neuroscience - supervisor (completed)
Urmilla Das Masters in Neuroscience - supervisor (completed)
2010 - 2012: Dept. of Neuroscience, Uppsala University, Sweden
Olga Titova PhD - co-supervisor (completed)
Linda Solstrand-Dahlberg PhD - co-supervisor (completed)
Jonathan Burgos PhD - co-supervisor (completed)
Elin Allzen Masters in Neuroscience - supervisor (completed)
Lina Lundberg Masters in Neuroscience - supervisor (completed)
Sanez Zarei Masters in Neuroscience - supervisor (completed)
Olof Hjorth Masters in Neuroscience - supervisor (completed)
Paolo Meneguzzo Masters in Neuroscience – supervisor (completed)
2012 – 2018: University of Cape Town, South Africa
Mike King, PhD– co-supervisor (completed)
Coenie Hattingh PhD - co-supervisor (completed)
Shareefa Dalvie PhD - co-supervisor (completed)
Anne Uhlmann PhD - co-supervisor (completed)
Daniella Vuletic PhD - co-supervisor (completed)
Nicolina van der Merve Masters in Neuroscience - co-supervisor (completed)
Kim Burch Masters in Neuroscience - co-supervisor (completed)
Gert Coetze Masters in Neuroscience - co-supervisor (completed)
Angelo Dias Masters in Neuroscience - co-supervisor (completed)
Michelle Barnwell Masters in Neuroscience – co-supervisor (in progress)
Tasneem Paruk Masters in Neuroscience– co-supervisor (in progress)
Kai Schramm Honours in Psychology- co-supervisor (completed)
Matthew Snelling Honours in Psychology - co-supervisor (completed)
Antonette Nell Honours in Physiology- co-supervisor (completed)
Stefano Maiorana Honours in Psychology - co-supervisor (completed)
Eran Shorer Honours in Physiology (intercalated) – co-supervisor (in progress)
Sabina Funk Honours in Psychology– co-supervisor (completed)
Ian Olivier Honours in Physiology intercalated medical student – co-supervisor (completed)
2018 – present: School of Natural Sciences and Psychology, Faculty of Science, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK.
Thomas Halliwell BSc Honours in Psychology – main supervisor (completed)
Jessica Lee BSc Honours in Psychology – main supervisor (completed)
Siobhan Farraghy BSc Honours in Psychology - co-supervisor (completed)
Georgia Flynn BSc Honours in Psychology - co-supervisor (completed)
Kate Pothiawala MSc Health Psychology – main supervisor (in progress)
Charlotte Cleverley MSc Health Psychology – main supervisor (in progress)
Rhiannon Mackenzie-Phelan PhD candidate (neuroimaging) - co-supervisor (in progress)
2009 & 2010: Brain Travel Grant Award x 2 (Guarantor: Professor Geraint Rees) Department of Cognitive Neuroscience, UCL
2010: Neuropsychoanalysis (NPSA) Travel Grant
2011: Young scientist award, Department of Neuroscience, Uppsala University
2012: Highly commendable reviewer award (for speed, efficiency and number of papers reviewed), Prof. Peter Tyrer, British Journal of Psychiatry.
2013: Best Short Paper Presentation, March 2013, 11th International London Eating Disorders Conference
2014: PreSeed Inventors Award, University of Cape Town, for Novel Concept Development; GlaxoSmithKline Neuroscience Senior Investigator Research Award (IADR, Cape Town)
2015: Inventors Award, Research Contracts and Intellectual Property Services (RCIPS), University of Cape Town, for inventing the Curb Your Addiction App
TEACHING AND PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS/TRAINING
2001: Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) – Post-compulsory (Greenwich University)
2011: Higher Education Pedagogy Course – Uppsala University
2015: EMERALD (KCL) Leadership course for researchers in psychiatry
2017: MATLAB for SPM – University of Stellenbosch
2018: R statistics – Liverpool John Moores University
2018: E-Learning – Liverpool John Moores University
2018: Supervisor workshop – Liverpool John Moores University