Iris Sommer studied medicine in Amsterdam and obtained her PhD (cum laude) in Utrecht on language in schizophrenia. She started the Voices Clinic Utrecht and investigated the cerebral basis of auditory verbal hallucinations. She also gathered a multidisciplinary team to study language as a biomarker for schizophrenia using computational linguistics.
In 2017 she moved to the north to become director of the Research Institute Brain and Cognition in UMC Groningen. She started the HAMLETT-OPHELIA cohort to study effects of maintenance medication and investigated optimal treatment for women with schizophrenia. She now leads a team of 20 PhD students and 5 postdocs.
Iris authored four popular scentific books from which two became best-sellers.
Alison is a Clinical Psychologist and CBT for Psychosis (CBTp) therapist, with 32 years of experience of working with people with psychosis and delivering training both nationally and internationally.
She has a particular interest in the relationship between trauma and psychosis and is also a strong advocate of personalised care and service user choice: campaigning to ensure people with psychosis get access to evidence based interventions, especially psychological therapies.
Since 2012 she has worked at a national level as a Clinical Advisor to the Adult Mental Health Policy Team within NHS England. Here her focus is on the development and implementation of national policy aimed at improving access to psychological therapies for people diagnosed with severe mental health problems in England.