Douglas Steele

+44 (0)1382 496233
Professor of Neuroimaging / Consultant Psychiatrist


Studied at the University of Strathclyde (BSc Hons, Physics) and University of Glasgow (PhD Physics) before working as an NHS Medical Physicist (MIPEM) in Glasgow and a Software Engineer with IGE Medical Systems, Radlett. Moved to the University of Edinburgh in 1990 to study Medicine (MB ChB) specialising in General Adult Psychiatry (MD, MRCPsych) and worked as a Clinical Lecturer in Psychiatry/Specialist Registrar. Moved in 2004 to the University of Aberdeen as a Clinical Senior Lecturer in Mental Health/Consultant Psychiatrist, then in 2009 to the University of Dundee as Professor of Neuroimaging/Consultant Psychiatrist.

Translation of physical science methods to psychiatric neuroscience research has been a focus throughout with a particular emphasis on Mood Disorders. Clinical work is at the Advanced Interventions Service (AIS), Ninewells Hospital, a National Services Division tertiary referral centre. The AIS accepts referrals from Consultant Psychiatrists throughout the UK for patients with Treatment Resistant Mood disorder and OCD. For more information see External Website.


The work aims to develop more effective diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for ‘functional’ psychiatric disorders (mood disorder, schizophrenia, OCD, substance misuse, ADHD) using magnetic resonance brain imaging and development of novel quantitative methods. The research programme takes a broad multidisciplinary approach, extending across clinical psychiatry, experimental psychology/behavioural science and quantitative neuroimaging. A specific aim is to identify diagnostic and therapeutic biomarkers for mood disorders, drug addiction, schizophrenia, OCD, ADHD and Personality Disorders. Key research approaches include human behavioural studies, structural and functional MRI , development of novel image processing methods and application of quantitative models of brain function. The latest work includes exploring the application of new quantitative methods to psychiatric genomics research. For more information see External Website.

Group members

  • Mrs. Christine Matthews


For an up to date full list see External Website. Selected publications:

  • Gradin, V.B., Baldacchino, A., Balfour, D., Matthews, K., Steele, J.D., (2014). Abnormal Brain Activity During a Reward and Loss Task in Opiate-Dependent Patients Receiving Methadone Maintenance Therapy. Neuropsychopharmacology Vol 39 Issue 4, 885-894. Doi: 10.1083/npp.2013.289
  • Johnston, BA., Mwangi, B., Matthews, K., Coghill, D., Steele, JD. (2013) Predictive Classification of Individual Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scans from Children and Adolescents. Eur Child Adol Psychiatry Dec; 22(12) 733-44 doi: 10.1007/s00787-012-0319-0
  • Christmas, D., Steele, J.D., Tolomeo, S., Eljamel, M.S., Matthews, K.M. (2013) "Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Chronic Major Depressive Disorder: 12-Month Outcomes in Highly Treatment-Refractory Patients" Journal of Affective Disorders Sep 25;150(3):1221-5 doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2013.05.080
  • Brydges, N.M., Whalley, H.C., Jansen, M.A., Merrifield, G.D., Wood, E.R., Lawrie, S.L., Wynne, S., Day, M., Fleetwood-Walker, S., Steele, J.D., Marshall, I., Hall, J., Holmes, M.C. (2013) "Awake Rodent fMRI: A Translatable Paradigm for Measuring Cognitive and Emotional Function in Rats", PLoS One (in press)
  • Gradin V., Waiter G., O'Connor A., Romaniuk L., Stickle C., Matthews K., Hall J., Steele J.D. (2013) "Salience network-midbrain dysconnectivity and blunted signals in schizophrenia”, Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging 211(2), 104-111
  • Perrin, J., Merz, S., Bennett, D., Currie, J., Steele J.D., Reid I., Schwarzbauer C. (2012) "Electroconvulsive Therapy Reduces Frontal Connectivity in Severe Depression", PNAS 109(14) 64-71
  • Mwangi, B., Ebmeier K.P., Matthews, K.M., Steele, J.D. (2012) "Multicentre Diagnostic Classification of Individual Structural Neuroimaging Scans from Patients with Major Depressive Disorder", Brain 35(1) 54-71
  • Gradin, V., Kumar, P., Waiter, G., Ahearn, T., Stickle, C., Milders, M., Reid, I., Hall, J., Steele, J.D. (2011) "Expected Value and Prediction Error Abnormalities in Depression and Schizophrenia", Brain 134(6), 1751-1764
  • Hall J, Romaniuk L, McIntosh A.M., Steele J.D., Johnstone E.C., Lawrie S.M. (2009) “Associative learning and the genetics of schizophrenia” TINS 32(6) 359-363
  • Kumar P, Waiter G, Ahearn T, Milders M, Reid I, Steele J.D. (2008) “Abnormal temporal difference reward-learning signals in major depression” Brain, 131(8) 2084-2093
  • Rück C, Karlsson A, Steele J.D., Edman G, Meyerson B.A., Ericson K, Nyman H, Åsberg M, Svanborg P (2008) "Capsulotomy for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder – long-term follow-up of 25 patients" Archives of General Psychiatry, 65(8), 914-921
  • Steele J.D., Christmas D., Eljamel M.S., Matthews K. (2008) “Anterior cingulotomy for major depression: Clinical outcome and relationship to lesion characteristics” Biological Psychiatry, 63(7), 670-677
  • Steele J.D., Kumar P., Ebmeier, K.P. (2007) “Blunted response to feedback information in depressive illness”, Brain, 130 (9), 2367-74
  • Gilbert S.J., Spengler S., Simons J.S., Steele J.D., Lawrie S.M., Frith C.D., Burgess P.W. (2006) “Functional specialisation within rostral prefrontal cortex (area 10): a meta-analysis”, J Cog Neurosci, 18(6), 932-48
  • Ebmeier K., Donaghey C., Steele J.D. (2006) “Recent Developments and Current Controversies in Depression”, Lancet, 367, 153-167