Our People

Dr James L. Findon

Dr James Findon is head of the Brain and Body Lab. He is a lecturer in psychology (edu) at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London. He has a PhD in psychology and neuroscience from King’s College London.

His research activities focus on the interplay between brain and body. Specifically, he is interested in mind-body interactions in the context of neurodevelopmental conditions such as autism and ADHD. He is also interested in the role of physical exercise in mental health.

Dr Martina Carboni

Dr Martina Carboni is a Consultant Psychiatrist at the Adult Autism and ADHD Assessment Clinic at the Maudsley Hospital. While refining her clinical expertise in Neurodevelopmental Disorders, she completed a 2-year fellowship in neuroscience research at KCL working with induced pluripotent stem cells. Her main research focus is on neural development and the microbiome in autism and related conditions.

PhD Students

Francesca Malagodi

Francesca’s PhD is investigating the effectiveness of an exercise intervention at improving symptoms of depression and anxiety in university students. Her research interests are around the effects of physical activity on the brain and especially how exercise can impact our mental wellbeing.

Francesca also coordinates the Move Your Mind programme, Active Wellness Scheme and all wellness initiatives for King’s Sport. Francesca is a personal trainer and group exercise instructor who specialises in high impact/energy classes. Francesca started her fitness journey in 2015 with her Level 2 Certificate in Group Exercise to Music and has over six years of experience in the industry.

Current students

Sanjana Gandhi

Sanjana is an MSc student in Clinical Neurodevelopmental Sciences student at Kings College London. She developed her interest in neuropsychology after working as a support worker in a psychiatry clinic. She is particularly interested in the biopsychosocial correlates of psychiatric conditions.

She is also a trained suicide prevention volunteer and volunteers at care homes for individuals with down syndrome and ASD. Her research focuses on the association between alexithymia, and gastrointestinal disorders in autism and the mediating ability of the perception of the bodily state.

Nadia Sultan

Nadia is an MSc student in Clinical Neurodevelopmental Sciences at Kings College London. Nadia completed her BSc degree in Biochemistry at Queen Mary University of London. However, she developed an interest in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism after working as a carer and SEN teaching assistant.

She is interested in studying the gut-brain axis in autistic individuals to hopefully aid in pursuing a career in helping symptomatic autistic individuals attain a better quality of life.

Dr Beata Davison

Beata is a community paediatrician and an MSc student in Clinical Neurodevelopmental Sciences at Kings College London. Having been involved in developing the local clinical care pathway for ADHD in Gloucestershire, she is devoted to maximizing the physical and mental wellbeing of children and young people with ADHD to improve their long-term outcomes measured in quality of life.

Her research focuses on understanding the link between impulsivity, compulsivity, and addictive behaviours in ADHD, and whether these symptoms can be predicted, impacted, prevented by pro-active interventions, including medication.

Brandon Lee-Martis

Brandon’s dissertation is investigating the role of respiratory sinus arrhythmia and GI symptoms in ASD psychopathology. His research interests are around if the gut microbiome and vagal tone can be a reliable indicator of a sub-type of autism and the role probiotics can take in treating this.

Brandon is also part of the neurodiverse research advisory board, helping current research methodology become more inclusive and ‘autism friendly’ to encourage participation and validity of obtained results. Brandon is also involved in local politics, regularly talking to his local MP about issues surrounding autism in the educational setting. Brandon’s interest in autism started when he was diagnosed with ASD at 15 and pursued his level 5 certificate in child psychology and a level 2 certification as a SEN teaching assistant.

Elizaveta Medvedeva

Elizaveta is a third-year Psychology student at King’s College London. Elizaveta was interested in Autism Spectrum Disorders since her childhood as her older brother was diagnosed with autism. This pushed her to study psychology and choose AUTIMM as a final year research project.

Her research is focusing on the effect of gastrointestinal symptoms in autism on performance on the Reading the Mind in the Eyes test, a measure of social cognition.

Diana Phillips

Diana is a final year BSc Psychology student. Diana was an Honorary Assistant Psychologist at an NHS primary care service where she became passionate about the biopsychosocial underpinnings of physical health disorders by assisting a group for chronic pain management.

Fascinated by the role of gut microbial dysbiosis in autism, Diana joined AUTIMM. Diana’s research will investigate the association between gastrointestinal symptoms, respiratory sinus arrhythmia and social cognition in autism. With a joint love for biology and psychology, she hopes to continue in academia focusing on neurodevelopmental conditions.

Lily Beaman

Lily is a final year BSc Psychology student at King’s College London. Having worked with the ESTRA Project as a Research Assistant to explore aetiological features of eating disorders, Lily’s interests surround seeking to better understand biopsychosocial mechanisms of psychiatric conditions.

Specifically, Lily is currently researching whether interoception, or, our ability to sense the body’s internal state, is linked to gastrointestinal distress that may be identified in autism, and if this relationship is mediated by alexithymia. Lily hopes that this research might help to further inform our understanding of the neurodevelopmental condition and its varied presentations.

Iris-Annabel Metsik

Iris is a third-year BSc Psychology student at King’s College London. Her research interest concerns the role of anxiety symptoms in autonomic nervous system dysfunction in individuals with, as well as without a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Her project aims to understand whether symptoms of anxiety can explain the experience of ANS dysfunction in people with ASD, as measured by the physiological indicators of heart rate variability and respiratory sinus arrhythmia, as well as clinical symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders.

Former Members

Amy Tong
India Ruiterman
Clara Goundry
Aino Hyvonen
Yuko May
Megan Cooper
Tarek Seifert
Qiuyi Liang
Kate Overall
Colette Walker
Cheuk yee Tam