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Research groups

Alex Lau-Zhu

PhD, DClinPsy, CPsychol


MRC Clinician Scientist Fellow

  • Specialist Clinical Psychologist, Oxford Health

I am an MRC Clinician Scientist Fellow at the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford. I also work as a Clinical Psychologist at Oxford Health Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services specialising in complex trauma (Horizon), and hold a scientific affiliation at Imperial College London. From October 2024, I will be a Committee for Children Junior Research Fellow at Linacre College

My research program applies cognitive science to drive therapeutic innovations, translating between the laboratory and the clinic. I have expertise in mental imagery and autobiographical thinking. Current work includes mechanistic and intervention studies exploring (1) "flashforward" images in anxiety; (2) intrusive memories of trauma; and (3) emotional imagery in autism. The overarching clinical focus is youth mental health, as it presents exciting opportunities for prevention and early intervention.

I take an interdisciplinary perspective within and outside of psychology (linking with, for example, psychiatry, neuroscience, ethics, arts, etc) and draw from a range of methods: experimental psychopathology, cognitive paradigms, systematic reviews, qualitative research, single cases, trial designs, and more recently longitudinal approaches and experience sampling. I am also keen to support diversity in academic and clinical psychology careers.

My work has received funding from the Medical Research Council, National Institute of Health Research, John Fell Fund, NHS Health Education England, and the Cambridge International Trust.

Brief Bio & Previous Appointments

My clinical-academic career has been based in the UK although I grew up between Peru and China.

2013-24: Research Tutor and Clinical Psychologist, OXICPT, Oxford Health NHS

2019-22: Clinical Psychologist in training (BABCP accreditation), University of Oxford

2016-18: Postdoctoral Research Associate, SGDP IOPPN, King’s College London

2013-16: Cambridge International Scholar, MRC CBU, University of Cambridge

2012-13: Low-Intensity Therapist, Sutton & Merton IAPT, London

2011-12: Assistant Psychologist, Traumatic Stress Clinic, London

2008-11: BSc (Hons) Psychology, University College London (Global Excellence & Ernest Hecht Scholar)

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