Dr Wikus Barkhuizen (Postdoc)

Email: w.barkhuizen@mail.bbk.ac.uk

Dr Wikus Barkhuizen is a postdoctoral researcher at the GEL lab. He is interested in advancing our understanding of the early development of adverse mental health in the general population to ultimately improve prevention and early intervention efforts. Wikus uses genetically informed designs to investigate the aetiology and causal mechanisms involved in psychotic experiences such as paranoia, with a focus on environmental risk factors such as tobacco use.

Wikus completed his PhD at the GEL lab in October 2019 under the supervision of Professor Angelica Ronald.  Wikus has a first class BSc in Psychology from Birkbeck and an MSc from King’s College London in Early Intervention in Psychosis where he graduated top of his class​. In addition to his academic background in psychosis, he has eight years of clinical experience in the addiction sector as a practitioner and manager at substance misuse treatment services in London.


Wellcome Trust Research Fellow funding, awarded by the Birkbeck Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF) Working Group

Camara-Rijvers David PhD Studentship


PhD in Genetic Epidemiology, Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck (2016- 2019)

B.Sc Psychology, Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck (2009-2013)

M.Sc Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London (2015-2016)


Barkhuizen, W., Pain, O., Dudbridge, F., & Ronald, A. (2020). Genetic overlap between psychotic experiences in the community across age and with psychiatric disorders. Translational Psychiatry.

Barkhuizen, W., Dudbridge, F., & Ronald, A. (2020). Genetic overlap and causal associations between smoking behaviours and psychiatric traits and disorders in adolescents and adults. medRxiv doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.02.07.20021089

Barkhuizen, W., Cullen, E., Shetty, H., Pritchard, M., Stewart, R., McGuire, P., & Patel, R. (2020). Community Treatment Orders and associations with readmission rates and duration of psychiatric hospital admission: A controlled electronic case register study. BMJ Open.

Barkhuizen, W., Taylor, M.J., Freeman, D., & Ronald, A. (2019). A Twin Study on the Association Between Psychotic Experiences and Tobacco Use During Adolescence. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 58(2): 267-76