Dr Grainne McAlonan, Reader (Clinical) and Head of Research and Development


Grainne McAlonanBackground

Dr McAlonan is a Specialty Doctor at the Adult ADHD Clinic and the Autism Assessment and Behavioural Genetics Clinic.  She is also a Reader (Clinical) at The Institute of   Psychiatry, King’s College London and Head of Research and Development for the Behavioural and  Developmental Psychiatry Clinical Academic Group, King’s Health Partners.

She also holds an  Honorary Associate Professor post at The University of Hong Kong, where she worked for 11  years before returning to the U.K.. She completed medical training at University of Cambridge  and Imperial College, U.K. and gained a PhD in Behavioural Neuroscience from University of Cambridge.


Dr McAlonan’s research focus is on disorders of neurodevelopment, using MRI to link brain and behaviour in people with autism, ADHD and schizophrenia. In addition, laboratory based methods help investigate causal mechanisms and generate tractable targets for pharmacotherapy. 

 Active projects include:

1. Brain Imaging in Infants (at low and high risk of neurodevelopmental disorders)

2. In-vivo MRS assay of brain glutamate-GABA balance and drug response in adult men with and without Autism Spectrum

3. Brain anatomy and biochemistry in Neurexin-1a knock-out model

4. Predicting and preventing schizophrenia-like phenotype in maternal immune activation model

5. N acetyl cysteine: Effects on striatal glutamate and behaviour

6. Oxytocin: Effects on striatal protein expression and social and non-social behavior

7. Induced Pluripotential Stem Cells for Neurodevelopmental Disorders

8. PET imaging studies in Autism Spectrum: mGluR5 and GABAa5 receptor density in brain.

9. SHOX gene duplication in Autism Spectrum Disorders.


Wong, T. K. W., Fung, P. C. W., Chua, S. E., & McAlonan, G. M. (2008). Abnormal spatiotemporal processing of emotional facial expressions in childhood autism: Dipole source analysis of event-related potentials. European Journal of Neuroscience, 28(2), 407-416.

McAlonan, G. M., Cheung, V., Chua, S. E., Oosterlaan, J., Hung, S., Tang, C., et al. (2009). Age-related grey matter volume correlates of response inhibition and shifting in attention- deficit hyperactivity disorder. British Journal of Psychiatry, 194(2), 123-129.

Hallahan, B., Daly, E. M., McAlonan, G., Loth, E., Toal, F., O’Brien, F., et al. (2009). Brain morphometry and volume in autistic spectrum disorder: A magnetic resonance imaging study of adults. Psychological Medicine, 39(2), 337-346.

McAlonan, G. M., Suckling, J., Wong, N., Cheung, V., Lienenkaemper, N., Cheung, C., et al. (2008). Distinct patterns of grey matter abnormality in high-functioning autism and asperger’s syndrome. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, and Allied Disciplines, 49(12), 1287-1295.

McAlonan, G. M., Cheung, C., Cheung, V., Wong, N., Suckling, J., & Chua, S. E. (2009). Differential effects on white-matter systems in high-functioning autism and asperger’s syndrome. Psychological Medicine, 39(11), 1885-1893.

Cheung, C., Chua, S. E., Cheung, V., Khong, P. L., Tai, K. S., Wong, T. K. W., McAlonan, G.M. (2009). White matter fractional anisotrophy differences and correlates of diagnostic symptoms in autism. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, 50(9), 1102-1112.

Cheung C., Yu K.K.K., Fung C.M.G., Leung M.K., Wong H.Y., Li Q., Sham P.C., Chua S.E. and McAlonan G.M(2010) Autistic Disorders and Schizophrenia: Related or Remote? An Anatomical Likelihood Estimation. PLoS One, Aug 18;5(8):e12233

Chan, R.C.K., McAlonan, G.M., Yang, B.R., Lin, L., Shum, D., Manschreck, T.C. Prevalence of neurological soft signs and their neuropsychological correlates in typically developing Chinese children and Chinese children with ADHD. (2010) Developmental Neuropsychology, 35(6), 698 – 711

Hu, Z., Chan, R. C. K., & McAlonan, G. M. (2010). Maturation of social attribution skills in typically developing children: An investigation using the social attribution task. Behavioral and Brain Functions, 6

Chan R.C.K., Hu Z.Y., Cui J.F., McAlonan G.M. (2011) Social attribution in children with high functioning autism and Asperger Syndrome: An exploratory study in the Chinese setting. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders. 5(4), 1538–1548.

Meyer U., Weiner I., McAlonan G. M., Feldon J. (2011) The neuropathological contribution of prenatal inflammation to schizophrenia. Expert Review of. Neurotherapeutics. 11(1), 29–32

Yu K.K., Chueng C., Chua S.E., McAlonan G.M. (2011) Can Asperger’s syndrome be distinguished from autism? An anatomical likelihood meta-analysis of MRI studies. Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Mar 1;36(2):100138. doi: 10.1503/jpn.100138. [Epub ahead of print] (I.F. 4.1)

Deng Y.M., Meyer U., S. Lam, Feldon F., Li Q., Wei R., Luk L., Leung P., Chua S.E., Sham P.C., Wang Y., McAlonan G.M. (2011) Frontal-subcortical protein expression following prenatal exposure to maternal inflammation. PLoS One, Feb 10;6(2):e16638.

Cheung C., McAlonan G.M.*, Fung Y.Y., Fung G., Yu K., Tai K.S., Sham P.C., Chua S.E. (2011) MRI study of minor physical anomaly in childhood autism implicates aberrant neurodevelopment in infancy. PloS One, 6(6): e20246.


Share this page