Timothea Toulopoulou, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Psychology


      Office: H-144
      Phone: +90 312 2906944
      E-mail: ttoulopoulou@bilkent.edu.tr
      Lab page: Brain Development and Psychosis Lab





Prof. Toulopoulou earned her Ph.D., under the supervision of Prof. Sir Robin Murray and Prof. Robin Morris, at the University of London in 2001. She completed most of her postgraduate training and her early working career at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience, King’s College London, UK, where she was affiliated until recently. She came to Turkey in 2015, after a short period at the University of Hong Kong as the Head of Psychosis Lab, to lead Bilkent University’s developing Psychology Department, where she was the Chair and the Psychology Graduate Program Head until 2019. Prof. Toulopoulou has been continuously funded since 2011 by national funding agencies (e.g., Economic and Social Research Council (U.K.), Research Grants Council (H.K.), the National Institutes of Health (USA), and the Scientific and Technological Research Council (Turkey)) on studies dedicated to understanding the cognitive and genetic mechanisms that influence an individual’s susceptibility to develop serious mental illness. Since 2012 she has been a member of the genus consortium (genus.mgh.harvard.edu), a collaborative schizophrenia neurogenetics project funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), which aims to increase our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of impaired brain structure and function in schizophrenia, by combining brain imaging and cognitive measures with genotype data. She recently joined the enigma network (enigma.ini.usc.edu/), which brings together researchers in imaging genomics to understand brain structure, function, and mental illness, based on brain imaging and genetic data. Previously Prof. Toulopoulou had been the lead scientist for the ‘genes and cognition’ work package of the European Community’s 6th Framework Program and a partner in the European Community’s 7th Framework Program. She regularly reviews for numerous journals and serves as an ad hoc fellowship and grant reviewer for the Wellcome Trust and the Medical Research Council (MRC), among other councils. Finally, Prof. Toulopoulou was a panel member for the European Research Council’s (ERC) advanced research grants and a deputy panel chair for ERC’s consolidator research grants.


The work of Prof. Toulopoulou’s lab is interdisciplinary and focuses on understanding the cognitive, neurobiological, and genetic mechanisms that influence an individual’s susceptibility to develop mental disease or build resilience. It is hoped that with a better understanding of the brain mechanisms that increase vulnerability, prevention may be possible. For example, insights on how cumulative genetic risk, in tandem with environmental risk, is physically imbedded in the developing brain can lead to new treatments and can offer us the opportunity of making new and meaningful interventions by removing or compensating for the genetic and environmental effect.

Prof. Toulopoulou is pleased to consider applications from talented prospective PhD students and postdocs.

Selected Presentations

  • 2019 Koç University, Research Center for Translational Medicine (KUTTAM) & School of Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2018, Clinical and Translational Neuroscience Branch, Section of Integrative Neuroimaging, National Institutes of Mental Health, NIMH, USA
  • 2018, University of Texas at Dallas, Center for BrainHealth’s Lunch Lecture Series, USA
  • 2018, 26th European Congress of Psychiatry, (core symposium presenter)  Nice, France
  • 2017, Neuroscience 2017,  (nanosymposium presenter) Washington, DC, USA

Selected Peer-reviewed Publications (out of 111)

  1. Yilmaz Kafali, H. Turan, S. Akpınar, S. Mutlu, M.,  Parlakay, A. Ö. Çöp, E. Toulopoulou, T. Correlates of psychotic like experiences (PLEs) during Pandemic: An online study investigating a possible link between the SARS-CoV-2 infection and PLEs among adolescents, Schizophrenia Research, Volume 241, 2022, Pages 36-43.
  2. Toulopoulou, T; Zhang, X; Cherny, S S; Dickinson, D ; Berman, K; Straub, R; Sham, P; Weinberger, D. (2019) Polygenic risk score increases schizophrenia liability through cognition-relevant pathways. Brain, 142: 471–485.
  3. Toulopoulou, T., Picchioni, M., Mortensen, P., B., & Petersen, L. (2017) IQ, the Urban Environment, and Their Impact on Future Schizophrenia Risk in Men. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 43 (5), 1056–1063.
  4. Cotier, F.A., & Toulopoulou, T. (2017) Negative social comparisons and psychosis proneness in a healthy adolescent population. European Psychiatry, 46, 51-56.
  5. Mark, W., Toulopoulou, T. (2017) Validation of the Chinese version of Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences (CAPE) in an adolescent general population. Asian Journal of Psychiatry, 26, 58–65.
  6. Mark, W. and Toulopoulou, (2016). Psychometric Properties of “Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences”: Review and Meta-analyses. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 42(1), 34-44.
  7. Mark, W. and Toulopoulou, T. (2016). Cognitive intermediate phenotype and genetic risk for psychosis. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 36, 23-30.
  8. Toulopoulou, T., van Haren, N., Zhang, X., Sham, P. C., Cherny, S. S., Campbell, D. D., Picchioni, M., Murray, R., Boomsma, D. I., Pol, H. H., Brouwer, R., Schnack, H., Fananas, L., Sauer, H., Nenadic, I., Weisbrod, M., Cannon, T. & Kahn, R. (2015). Reciprocal causation models of cognitive vs volumetric cerebral intermediate phenotypes for schizophrenia in a pan-European twin cohort. Molecular Psychiatry, 20(11), 1386-1396.
  9. Owens, S. F., Picchioni, M. M., Ettinger, U., McDonald, C., Walshe, M., Schmechtig, A., Murray, R. M., Rijsdijk, F., & Toulopoulou, T. (2012). Prefrontal deviations in function but not volume are putative endophenotypes for schizophrenia. Brain, 135, 2231-2244.
  10. Owens, S. F., Picchioni, M. M., Rijsdijk, F. V., Stahl, D., Vassos, E., Rodger, A. K., Collier, D. A., Murray, R. M., & Toulopoulou, T. (2011). Genetic overlap between episodic memory deficits and schizophrenia: results from The Maudsley Twin Study. Psychological Medicine, 41(3), 521-532.
  11. Owens, S. F., Rijsdijk, F., Picchioni, M. M., Stahl, D., Nenadic, I., Murray, R. M., & Toulopoulou, T. (2011). Genetic overlap between schizophrenia and selective components of executive function. Schizophrenia Research, 127(1-3), 181-187.
  12. Rebollo-Mesa, I., Picchioni, M., Shaikh, M., Bramon, E., Murray, R., & Toulopoulou, T. (2011). COMT (Val(158/108)Met) genotype moderates the impact of antipsychotic medication on verbal IQ in twins with schizophrenia. Psychiatric Genetics, 21(2), 98-105.
  13. Waters-Metenier, S.L. and Toulopoulou, T. (2011) Putative Diffusion Tensor Neuroimaging Endophenotypes In Schizophrenia: A Review Of The Early Evidence. Future Neurology 6(3), 415-433.
  14. Waters-Metenier, S. and Toulopoulou, T. (2011) Putative Structural Neuroimaging Endophenotypes In Schizophrenia: A Comprehensive Review Of The Current Evidence. Future Neurology 6(5), 679-715.
  15. Toulopoulou, T., Goldberg, T. E., Mesa, I. R., Picchioni, M., Rijsdijk, F., Stahl, D., Cherny, S. S., Sham, P., Faraone, S. V., Tsuang, M., Weinberger, D. R., Seidman, L. J., & Murray, R. M. (2010). Impaired Intellect and Memory A Missing Link Between Genetic Risk and Schizophrenia? Archives of General Psychiatry, 67(9), 905-913.
  16. Waters-Metenier, S. L., & Toulopoulou, T. (2010). Qualifying brain functional MRI parameters as endophenotypes in schizophrenia. Future Neurology, 5(6), 817-838.
  17. Toulopoulou, T., Chua, S. E., Lam, I., Cheung, V., Murray, R. M., & David, A. S. (2008). Evidence of Normal Hearing Laterality in Familial Schizophrenic Patients and Their Relatives. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B-Neuropsychiatric Genetics, 147B(1), 73-76
  18. Toulopoulou, T., Picchioni, M., Rijsdijk, F., Hua-Hall, M., Ettinger, U., Sham, P., & Murray, R. (2007). Substantial genetic overlap between neurocognition and schizophrenia – Genetic modeling in twin samples. Archives of General Psychiatry, 64(12), 1348-1355
  19. Toulopoulou, T., Quraishi, S., McDonald, C., & Murray, R. M. (2006). The maudsley family study: Premorbid and current general intellectual function levels in familial bipolar I disorder and schizophrenia. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 28(2), 243-259
  20. Toulopoulou, T., Mapua-Filbey, F., Quraishi, S., Kravariti, E., Morris, R. G., McDonald, C., Walshie, M., Bramon, E., & Murray, R. M. (2005). Cognitive performance in presumed obligate carriers for psychosis. British Journal of Psychiatry, 187, 284-285.
  21. Toulopoulou, T., Grech, A., Morris, R. G., Schulze, K., McDonald, C., Chapple, B., Rabe-Hesketh, S., & Murray, R. M. (2004). The relationship between volumetric brain changes and cognitive function: A family study on schizophrenia. Biological Psychiatry, 56(6), 447-453.
  22. Toulopoulou, T., & Murray, R. M. (2004). Verbal memory deficit in patients with schizophrenia: An important future target for treatment. Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, 4(1), 43-52.
  23. Toulopoulou, T., Morris, R. G., Rabe-Hesketh, S., & Murray, R. M. (2003). Selectivity of verbal memory deficit in schizophrenic patients and their relatives. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B-Neuropsychiatric Genetics, 116B(1), 1-7
  24. Toulopoulou, T., Rabe-Hesketh, S., King, H., Murray, R. M., & Morris, R. G. (2003). Episodic memory in schizophrenic patients and their relatives. Schizophrenia Research, 63(3), 261-271.