Edinburgh Research Explorer

Ian Deary

UoE Fellow

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Willingness to take PhD students: Yes

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Edinburgh


Professor Ian Deary is a graduate of Psychology and Medicine from the University of Edinburgh, where he also took his PhD. He practised psychiatry in London and Edinburgh before moving to academic psychology. His principal research interests are: human mental abilities, the effects of ageing and medical conditions on mental skills, and the impact of cognitive ability on people's lives. He is Professor of Differential Psychology at the University of Edinburgh. He is Director of the Medical Research Council Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology. He is Director of the Lothian Birth Cohort studies of healthy ageing. He is an elected Fellow of the British Academy, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Academy of Medical Sciences, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. He was awarded an OBE in the 2019 New Year's Honours for services to the social sciences.

Research Interests

Human intelligence differences. Cognitive ageing. Cognitive epidemiology. Personality traits. Medically unexplained symptoms. General psychometric research.

Research Groups


Ordinary National Certificate in Medical Laboratory Sciences (with Distinction) David Dale College, Glasgow, 1974.

Higher National Certificate in Medical Laboratory Sciences: Blood Transfusion and Haematology (with Distinction) Glasgow College of Technology, 1976.

BSc Hons (Medical Sciences) Psychology, Class I, University of Edinburgh, 1980.

MBChB University of Edinburgh, 1983.

MRCPsych (Membership Examination of the Royal College of Psychiatrists), 1991.

PhD (Auditory Inspection Time and Intelligence), University of Edinburgh, 1992.


Sabbatical from until 31.8.2020.

Administrative Roles

Current administrative duties:

Director, Lothian Birth Cohorts (funded by Age UK, MRC, NIH, UoE)


Research outputs

  1. Genetic variation, brain, and intelligence differences

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. A general dimension of genetic sharing across diverse cognitive traits inferred from molecular data

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  3. Genome-Wide Association Study of Circulating Interleukin 6 Levels Identifies Novel Loci

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Research activities & awards

  1. Festival della scienza medica di Bologna

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesPublic Engagement – Festival/Exhibition

  2. Scottish Parliament

    Activity: Visiting an external institution typesResearch and Teaching at External Organisation

View all (169) »

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