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Christopher Granville Fairburn, FMedSci, FRCPsych, is the Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow and a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford and director of the Centre for Research on Eating Disorders at Oxford (CREDO).
Fairburn was educated at Malvern College, the University of Oxford, and the University of Edinburgh. He trained in medicine at Oxford and then in psychiatry at Edinburgh. He returned to Oxford in 1979. He has been a full-time clinical scientist since 1981, initially funded by the Medical Research Council. He has held the top level of Wellcome Trust fellowship since 1984. Between 2007 and 2011, Fairburn was a Governor of the Wellcome Trust. Since 2011, he has been a Trustee of the mental health research foundation MQ: Transforming Mental Health.
Fairburn has two research interests: the nature and treatment of eating disorders, and the development and evaluation of psychological interventions. The result has been the development of specific psychological treatments for the eating disorders (anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and allied states). He and his colleagues developed one of the leading evidence-based treatments for bulimia nervosa (a form of cognitive behavioral therapy) and, more recently, an "enhanced" version (CBT-E) for any type of eating disorder and for all age groups. NHS England and the Chief Medical Officer have recommended that CBT-E be made available for all patients with an eating disorder, whatever their specific diagnosis and whatever their age.
Fairburn has also developed new methods for disseminating psychological treatments. These include an online and scalable way of training large numbers of clinicians simultaneously (web-centred training) and a self-help version of the cognitive behavioural treatment for bulimia nervosa. He is currently developing an online form of CBT-E ("CBTe").
Books Dr Fairburn has written include the highly regarded "Overcoming Binge Eating" - now in its second edition (2013). This includes, at Part Two, a multi-stepped self-help program for individuals who suffer from an eating disorder (e.g. bulimia nervosa; binge eating disorder) to work through systematically, over a period of months, either on their own or aided by a therapist if they prefer, in order to resolve their eating disorder successfully.
Fairburn is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. He has twice been a Fellow at Stanford’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (1989-1990; 1998-1999). He has received the Beck Prize (2011) from the Academy of Cognitive Therapy and the Outstanding Research Prize (2002) and Lifetime Achievement Award (2015) from the Academy of Eating Disorders.