Hugo trained in Physiology and Medicine in the University of Liverpool. After internship in medicine and surgery, Hugo undertook a research doctorate degree in Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford. He began psychiatry training at St George’s Hospital London then at the King’s College Institute of Psychiatry working for Prof Declan Murphy imaging to apply neuroimaging to understand neurodevelopmental conditions. In 1998 he moved to the UCL Institute of Neurology, to work with Prof Ray Dolan and Prof Chris Mathias on a Brain Research Trust Fellowship, examining the interaction between autonomic state and brain functions in health and disease.
Hugo continued to pursue this area of research, attaining a Wellcome Trust Intermediate and the Senior Fellowship while working as Neuropsychiatrist at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery UCLH. In 2006 Hugo was appointed foundation Chair of Psychiatry at Brighton and Sussex Medical School and has continued to lead a productive research group focusing on mechanism through which body, brain and mind interact. A particular area of interested is the influence of the heart on normal and dysfunctional emotional processes. With colleagues including Dr Jessica Eccles, and collaborators including Prof Chris Mathias, this area of research extends to examine associations between autonomic dysfunction, joint hypermobility and cognitive and affective symptoms.
Hugo’s research is supported by multiple sources of funding notably including philanthropic donation to the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, which he co-directs with Prof Anil Seth, and recently by an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council.