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Dr Jessica Eccles

Dr Jessica Eccles

Dr Jessica Eccles MB ChB, Dip(French), MA, MSc, MRCPsych, PhD, PGCert HE

Clinical Senior Lecturer and MQ Arthritis Research UK Fellow
T: +44 (0)1273 877700
Location: Trafford Centre for Medical Research, University of Sussex, Brighton, BN1 9RR


Areas of expertise: Brain-Body Interactions, Joint hypermobility, Liaison Psychiatry

Research areas: Neuroscience, Psychiatric manifestations of connective tissue disorders, Mechanisms of chronic pain and fatigue
Other websites: Orcid, Linkedin



Jessica Eccles trained in medicine at University of Cambridge and University of Oxford, completing a BA in The History and Philosophy of Science, sparking a keen interest in philosophy of mind and brain-body interactions, and since graduation from medical school has pursued a combined academic clinical path at Brighton and Sussex Medical School. As an MRC Clinical Research Training Fellow she recently completed her PhD in the relationship between joint hypermobility, autonomic dysfunction and psychiatric symptoms and is now an NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer. She holds honorary clinical contracts with both Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust.


Dr Eccles is currently working on an Academy of Medical Sciences grant to explore neural connectivity in hypermobility using leading edge Human Connectome Project techniques. To see if you are eligible to take part in this Brighton based study please click here.  

Her Academy of Medical Sciences Webcast on exploring the link between joint hypermobility and anxiety is available here.

She was recently awarded a prestigious MQ Arthritis Research UK Fellows Award to conduct a randomised clinical trial of a new targeted treatment for anxiety in hypermobility

Alongside clinical academic colleagues at BSMS, Professor Neil Harrison (link to his page) and Dr Alessandro Colasanti, Dr Eccles is a clinician in the exciting new Immunopsychiatry Service based at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. 

Dr Eccles has been awarded a grant from Dysautonomia International and will be working with Dr Valeria Iodice, Prof Critchley, Prof Cercignani, Dr Nagai, Dr Asslanni, Prof Peter Rowe, Prof Murphy and Dr Giovanni to explore multi-modal correlates of ‘brain fog’ in Postural Tachycardia Syndrome

Dr Eccles is working with Prof Davies, Prof Harrison, Prof Cercignani, Prof Critchley and Dr Tarzi to explore brain-body interactions in Fibromyalgia and ME/CFS. This involves autonomics, inflammatory and cytokine markers, brain imaging and genomics. Read more information as a patient here. Volunteer as a healthy control hereThis research was recently discussed

Read more about the initial findings from Dr Eccles' study in pain and fatigue here >

Watch Dr Eccles' video about her Fibromyalgia research here > 

A video exploring some of the insights from Dr Eccles' work is available here >


Jessica delivers a highly popular  SSC entitled ‘Psychiatry and Other Arts’ for Module 202. She has supervised several IRP students and her most recent student won a prize for their work. She has supervised a University of Sussex Junior Research Associate and Wellcome Trust Summer Studentships and lectures and examines on both the undergraduate and postgraduate curriculum.  


McDonald, A., Eccles, J., Fallahkhair, S., & Critchley, H. (n.d.). Online psychotherapy: Trailblazing digital healthcare. BJPsych Bulletin, 1-7. doi:10.1192/bjb.2019.66

Daron Aslanyan, Valeria Iodice, Kevin A Davies, Hugo D Critchley, Jessica A EcclesmedRxiv 19006320; doi: Dissociative experiences in fibromyalgia are mediated by symptoms of autonomic dysfunction

Eccles JA, Aslanyan D, Harrison NA, Davies KA, Critchley HD. Dissociative experiences in patients with fibromyalgia are mediated by symptoms of autonomic dysfunctionJ Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry

Eccles, J., Owens, A., Harrison, N., Grahame,R. & Critchley, H. 2016 Joint hypermobility an   autonomic hyperactivity: an autonomic and functional neuroimaging study. The Lancet

Garfinkel SN, Eccles JA, Critchley HD. 2015 The Heart, the Brain, and the Regulation of Emotion editorial JAMA Psychiatry 

Eccles JA, Owens AP, Mathias CJ, Umeda S, Critchley HD. 2015 Neurovisceral phenotypes in the expression of psychiatric symptomsFrontiers in Autonomic Neuroscience

Eccles JA, Garfinkel SN, Taylor RE, Harrison NA, Bewley AP, Critchley HD. 2015 Abnormal sensations of skin infestation linked to abnormal frontolimbic brain reactivity and differences in self-representation.Neuropsychologia

Whale R, Fialho RS, Rolt M, Eccles JA, Periera M, Keller M, File A, Haq I, Tibble J.  2015 Psychomotor retardation and vulnerability to interferon alpha induced major depressive disorder: Prospective study of a chronic hepatitis C cohort. Journal of Psychosomatic Research

Critchley HD,  Eccles JA,  Garfinkel SN. 2014Interaction between cognition, emotion and the autonomic nervous system in Handbook of Clinical Neurology

Mallorquí-Bagué N, Garfinkel SN, Engels M, Eccles JA, Pailhez G, Bulbena A, Critchley HD. 2014 Neuroimaging and psychophysiological investigation of the link between anxiety, enhanced affective reactivity and interoception in people with joint hypermobility. Frontiers in Psychology.

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