Richard Kanaan studied mathematics and philosophy in Oxford and Los Angeles, before training in medicine and psychiatry in London. He spent over a decade at the Institute of Psychiatry/Maudsley Hospital where he developed interests in unexplained syndromes and in schizophrenia. He was appointed Chair of Psychiatry and Consultant Psychiatrist at the Austin Hospital in 2013. Professor Kanaan has worked across a number of disciplines, including neuroimaging, neuropsychology, epidemiology, philosophy, and social psychiatry. His current work focuses on building explanations for unexplained syndromes such as conversion disorder using functional neuroimaging. He has developed and led specialist conversion disorder clinics for many years.