Matthew Flinders Fellow
Publications: You can find my publications via Google Scholar
Background: I received a BSc in Psychology (1st class Hons) from the University of Leeds in 2003, and continued to complete an MRC-funded MSc (distinction, 2004) and PhD in Social Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry in 2008 at the Institute of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, King’s College London. In 2012 I moved to the University of Adelaide, and in 2016 to Flinders University as a Matthew Flinders Fellow. Here I head the Behavioural Genetic and Environmental Mechanisms (Behavioural GEMs) Lab. For current projects please see the Research and Supervision page in the tabs above.
My research focuses on incorporating environmental factors, such as life-stress, with genetic analyses at candidate loci in depression and psychosis (bipolar disorder and schizophrenia) and in longitudinal population cohorts. I am particularly passionate about trying to understand how it is the environment might interact with our genetics, and with ourselves, at the biological level. Epigenetics provides a possible avenue by which the environment can interact with our genome, and my recent research investigates epigenetic variation in behaviour and psychiatry in conjunction with gene-environment interactions. This includes investigating DNA methylation and small RNAs associated with disease risk/protective factors as well as the disease, and their functional impact on gene-expression, protein levels, and/or neuroimaging.
PhD Social Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry
MSc Social Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry
BSc (Hons) Psychology
2015 - 2017 National Health and Medical Research project grant ($601,328): “Epigenetic mechanisms of brain dysfunction in psychotic and mood disorders” CIA: A/Prof. Melissa Green, CIB: A/Prof. Murray Cairns, CIC: Dr. Sarah Cohen-Woods This funding does not include small RNAs
2014 - 2016 National Health and Medical Research project grant ($713,447): “Defining the role of inflammation in depression during aging” CIA: Prof. Bernhard Baune, CIB: Dr. Sarah Cohen-Woods, CIC: Prof. Julian Trollor, CIC: Dr. Simone Reppermund
2013 Royal Adelaide Hospital Research Foundation Clinical Project Grant ($50,000): “Scars of stress: methylation of the serotonin transporter gene in a clinical case-control depression sample in context of childhood stress”. CIA: Dr Sarah Cohen-Woods
2015 - Society for Mental Health Research, Best Poster
2009 - International Society of Psychiatric Genetics - Early Career Investigator Award
2009 - NIHR Retreat Presentation, second prize
2008 - Awarded Associate Member of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology
Lab Head: Behavioural Genetic and Environmental Mechanisms (Behavioural GEMs) Lab
Understanding genetic and environmental risk / protective mechanisms in behaviour, Including:
Our research focuses on incorporating environmental factors (i.e. childhood maltreatment), with genetic and epigenetic analyses in depression and psychosis (bipolar disorder and schizophrenia), and in longitudinal population cohorts. We aim to understand how environment interacts with our genes at the biological level. Epigenetics provides a possible avenue by which the environment can interact with our genome. We investigate DNA methylation and small RNAs associated with disease risk/protective factors as well as the disease, and their functional impact on gene-expression, protein levels, and/or neuroimaging.
- NHMRC Defining the role of inflammation in depression during ageing (CIB) - gene expression and GWAS
- NHMRC Epigenetic mechanisms of brain dysfunction in psychotic and mood disorders (CIC) - DNA methylation.
- Psychosocial factors and fertility, and early life experiences and sperm DNA methylation
- LOOK project - longitudinal genetic and epigenetic factors, stress and depressive symptoms
- Yoga and impact on biological systems
- Epigenetics in depression - monozygotic twins discordant for major depressive disorders.
- Scars of Stress - serotonin transporter gene methylation in association with childhood maltreatment in a clinical case-control depression sample.
: PhD (clinical)
|Phone:||+61 8 82012722|
|Location:||Social Sciences North (391)|
|Postal address:||GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia|