Senior Clinical Research Officer (Big Brain Project)
Project: Understanding the role of inflammation and epigenetics in neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders
Neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders have severe social, educational, emotional, and economic impacts on affected children and their families. Current management plans range from behavioural therapy to antidepressant and neuroleptic medications which give rise to many adverse effects. There is increasing evidence that environmental factors, such as maternal immune activation, also play a key role in the pathophysiology of these disorders. Although these associations between MIA and risk of neurodevelopmental disorders are well-established, there is limited research in humans regarding the underlying mechanisms of how maternal inflammation might result in adverse offspring outcomes. My project aims to investigate the role of inflammation and epigenetic modulation in neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders. The focus will be on how maternal inflammation influences epigenetic modulation and subsequently, immune function, in children with neurodevelopmental disorders.