Michaela is interested in the underlying factors that contribute to neurodevelopmental disorders. Her research targeted the genetic and environmental interactions which underlie Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Previous research has demonstrated that prenatal exposure to Valproic acid increases the risk for ASD, and changes in serotonin have been similarly implicated. As such, Michaela has examined the effects of continuous prenatal exposure of Valproic acid in animals which had reduced serotonin function. She has examined behavioural and immunohistochemical changes in offspring that are prenatally exposed to valproate. Michaela’s research advances the VPA-induced animal model of ASD and contributes novel methods and measures to the field.

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