Physician morphed into a neuroscience apprentice. I am a nature lover with a fascination for the brain and its eccentricities, particularly those product of the neuroimmune whims.
I have recently completed my Masters in this lab. The central topic for my thesis was depression however I used a range of different research methods including behavioural, neurobiological and physiological methods.
One of the main challenges in behavioural neuroscience is to improve the translational validity of the animal models for the human condition. The lack of success in the development of new drugs for psychiatric disorders has led many pharmaceutical companies to abandon research in the area completely, despite the substantial need for better drugs for mental disorders. To improve the chances of identifying more successful psychoactive drugs, we are evaluating the usefulness of heart rate variability (HRV). HRV refers to the beat-to-beat variation in individual heartbeats. Studies in healthy volunteers have found… Read More
People with psychiatric disorders such as major depression and anxiety disorders are much more likely to also suffer from with heart problems than the general population. Likewise, individuals suffering from heart problems are more likely to develop major depression or anxiety disorders. In other words, there seems to a causal link between depression, anxiety and heart disease. In this project we investigate the hypothesis that high levels of serotonin (5-HT) early in life may be this causal link. The reasoning behind this is that genetic reductions in the SERT are a vulnerability… Read More