The impact of prenatal programming through stress on affective mood disorders in later life.
I did my undergraduate degree at the University of Aberdeen, and received my MSci in Biomedical Science (Phsyiology) in 2016. After that, I moved to Edinburgh and worked as an RA for Dr John Menzies at the University of Edinburgh, then as a technician for Dr Paula Brunton, before starting my EastBio PhD programme with Dr Paula Brunton in 2017.
My PhD project looks at the impact of prenatal programming through stress on affective mood disorders in later life. However, the mechanisms underlying this are still poorly understood. One proposed mechanism that is of great interest is the microbial milieu that is transferred from the stressed dam to her offspring, leading to changes in the health status and brain development of the offspring. The bidirectional communication between the gut microbiome and the brain has been characterised, and the changes in microbial communities that are present in anxious and depressive-like phenotypes may provide a possible mediating role for the outcome of prenatal stress (PNS).