Dr Alex Kwong (BA (Hons), MSc, PhD)

Wellcome Senior Research Fellow


I am a Wellcome Senior Research Fellow at the Division of Psychiatry, Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences.

I completed my PhD in Advanced Quantitative Methods at the University of Bristol in 2019. I joined Psychiatry as a Research Fellow shortly after, working under Professor Andrew McIntosh to examine the genomics of depression. I was awarded an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2020 examining bio-psycho-social mechanisms underpinning adolescent depression & then awarded two Wellcome Mental Health Data Prizes to develop a digital tool for examining trajectories of mental health across development.

I am predominantly interested in examining the causes and consequences of poorer mental health in young people. I tend to use longitudinal data through the lens of epidemiology, genomics, data science and social science to probe this. I am also interested in developing methods that can facilitate better understanding of the course of mental health problems. 

In 2024, I started a 5-year Wellcome Early Career Award that combines these research interests above and joined the Edinburgh Scientific Academic Track (ESAT) scheme, which is a tenure track scheme for early career scientists at Edinburgh. 


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PhD in Advanced Quantitative Methods - University of Bristol (2019)

MSc by Research - University of Bristol (2015)

BA (Hons) - University of Reading (2013)

Postgraduate teaching

I teach courses on Introduction to Statistics and Introduction for Repeated Measures Analysis

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

I currently supervise five PhD students and would be happy to supervise any students looking at the causes and consequences  of mental health, students interesting longitudinal/lifecourse epidemiology or risk factors for poorer mental health in the general population.

Current PhD students supervised

Eileen Xu (PhD - UoE)

Reesha Zahir (PhD - UoE)

Poppy Grimes (PhD - UoE)

Amelia Edmondson-Stait (PhD - UoE)

Holly Fraser (PhD - UoB)

Past PhD students supervised

Melisa Chuong (PhD - UoE)

Niamh MacSweeney (PhD - UoE)

Melissa Lewins (PhD - UoE)

Boyang Yu (MSc by Research - UoE)

Research summary

I am interested in the genetic and environmental risk factors that underlie depression and how it changes across development and what this means for downstream wellbeing. My main area of expertise is in youth mental health. I tend to use a number of longitudinal methods including: growth curve models, structural equation modelling and genetic/omic analyses.

I have also been involved in work related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health. 

Current research interests

Genetic and environmental risk factors for depression. Risk factors for change in adolescent depression. Intergenerational transmission of depression. Consequences of mental health.

Current project grants

Wellcome Early Career Award (2024-2028)
Wellcome Mental Health Data Prize (2022-2023)

Past project grants

ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship (2020-2021)
Elizabeth Blackwell Institute and RoseTrees Trust Mental Health Grant (2020-2021)
Elizabeth Blackwell Institute next Steps Mental Health Grant (2022-2023)