Research Team

Chief Investigator

Prof Golam Khandaker

Professor of Psychiatry and Immunology, and MRC Investigator Head, Immunopsychiatry Programme, MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit Co-Lead, NIHR Bristol BRC Mental Health Theme, University of Bristol 

Group Members

Hannah Jones, Research Fellow ( ORCHiD profile)

Hannah is a Research Fellow in psychiatric epidemiology. Her research has utilised large-scale population-based cohort and genetic datasets with robust statistical analyses, to identify intervention targets for psychiatric illness. Her current work focusses on the relationship between inflammation and mental health through triangulation of genetic, cohort, and causal inference analyses. She is particularly interested in refining measures of biomarkers to examine shared and specific effects across psychiatric outcomes.


Chloe Slaney, Senior Research Associate ( ORCHiD profile )

Chloe's current research is looking at the effect of inflammation on depression, anxiety and cognitive functioning using observational and genetic epidemiological methods such as Mendelian randomization. She previously completed her PhD on the Wellcome Trust Neural Dynamics PhD programme at the University of Bristol, examining the relationship between anhedonia and reward processing. 
 

News/Projects for Chloe

Heightened cognitive ability may be causally associated with lower inflammation amoung young adults

 


Nick Donnelly, Clinical Lecturuer ( ORCHiD profile )

Nick is an NIHR Clinical Lecturer in General Adult Psychiatry at the University of Bristol and a General Adult Psychiatry Advanced Trainee in the Severn Deanery. He studied the neurobiology of visual attention and impulsivity in his PhD, and more recently completed post-doctoral projects investigating the effect of neurodevelopmental genomic conditions on sleep and behaviour using data science and machine learning techniques. He is working on projects applying these methods to investigate the associations between immuno-metabolic proteomics and depression and psychosis in adulthood.


Éimear Foley, PhD Candidate ( ORCHiD Profile )

Éimear is a PhD student in immunopsychiatry at the University of Bristol's MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit. Her research aims to further our understanding of the role of inflammation in psychiatric disorders and cognitive function using epidemiological cohort studies, genetic analysis, and experimental medicine approaches. Previously, Éimear worked as a research assistant for The Insight Study


News/Projects for Éimear
UoB Press Release
IEURKEA Blog  
The Mental Elf Blog 1
The Mental Elf Blog 2


Christina Dardani, Senior Research Associate ( ORCHiD Profile

Christina is a postdoctoral researcher focusing on the role of immunological pathways and processes in typical and atypical neurodevelopment. Towards this, she is primarily using polygenic risk score, Mendelian randomization and genetic colocalisation approaches.   

News/Projects for Christina
Autism linked to inflammatory bowel disease in parents

Richard Armstrong, Clinical Doctoral Fellow ( ORCHiD Profile )

Richard is a GW4-CAT PhD Programme for Health Professionals PhD Fellow at the University of Bristol and an anaesthetic ST7 in the Severn Deanery. His PhD project will investigate the use of multi-omics in the prediction of immune-mediated postoperative complications. Prior to starting his PhD he was an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow at the University of Bristol.


 

Aws Sadik, Clinical Doctoral Fellow ( ORCHiD Profile )

Aws is a psychiatrist and GW4-CAT PhD Programme for Health Professionals PhD Fellow. He is studying prescribing patterns, pharmacogenomics, and health outcomes for autistic adults. Prior to starting the PhD, Aws completed an Academic Clinical Fellowship at the University of Bristol and a Master’s in Public Health at the University of Exeter.

News/Projects for Aws
Inflammatory bowel disease among parents may be associated with their children developing autism 


Holly Fraser, Senior Research Associate ( ORCHiD Profile )

Holly is a Senior Research Associate in Immunopsychiatry at the University of Bristol’s MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit. Her current work focuses on exploring inflammatory subgroups of depression using various machine learning techniques. She has recently completed a PhD with the University of Bristol’s Digital Health and Care programme, working on predicting depression using a range of risk and protective factors, and is interested in understanding the determinants of depression across the life course.

 


Mohammed Abelrazek, Honorary Research Associate ( ORCHiD Profile )

Mohamed is an Academic Foundation Trainee based at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston and conducts research at the University of Bristol. He is passionate about using genetically informed designs to assess the associations between early life exposures and development. Mohamed is investigating links between early life adversity and inflammation, examining whether this connection mediates associations with depression in the young. This is using a novel approach with epigenetic markers of inflammation to contribute to research at the intersection of genetics, early-life experiences, and child-health.

News/Projects for Mohammed
Marfantrust


Ruby Tsang, Senior Research Associate ( ORCHiD Profile )

Ruby is a Senior Research Associate at the MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit, University of Bristol. Her current work is focused on examining multimorbidity of mental health and cardiometabolic conditions using a life course approach and longitudinal modelling methods, and identifying biomarkers. She holds a PhD in Psychiatry (UNSW Sydney) and was awarded the competitive Alzheimer's Australia Dementia Research Foundation Viertel PhD Scholarship (2014-2016). Her thesis examined biological and environmental influences on late-life depression. She also has several years of postdoctoral research experience at the University of Oxford, working in the areas of cognitive ageing and late-life mental health, and influenza and COVID-19 surveillance.

News/Projects for Ruby
Lifespan Multimorbidity Research Collaborative


Sophie Fairweather, PhD Candidate ( ORCHiD Profile )

Sophie is an NIHR funded PhD candidate in Mental Health Epidemiology and Immunopsychiatry at the University of Bristol. She is interested in how early-life experiences can be used to predict subsequent mental health outcomes, and in the role of the immune system in mental health. Sophie has an MSc in Epidemiology and a BSc in Neuroscience. Before her PhD she worked for 10 years in scientific and research roles within the pharmaceutical industry.

 


Tim Larsen, PhD Candidate ( ORCHiD Profile )

Tim is an MRC-funded PhD student at the MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit, University of Bristol. His PhD project will look at the causal role of inflammation in depression using statistical genetics approaches to cohort studies. Before this, Tim worked at the Office for National Statistics, looking at health inequalities in COVID-19 infection and mortality.
 


Alumni

Daisy Crick , PhD Student

Daisy is a PhD student in epidemiology at the University of Bristol's MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit. Her research focuses on the causes and consequences of inflammation with a specific interest in the novel biomarker GlycA. She has been using epidemiological cohort studies and genetic analyses to further understand the effects inflammation can have on mental health disorders such as Major Depressive Disorder.

Bianca Oltean, Research Assistant

Bianca was a research assistant in the InPsych Research Group, working on the  Insight Study  . She holds a BSc First Class Honours Degree in Psychology from the University of Hull and an MSc in Neuroscience from King’s College London for which she received a distinction. She worked in Prof Mitul Mehta’s psychopharmacology group at KCL before joining the InPsych research group.


Emanuele Osimo, Academic Clinical Fellow

Emanuele was an Academic Clinical Fellow in Psychiatry in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust. He is interested in electronic health records for clinical research, wearable tech and genetics. He completed his medical training and an MSc in neuroscience from Milan, and a MRC research fellowship in Prof Oliver Howes’ group in Imperial College London.


Joel Parkinson, Post-Doctoral Research Associate

Joel was a post-doc in the InPsych lab. He worked on the  Insight study  and other immunopsychiatry studies of depression. For his MRes research at the University of Birmingham he studied the effects of motor learning on brain network connectivity. During this work, he developed an interest in utilising neuroimaging methods that could have clinical implications, leading to a PhD in neuroscience at the University of Aberdeen. During his PhD, Joel investigated effects of physical exercise on functional brain networks in depression.


Benjamin Perry, NIHR Doctoral Research Fellow

Ben is an NIHR Doctoral Research Fellow and SpR in Psychiatry. Ben previously worked as an Academic Clinical Fellow in the West Midlands, obtaining an MSc in Health Research from the University of Warwick. He completed his MBBS at Barts and The London in 2013. Ben's PhD was focussed on better understanding the interplay between psychiatric and cardiometabolic disorders, particularly in investigating shared links with inflammation. 


Anna Chaplin, PhD Student

Anna was a PhD student in the InPsych Research Group, jointly supervised by Dr Golam Khandaker and Prof Peter Jones. Her work focused on better understanding the relationship between depression and cardiovascular disease, particularly via shared links with inflammation. Anna holds an MPhil in Pharmacology from the University of Cambridge where she developed her interest in molecular epidemiology.


Alexander Chu, MPhil student

Alexander completed MPhil in Public Health at the Cambridge Institute of Public Health in 2017. He carried out a longitudinal study of low-grade inflammation and symptoms of depression in the ALSPAC birth cohort for his dissertation supervised by Dr Khandaker. He received a distinction for his dissertation. 


Dr Svetlana Filatova, visiting PhD student

As a visiting PhD student from the University of Oulu, Finland, Svetlana worked under the supervision of Dr Khandaker for three months in Cambridge. For her PhD, supervised by Prof Jouko Miettunen, Svetlana studied the epidemiology of psychiatric disorders particularly psychosis in the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 and 1986 leading to several publications .


Nils Kappelmann, visiting MSc student

As a visiting student from Maastricht University, Nils completed six-month research internship in Cambridge under Dr Khandaker’s supervision (2015). He carried out a meta-analysis of the antidepressant activity of anti-cytokine drugs published in Molecular Psychiatry , and epidemiological studies of childhood infection/inflammation, IQ and psychotic disorders using population-based Swedish data. Nils received a distinction for his MSc dissertation. 


Nathalie Mackinnon, MPhil student

Nathalie examined the relationship between childhood infections, systemic inflammatory markers and general intelligence in the ALSPAC birth cohort for her MPhil in Public Health dissertation in Cambridge Institute of Public Health, jointly supervised by Dr Khandaker and Prof Peter Jones (2015). The work has been published in Epidemiology and Infection .


Stephen Metcalf, MPhil student

Stephen studied the relationship between serum CRP levels in adolescence and risk of schizophrenia subsequently in adulthood in the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986 for his MPhil in Epidemiology dissertation in Cambridge Institute of Public Health, jointly supervised by Dr Khandaker and Prof Peter Jones (2015). A peer reviewed article based on this work has been published in Brain, Behaviour and Immunity . He received a distinction for his MPhil dissertation.


Sarah Rabhi, MPhil student

Sarah studied the relationship between early life adversity and systemic inflammatory markers in childhood in the ALSPAC birth cohort for her MPhil in Epidemiology dissertation in Cambridge Institute of Public Health, jointly supervised by Dr Khandaker and Prof Peter Jones (2014). 


Caroline Siebald, MPhil student

Caroline studied the relationship between childhood psychiatric disorders and subsequent mood and psychotic symptoms in adolescence in the ALSPAC birth cohort for her MPhil in Public Health dissertation in Cambridge Institute of Public Health, jointly supervised by Dr Khandaker and Prof Peter Jones (2014). The work has been published in Comprehensive Psychiatry . She received a distinction for her dissertation.


Contact Us

We are happy to hear from prospective group members, research collaborators, participants, media, patients and others. Email: info@immunopsychiatry.com

Our address

Medical Research Council Integrative Epidemiology Unit
University of Bristol
Oakfield House
Oakfield Grove
Bristol
BS8 2BN
United Kingdom

 
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