Prof. Anita Thapar
Based at the Neurosciences and Mental Health Interdisciplinary Research Group, School of Medicine.
Genetic aetiology, gene-environment interplay, childhood-onset neuropsychiatric disorders
Research Interests and Facilities
Early-onset neurodevelopmental/neuropsychiatric disorders are influenced by genes and environmental factors. My interests focus on 1) identifying genetic risk variants that lead to ADHD, early associated aggression and related neurodevelopmental problems, 2) investigating how these risk variants influence psychopathology through effects on cognitive and behavioural mechanisms and 3) investigating the interplay of gene variants (and indirectly measured genetic risk) and early environmental adversity including exposure to risk factors in the womb. My team consists of psychologists, neuroscientists and child psychiatrists. Facilities include access to informative clinical samples of children with ADHD that have undergone detailed phenotype assessment and genotyping, offspring of parents with recurrent depression young children with intellectual disability and non-clinical samples (twins and children who are genetically unrelated to their mothers through IVF), Neuropsychiatric Genetics Group laboratories and statistics and phenotyping (clinical and cognitive).
Available PhD Projects
- Identifying gene variants that influence Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and associated aggression: testing for links with cognitive and behavioural endophenotypes.
- Investigation of gene-environment interplay in the aetiology of ADHD and associated aggression.
- Disentangling genetic and prenatal influences on child neurodevelopmental symptoms.
- Investigating psychopathology in children with mild intellectual disability.
- Thapar A, Collishaw S, Pine DS, Thapar AK. Depression in adolescence. Lancet. 2012;379(9820):1056-67.
- Stergiakouli E, Hamshere M, Holmans P, Langley K, Zaharieva I; decode Genetics; Psychiatric GWAS Consortium, Hawi Z, Kent L, Gill M, Williams N, Owen MJ, O'Donovan M, Thapar A. Investigating the contribution of common genetic variants to the risk and pathogenesis of ADHD. Am J Psychiatry. 2012;169(2):186-94.
- Williams NM, Zaharieva I, Martin A, Langley K, Mantripragada K, Fossdal R, Steffansson H, Stefansson K, Magnssuon P, Gudmundsson OO, Gustafsson O, Holmans P, Owen MJ, O’Donovan MC, Thapar A. (2010). Rare chromosomal deletions and duplications in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a genome-wide analysis. Lancet. Oct23; 376(9750): pp1401-1408.
- Langley K, Heron J, O’Donovan M, Owen MJ, Thapar A. (2010) Genotype link with extreme antisocial behaviour: the contribution of cognitive pathways. Archives of General Psychiatry. Dec; 67(12): pp1317-1323.
- Rice F, Harold GT, Boivin J, Hay D, Van den Bree MB, Thapar A. (2009) Disentangling prenatal and inherited influences in humans with an experimental design. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. USA, 106 (7): pp2464-2467.
- Thapar A, Langley K, Fowler TA, Rice F, Turic D, Whittinger N, Aggleton J, van den Bree M, Owen M J, O’Donovan M. (2005) Catechol- O-methyltransferase gene variant and birth weight predict early onset antisocial behavior in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Arch Gen Psychiat. 62(11): pp1275-1278.