Meet the team
The Mental Wellbeing in Adolescence: Genes and Environment Study (MAGES) team are part of the MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics at Cardiff University.
Stephan - Project Lead
I am passionate about children’s mental health, and I have more than 20 years of research experience in this area. I am particularly interested in how to promote mental health resilience, the links between child and adult mental health, and whether the mental health of young people is improving or getting worse.
This study is important for informing our understanding of the interplay of genes and environment in shaping young people’s mental health and wellbeing.
Fran - Senior Investigator
My main research interest is in identifying what causes adolescent depression and why it recurs. I study development across the lifespan and am interested in identifying causal risk and protective factors that can be targeted as part of psychological and public health interventions.
Naomi - Research Assistant
My role involves visiting schools to give fun science workshops and collect spit (DNA) samples from pupils who are taking part in our research.
I am interested in working out what factors help young people have good mental wellbeing. I have a background in mental health research and working with teenagers. For my PhD I used different approaches to look at the link between memory and mood in young people. I have also been involved in a number of research projects in schools run by DECIPHer.
In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my cat, playing badminton and being arty.
Sarah - Research Assistant
I am involved with visiting schools to help run science workshops and collecting DNA (spit!) from young people who are participating in our study.
I am interested in helping young people improve their mental wellbeing. I have previously worked on a large-scale research project looking at the use of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) with young people in schools. I have also worked in a clinical role with young people in a chronic pain service.
When I’m not at work, I enjoy going on long walks with my dog, spending time with my family and travelling.
Lesley - Laboratory Manager
I co-ordinate the team of scientists which will be carrying out the laboratory work, including extracting the DNA from the spit samples and running the machines which analyse the DNA.
As laboratory manager, I work with a number of different research teams within the MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics to support their research. I am also responsible for the day-to-day running of the laboratory.
During my spare time, I enjoy going to the theatre, swimming, and visiting friends and family.
Lucinda - Sample and Governance Manager
I manage the DNA samples collected for MAGES. This involves keeping records of the exact storage location of each sample within the laboratory and any laboratory work that is carried out on them.
As sample and governance manager for the MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics, I manage over 100,000 research samples. I also ensure that our storage and use of samples is compliant with research ethical regulations.
Outside work, I love to spend time with my family and friends, and enjoy ballroom dancing, travelling, and going to see musicals and concerts.
If you and your child consent to take part, our team will take a saliva sample when they visit your school and deliver a DNA science workshop.