Hayley Moulding is a PhD student and is currently exploring sleep disorders within the MRC Centre.
In 2014, I started a 4-year MRC PhD and during my first year I undertook three different research projects investigating various different psychiatric and genetic disorders including 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and schizophrenia. I began my PhD in 2015, exploring sleep disturbances in children and adolescents with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. This genetic syndrome puts individuals at high risk for psychiatric disorders, namely schizophrenia.
My job is to work out whether sleep is fundamentally different in individuals with the syndrome compared to unaffected siblings, looking at the rates and types of sleep problems. In particular, I want to see whether there is a relationship between sleep and mental health outcomes in this genetic disorder.
My work sets out to inform and help families of individuals with sleep problems and 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. It could be used to help determine the likelihood of mental health problems, to identify those who are at risk and implement interventions with these families.
Public engagement plays a major role in my research and progression as a scientist. I am incredibly passionate about my research and enjoy communicating this to the public. I have a particular interest in engaging with the younger generation and also areas of socioeconomic difficulty.
I was fortunate to take part and win the online challenge ‘I’m a Scientist Get Me out of Here.’ I was rewarded with £500 to spend in public engagement, which I am hoping to spend working in collaboration with the Community Gateway project at Cardiff University. I also collaborated with the Curator and Creative Producers for Green Man Festival 2016 to create a mental health and genetics themed exhibition in the Einstein’s Garden section. I have volunteered at events including Cardiff Brain Games and have blogged about my research via National Centre for Mental Health.
If you want to speak to Hayley about her work, please get in touch: