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Dr Katie Lewis awarded postdoctoral Fellowship

22 May 2020

Dr Katie Lewis

Dr Katie Lewis has been awarded the prestigious Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship to continue her work on longitudinal and genetic relationships between sleep and mood disorders.

This four year fellowship offers recently qualified postdoctoral researchers the opportunity to start independent research careers, working in some of the best research environments in the world.

In the fellowship, Dr Lewis will be investigating the complex relationship between sleep and mood disorders using genetic, neurophysiological and longitudinal data. This will involve training and spending time with other research groups at the University of Oxford, University of Bristol and Harvard University.

Dr Lewis said ‘I will look at how sleep could be a cause or precursor of mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder (a mood disorder with periods of high and low mood). However, there is still much we do not understand about the complex relationship between sleep and mood. For example, are sleep problems a cause or effect of mood disorders? Why do sleep problems affect mood in some people more than others? Can we use information on sleep to predict if or when someone will become unwell?

To investigate these questions, I will analyse genetic, sleep and mood data from large populations of people with and without mood disorders. This will involve cutting-edge methods for measuring sleep (polysomnography) and mood (digital technology). Results from this work will impact our current understanding of the role sleep disturbance plays in the onset and recurrence of mood disorders, in addition to informing mental health interventions and treatments.’

To read more about upcoming opportunities with the Wellcome trust please visit their website.

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