Based in the Division of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neuroscience at Cardiff University, we are a new research programme working with centres such as the Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics, and the National Centre for Mental Health (NCMH).
Our mission is to better understand how reproductive events such as pregnancy, the menstrual cycle and reproductive ageing impact mental health. In particular our research program is currently focusing on why some people develop severe mental illness in relation to reproductive events and some don’t.
Some of the questions we seek to answer:
- What genetic factors increase someone’s risk of experiencing these illnesses?
- What parts of your early development can make an impact?
- What environmental circumstances make symptoms worse?
Our research is made possible thanks to a European Research Council (ERC) grant from the Research and Innovation programme, Horizon 2020. Professor Arianna di Florio, our programme's lead researcher, was awarded €1.5m to conduct the first molecular genetic study of psychiatric sensitivity to sex hormone changes.
Reproductive mental health
Reproductive mental illness affects roughly 5-15% of women and people assigned female at birth (AFAB) at some time in their lives.
This programme comes at a pivotal time when these conditions and issues are receiving more attention, and the experiences of more women and AFAB people are being taken seriously.
We believe in bringing together world-leading experts and individuals with lived experience to tackle these difficult questions.
We collaborate with individual clinicians, academics and research groups in Cardiff and beyond.
Our main collaborators within the University are: