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I joined King’s College London in 2009 as a 1+3 MSc/PhD student, after completing my undergraduate degree in Human Sciences at University College London. In 2014, I graduated with a PhD from the Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry (SGDP) department, where I was also awarded the Gottesman-Shields PhD Prize. In 2016, after a two-year postdoctoral training position as part of the Biomedical Research Centre, I was awarded a Medical Research Council Skills Development Fellowship. 

My current work combines wet-lab experimental methods with cutting-edge population genetic methods to investigate which biological mechanisms are important in mediating risk for psychiatric disorders, such as major depression, and identifying methods to reverse these risk mechanisms (e.g. drug repositioning). Biological mechanisms of particular interest include:  telomere shortening, inflammation, neurogenesis, and human endogenous retroviral expression. 

I currently lead the Psychiatric Biogerontology & Translational Medicine Group, where I supervise MSc students, PhD students and postdoctoral researchers. I lecture on a number of MSc courses, and in particular, the Genes, Environment & Development in Psychology & Psychiatry MSc. 

Research interests:

  •  Telomeres 
  •  Genetics 
  •  Biomarkers 
  •  Neuroscience 
  •  Cell development 

Research groups:

Psychiatric Biogerontology & Translational Medicine (Powell)


Molecular genetics 

Expertise and Public Engagement:

2017, Pint of Science: I gave a talk about stem cells and drug repositioning for depression, entitled “Highs & lows: understanding the effects of drugs”, London. 

2017, BBC Radio 4: I discussed the prospect of using stem cells for drug repositioning in depression as part of the “All in the Mind” programme ( 

2017, MRC Festival: I talked to school children about genetics and taught them how to extract DNA from strawberries. 

2016, Genes and Tonic event: I led practical demonstrations on DNA extraction at The Accessible Genetic Consortium, which aims to make science more accessible to the public.