Mental Health & Behaviour

The nature versus nurture argument is at the centre of how our behaviour develops and is thought to be a combination of genetics, environment and life experiences. The research group led by Prof John Quinn and Dr Jill Bubb is dedicated to understanding how these parameters work together to shape our brain function and how perturbation of their function results in CNS disorder.

Molecular genetics and biochemistry approaches are applied to clinical, psychological and psychiatric data to better understand CNS dysfunction. Key to this research is gene-environment interactions, how these combine to shape brain function and how environment, such as exposure to therapeutic and recreational drugs, can modify the profile of gene expression in the brain.

Much of the current work of the group is targeted at non-coding DNA that can influence how, when and where individual genes are expressed and the role of epigenomic structures in the predisposition, progression and severity of various neurological and psychiatric disease states. A variety of models are addressed from postnatal to ageing research, a particular focus is that many CNS disorders are in part a result of neurodevelopmental stresses that affect us in life.