Principal Advisor: Professor Christel Middeldorp


Organisational unit: Child Health Research Centre

The Child and Youth Mental Health group focuses on furthering our knowledge on the role of genetic factors in the development and persistence of childhood psychiatric disorders and the association with other childhood and adult traits. We use genetically-informative datasets from Australia and overseas as part of several consortia to investigate the interplay of genetics and environment in child and adolescent psychopathology. Many psychiatric disorders begin with onset of symptoms during childhood with more than 50% having age at onset before age 14. For some children, problem behaviours or psychiatric symptoms persist into adulthood, sometimes progressing into severe mental illness such as schizophrenia, while for others, symptoms resolve after a period of time. PhD projects are available in the group. The research will primarily involve applying state-of-the-art statistical genetics methods such as genome-wide association studies, genetic correlation analysis and polygenic risk prediction to large datasets to further our understanding of genetic risk for psychiatric disorders and behaviour through childhood and adolescence.