Epigenetic profiling of young adults with depression

Mental health in the student population is of particular concern, with over 25% meeting clinical criteria.

Project Lead

Dr Rachelle Irwin

Lecturer in Genomic Medicine

School of Biomedical Sciences


Problem

Mental health in the student population is of particular concern, with over 25% meeting clinical criteria. Depression is a complex and multifactorial disorder of which the causes are not clear, and diagnosis is hampered by a lack of biological and testable markers.

Solution

We aim to investigate the genetic makeup of individuals with a history of depression compared with those who do not to determine biomarkers for depression, and other mental health conditions.

Impact

Depression is currently the leading cause of global disability and has growing incidence among young people in Northern Ireland. The ability to generate a better understand of the biological underpinnings of mental health conditions will enable the development of clearer diagnosis, pharmaceutical treatments, and risk ratios.

Collaborators

  • Prof. Siobhan O’Neill
  • Dr Elaine Murray
  • Prof Tony Bjourson
  • Prof Colum Walsh