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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.


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.


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.


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