I am a postdoctoral researcher in psychiatric epidemiology. I joined MEB in April 2015 to work on the Child and Adolescent Twin Study in Sweden (CATSS) with Prof Paul Lichtenstein.
My background is in psychology. I completed my BSc and MSc at the University of Exeter in the UK. I studied for a PhD in behavioral genetics at the UCL Institute of Education. Working with Prof Tony Charman and Dr Angelica Ronald, my thesis tested numerous hypotheses regarding the co-occurrence of traits characteristic of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). After a postdoc with Dr Angelica Ronald investigating adolescent psychotic experiences, I relocated to KI in April 2015.
2010-2013 PhD Behavioural Genetics, Institute of Education, London, UK
2009-2010 MSc (with Distinction) Psychological Research Methods, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK
2006-2009 BSc (Hons) Psychology, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK
In a broad sense, I am interested in the etiology, development, and comorbidity of neurodevelopmental disorders, with a strong focus on autism spectrum disorders (ASD). While many of my studies are fairly broad studies of the etiology of neurodevelopmental disorders, I have three specific areas of particular interest:
1. Comorbidity: comorbidity has long been an interest of mine. It is very frequently the case that individuals with ASD present with symptoms of other disorders, such as ADHD or anxiety. My research in this area investigates the prevalence, etiology, and prognosis associated with mental health problems in individuals with ASD. How common are such problems in people with ASD? What factors can explain the association between ASD and mental health problems?
2. Development: ASD is widely recognized to be a lifelong condition, with symptoms typically assumed to be discernible from an early period of development. I am interested in the emergence of symptoms, and their subsequent developmental course. How stable is ASD and autistic traits? Do genetic factors influence the continuity and change in symptoms?
3. Sex differences: ASD is much more freqeuntly diagnosed in males than in females, yet the reasons why this is the case are not well understood. My interest in this area is in investigating whether there is any evidence of etiological and phenotypic differences between males and females with ASD as evidenced by differences in symptom profiles and exposure to etiological factors associated with ASD.
I am trained in twin analysis, and rely heavily on twin and family designs in my research. I also use a broader array of epidemiological methods, including cohort and case-control designs in my research. My lines of research all aim to better understand the factors behind the emergence, detection, and development of neurodevelopmental disorders, and subsequent outcomes.
I currently teach on the medical program during the fifth semester (vetenskaplig metodologi). I also offer projects to undergraduate and Masters students.