13 May 2016

Congratulations to Drs Caroline Gurvich and Kiymet Bozaoglu on their platform grant success

Dr Caroline Gurvich, Research Fellow/
Clinical Neuropsychologist at MAPrc
Congratulations to Drs Caroline Gurvich (CCS) and Kiymet Bozaoglu (Baker IDI) who have been awarded Faculty Platform Access Grant (PAG) funding in 2016 for their project titled, "Too stressed to think clearly? How microarray gene expression profiling can inform us about stress and cognition". The funding will enable Drs Gurvich and Bozaoglu (who also received an EMCR AMREP seed funding grant for the same project) to access the Monash bioinformatics platform for bioinformatics analyses to understand which gene pathways moderate the stress-cognition relationship in their research on gene expression and stress. 

As everyone is aware, stress is pervasive part in modern society. Environmental, psychological and biological factors all contribute to the degree of stress an individual experiences and the way they respond to life phenomenon.  Stress can also alter the way people think.  In particular higher order cognitive functions, that is, cognitive tasks that require attentional control, flexible thinking or effortful cognitive processing can become compromised under stress.  These higher order cognitive abilities are central to our decision making capacity, ability to generate abstract thought and form the basis of flexible, goal-directed behaviours.  Despite this evidence linking both daily and chronic stress to cognitive changes, few studies have directly examined biological and psychological mediators of the relationship between stress and cognition. This project will directly inform which genes are expressed differently in relation to high stress and compromised cognition and potentially identify a peripheral biomarker(s) representing the link between stress and compromised cognition.
Gurvich, C; Bozaoglu, K; Neill, E; Van Rheenen, T; Tan, E; Louise, S & Rossell, S. (2015) The dopamine D1 receptor gene is associated with negative schizotypy in a non-clinical sample. Psychiatry Research, v.235, pp.213-4 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2015.11.051

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