I am a Professor of Perinatal Psychiatry for the Department of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences at Cardiff University. I am also an Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist in Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust. My research interests relate to bipolar spectrum disorders and in particular the relationship of mood disorders to childbirth. My clinical interest is in the identification and management of women at high risk of severe postpartum episodes.
My research has focussed on clinical and molecular genetic studies of bipolar spectrum mood disorders and, in particular, studies of postpartum triggering of severe episodes of illness in women with bipolar disorder – puerperal or postpartum psychosis.
My research has established the influence of genetic factors on postpartum episodes and employed linkage and association approaches to identifying genetic variants that influence risk. More recently the work of the mood disorders group has focused on the Genome Wide Association (GWA’s) approach and have participated in the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium study.
In collaboration with the University of Birmingham, in addition to academics, clinicians and user representatives throughout the UK we have launched the Bipolar Disorder Research Network (BDRN.org) which is seeking to recruit a further 4,000 individuals with bipolar disorder for molecular genetic and clinical research.
Other areas of research activity include: psychoeducation for bipolar disorder; the prospective study of bipolar women in pregnancy; the relationship of symptoms to the menstrual cycle in bipolar disorder; and, decision making around the use of psychiatric medications in pregnancy.