Environment, Development,

 Genetics & Epigenetics

 in Mental Health Lab 


At EDGE Lab, we investigate environmental, developmental, genetic, and epigenetic factors, and their interplay, in mental health. Specifically, our research focuses on vulnerability and resilience pathways and mechanisms for common mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety. Moreover, we explore the link between mental health and cognitive and physical health and ageing. Our research is truly interdisciplinary; we use prospective longitudinal, cross-cultural, and genetically informative approaches to get insights into determinants and consequences of mental health problems across the life course, generations and cultures. 

Research Themes


Our latest research on mental health and cognitive ageing: 

John, A., James, S., Patel, U., Rusted, J., Richards, M., & Gaysina, D. Longitudinal associations of affective symptoms with mid-life cognitive function: Evidence from a British birth cohort. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 2019, In press. doi:10.1192/bjp.2019.24

John A, Patel U, Rusted J, Richards M, Gaysina D. Affective problems and decline in cognitive state in older adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Psychological Medicine, 2019, 49(3), 353-365. doi.org/10.1017/S0033291718001137.

  * You can also read about this study in the Sussex Psychology Blog and the University of Sussex News.

   **It was featured in interviews for BBC Radio Sussex (0.42 minutes in) and Being Patient and and has received worldwide media coverage.


Our new publications on genetics and mental health:

Koike S, Gaysina D, Jones PB, Wong A, Richards M. Catechol O-methyltransferase (COMT) functional haplotype is associated with recurrence of affective symptoms: A prospective birth cohort study. Journal of Affective Disorders, 2018, 229: 437-442. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2017.12.044.

Gaysina D. Folic acid in pregnancy – MTHFR gene explains why the benefits may differ. The Conversation, 4th of May, 2018. 


Our books:

Book coverMalykh S, Kovas Y, and Gaysina D. (Eds.) Behavioural Genetics for Education. Palgrave Macmillan, 2016: ISBN 9781137437310. Available online

OblozhkaMalykh, S.B., Kovas, Y., Gaysina, D.A. (Eds) (2016). Behavioural Genomics: Child Development and Education. Publishing House of Tomsk State University, Tomsk. 442 pages. ISBN 978-5-94621-585-5 [pdf]


Children in Daycare: Science, the Media, and Public Opinion Cathryn Booth-LaForce, PhD, FAPS Charles & Gerda Spence… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

RT @W_O_Johnson: sshb.org/conference/coh… Conference: Cohort methods and applications in human biology. Abstract Deadline 28th Apr.… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

RT @EllenJoT: Great poster presentations by @AmberJohnSussex and Ali Schmidt from @edge_lab @MQmentalhealth scientific meeting to… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

Presenting our research led by @AmberJohnSussex at @ARUKnews event today pic.twitter.com/emJOtw8VeA

RT @genomicsedu: How do genetic traits get passed down from parent to child? Watch our NEW animation to find out: socsi.in/Oz8qd

Visit edge_lab on Twitter

How depression ages the brain

Are parents to blame?


Read full article here