Environment, Development,

 Genetics & Epigenetics

 in Psychology and Psychiatry Lab 


At EDGE Lab, we investigate environmental, developmental, genetic, and epigenetic factors, and their interplay, in psychology and psychiatry. Specifically, our research focuses on vulnerability and resilience pathways and mechanisms for affective disorders, such as depression and anxiety. Moreover, we explore the link between affective disorders and physical and cognitive 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 affective psychopathology across the life course, generations and cultures. 

Research Themes


>Our latest research of genetic effects on complex psychological traits using longitudinal cohort designs: 

>>Koike, S., Gaysina, D., Jones, P.B., 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, Accepted.

>>Xu, M.K., Gaysina, D., Tsonaka, R,  Morin, A., Croudace, T.J., Barnett, J., Duistermaat, J., Richards, M., & Jones, P. Monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) gene and personality traits from late adolescence through early adulthood: a latent variable investigation. Frontiers in Psychology, 2017, In press: doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01736. [pdf]

>Our recent publications on long-term effects of childhood adversities on affective disorders:

>>Sands, A., Thompson, E. J., & Gaysina, D. Long-term influences of parental divorce on offspring affective disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Affective Disorders, 2017, 218:105-114. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2017.04.015. [pdfinewspaper

    * This study is featured in our opinion article 'Are your parents to blame for your psychological problems?' (Darya Gaysina & Ellen J Thompson) published in the Conversation.

   ** Republished by i Newspaper: 'Don't blame the parents'


>>Secinti, E., Thompson, E. J., Richards, M., & Gaysina, D. (2017). Research Review: Childhood chronic physical illness and adult emotional health–a systematic review and meta‚Äźanalysis. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 2017, Published online, doi:10.1111/jcpp.12727. [pdf] [infographics]

   * You can also read about this study in the Sussex Blog and the Surg Blog.

   ** The study has received worldwide media coverage.


>Our books:

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

Oblozhka>>Malykh, 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]


RT @abigailwr16: Fantastic talks from @Katerina_kekaki and @AmberJohnSussex at @Sussex_Psych PhD talks! Great to hear about the fab work in our department ūüėÄ

Look forward to our #SLLLS2018 #symposium! twitter.com/tonyrobertson8…

RT @DanielleWenner: From @JAMA_current: resistance training (lifting weights) contributes to the reduction of #depression symptoms jamanetwork.com/journals/jamap…

RT @DrugwatchTerry: Is your prescription bad for your #mentalhealth? New @JAMA_current study suggests one third of American adults are… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

RT @Sussex_Psych: This week's blog post: @AmberJohnSussex research shows a link between #depression and faster cognitive ageing… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

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