Florence isn't one to rest on her academic laurels

Florence Mowlem

Florence Mowlem had research papers published while studying as a psychology undergraduate – and, after graduating today (9 July 2013), she is looking forward to starting an internship with a clinical psychologist at Brighton General Hospital.

Last year Florence was able to get her first taste of academic research thanks to a University of Sussex Junior Research Associate bursary. During her summer holidays Florence, supervised by Brighton and Sussex Medical School forensic psychiatrist Dr Ayana Gibbs, looked at the effects of medicines on thinking processes. She went on to present her research at the British Psychology Society’s (BPS) annual conference in Harrogate in April this year.

Florence says: “The project looked at the effect of the antidepressant drug Reboxetine on memory and attention in healthy volunteers, and whether the effect of the drug on these processes is mediated by variations in two genes. Ultimately this may help us to understand how to treat people with memory and attention problems, and predict which patients with such problems may be most likely to benefit from this type of drug.”

During her final year as an undergraduate, Florence continued with the research and following graduation she will be presenting another paper at the summer meeting of the British Association for Psychopharmacology (BAP). And a further reward for her efforts is being listed as a co-author of an article in the latest issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry and now another article has been submitted to the Journal of Neuroscience for publication and is currently under review.

While working on her internship at Brighton General Hospital with a Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust clinical psychologist and applying for a Research Assistant positions to gain some further experience, Florence is planning to apply for a doctorate commencing in 2014, in which she would like to conduct research into Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). 

Florence was one of 21 students to benefit from a JRA bursary (worth £1,800) last year, and regards it as a formative experience. She says: “I loved my course, and the JRA scheme is a great way to gain research experience outside the degree programme. I really enjoyed becoming involved in the research community at Sussex. It was incredibly fulfilling at both an academic and personal level and it really confirmed that I want to go on to a complete a PhD and pursue a career in academia.”



By: Jacqui Bealing
Last updated: Tuesday, 2 July 2013