My research focuses on the genetic study of behaviour, specific aspects of cognition and psychiatric and neurological disorders for which a genetic predisposition has been established, specifically childhood-onset depression, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, childhood-onset anxiety disorders, reading disabilities and Tourette syndrome. Because of the high risk for psychiatric disorders in children with neurodevelopmental disorders, a particular focus of the lab is understanding the shared risk factors across disorders. For example, depression is five times higher in children with a neurodevelopmental disorder. Through different approaches, my research team has identified genes that contribute to risk and the lab is now focused on understanding how DNA variation at risk genes alters gene and neural cell function.
Cathy L Barr, PhD
Senior Scientist, Krembil Research Institute (Krembil)