Salivary hormones as risk and resiliency factors for mental illness

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Individuals exposed to traumatic events such as childhood abuse are at heightened risk of developing mental illness. Conversely, many individuals show resiliency to stress-related disorders in the face of adversity. Stress hormones detectable in our saliva can provide insights into which individuals are likely to show resilience in the face of extreme stress, and which are most vulnerable to mental illness such as anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, and antisocial behaviour. This project will examine the mechanisms underlying risk and resilience to psychopathology and aggression from a salivary bioscience perspective. This research has important implications for developmental models of stress-related disorders.

The preferred HDR candidate will have exceptional critical thinking, written/oral communication, and statistical skills. Candidates with prior experience with saliva collection, extraction, and analysis are preferred. Candidates who have experience in conducting research with children and/or clinical populations are highly encouraged to apply.

Supervisory team
Eva
Kimonis

Science
The University of New South Wales
Angela
Nickerson

Science
Psychology
Melissa
Green

Medicine
Psychiatry
e.kimonis@unsw.edu.au