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9 August 2018

CANTAB Research Grant funds investigation of chronic inflammation as a pathway for cognitive dysfunction in depression

PhD Student Naoise Mac Giollabhui received a CANTAB Research Grant in 2018 for his project: ‘Chronic inflammation as a pathway to cognitive dysfunction in adolescents and young adults with a history of elevated depressive symptoms’. We caught up with Naoise to discuss how the grant will benefit his research. 

First, I would like to thank Cambridge Cognition for supporting me through the CANTAB Research Grant. I was absolutely delighted to learn that I had received an award and I am looking forward to putting this award to good use!


Why did you choose CANTAB for your research project? 

When I was first embarking on a career as a psychology researcher, I had the good fortune to work on a pan-European project investigating adolescent brain development and behavior (IMAGEN) that used CANTAB software. I was impressed by how efficient it was to administer and record data. As I continue to learn about neuropsychological assessment, I continue to be impressed by it as a reliable and valid assessment of a wide range of neuropsychological functioning.

At present, I am a doctoral student working with Dr. Lauren Alloy at Temple University’s Mood and Cognition Laboratory. Dr. Alloy is a world-renowned researcher who has spent her career exploring the etiology and course of mood disorders.  I am building upon this line of research by investigating neurobiological processes that may be responsible for the development of cognitive dysfunction in depression.


What is the main aim of your research? 

Many people with depression experience pronounced difficulties in making everyday decisions and in paying attention to issues that matter to them. Over the last 20 years, researchers have discovered that depressed individuals are impaired across a broad range of cognitive functions, such as recollecting memories, planning ahead, and sustaining attention. There is growing evidence that these problems persist when depression has lifted, and continue to cause problems in day-to-day activities.

The goal of my research is to better understand whether neurobiological processes, such as inflammation, may be responsible for the lingering cognitive problems that persist after depression has remitted. 


The CANTAB Research Grant is an annual award which supports researchers in their investigations of cognitive function - interested in applying? 

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Tags : cantab | depression | cantab research grant | inflammation | cognitive dysfunction | cantab testimonial

Author portrait

Naoise Mac Giollabhui, PhD Student at Temple University, USA.