Kathy Redfern and Sylvia Pregnolato (left and second to left respectively) made it through to the Plymouth final of the Three Minute Thesis competition. This is an international contest in which students have to give a talk that explains their research to the public in just three minutes.
You can read more about the contest here.
Kathy is looking at how diet and physical activity during pregnancy affect the timing and composition of gestational weight gain, and how these maternal lifestyle factors in turn affect infant birth size characteristics. Her project should help future pregnancy intervention strategies aimed at improving maternal and infant pregnancy, birth and postnatal outcomes (supervisor Gail Rees). Silvia is interested in the genetic contribution to postpartum psychoses - some of the most severe episodes seen in psychiatry, with sudden onset and rapid escalation shortly after childbirth. Her research combines both molecular work on a gene of interest and computational analysis to investigate the genetic relationship of these episodes with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and pre-eclampsia. Insights into the role of genetic factors will not only facilitate early recognition, management and drug development, but also improve our understanding and classification of these disorders (supervisor Elaine Green).