Wellcome Trust: Mental Health Award – Sleep and Circadian Science

As part of our new strategic focus, Wellcome aims to develop new and improved early interventions for anxiety, depression and psychosis, in ways that reflect the priorities and needs of people experiencing these conditions. This work involves advancing scientific understanding of how brain, body and environment interact in the trajectory of these problems; and finding new and useable ways to predict, identify and intervene as early as possible.

Disturbances in sleep and circadian rhythms can predict the onset and relapse of mental disorder, are common in cases of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, and have a major bearing on quality of life. Greater severity of insomnia and/or circadian disruption is associated with higher levels of psychopathology and suicidality, increased risk of relapse, and poorer treatment outcomes.

However, as highlighted in our recent report on the current research landscape relating sleep and circadian rhythms to mental health, significant knowledge gaps remain. This award aims to advance understanding of the roles played by sleep and circadian rhythm disturbance in the development and resolution of anxiety, depression and psychosis – with a view to enabling effective early detection and intervention. Harnessing recent neuroscientific, technological and analytic advances will allow deeper characterisation of the changes occurring in sleep and circadian function, the underlying mechanisms driving these changes and their contributions to the development and maintenance of anxiety, depression and psychosis in diverse populations.

Please contact Lynn Wong if you are interested in applying to this opportunity.