Understanding mental health has been important to me for many years and contributed to my decision to study psychology at university. During this time, I spent three months working on mental health projects in Sri Lanka where mental health is critically misunderstood. It was immediately clear that a greater understanding of brain function would be required in order to address mental health conditions across all cultures of the world.
I initially focussed my studies on cognitive psychology, psychometric testing and human brain imaging. Currently, I am on the Medical Research Council programme at the University of Cambridge studying for a PhD in neuroscience. I combine optogenetics, electrophysiological experiments in cell cultures and computational methods to understand how neuronal networks develop and function at the cellular scale. I believe that understanding brain function across multiple scales and its relationship with thoughts, emotions and behaviours is key to addressing the lack of objectivity in the diagnoses of mental health conditions and the consequent scarcity of efficacious treatment options.
Being part of the Psynergy Mental Health team allows me to help facilitate the translation of scientific knowledge into mental health interventions that can significantly improve quality of life.