Exciting new findings in schizophrenia research supported by the Nikolaos and Dimitra Pantelis Travelling Scholarship
Thanks to a generous donation from Professor Christos Pantelis and Mrs Kimberley Pantelis, PhD students focusing on schizophrenia research in the Department of Psychiatry at the University have the opportunity to attend and present at an international conference with the support of the Nikolaos and Dimitra Pantelis Travelling Scholarship.
Pictured: Mrs Kimberley Pantelis, Ms Cassandra Wannan, and Professor Christos Pantelis
The 2019 recipient of the award was PhD student, Cassandra Wannan, who recently met with Professor Pantelis and Mrs Pantelis to share details of some recent successes associated with her research. Thanks to the scholarship, Cassandra was able to attend the Schizophrenia International Research Society conference in Orlando, Florida earlier this year to present about her research.
Cassandra’s research is focused on memory impairment in schizophrenia and is exploring why cognition is often impaired in people impacted by this condition. By engaging schizophrenia patients in computerised memory tasks and analysing these results alongside images generated from an MRI machine, Cassandra has been able to demonstrate that there are two subfields of the hippocampus that are strongly related to memory impairment. The significance of this finding and further details of Cassandra’s research were recently featured in the University’s Eavesdrop on Experts podcast. To hear from Cassandra and learn more about her research, this podcast can be accessed here.
For Professor Pantelis and Mrs Pantelis, establishing the Nikolaos and Dimitra Pantelis Travelling Scholarship was a way of giving back to an area that is important to their family whilst also supporting young researchers like Cassandra pursue ways to improve the treatment of schizophrenia. The scholarship is named in honour of Professor Pantelis’ parents, who devoted much of their time to caring for his aunt, Paraskevi, who suffered from schizophrenia. Professor Pantelis’ career in psychiatry has been largely influenced by his aunt’s condition which has motivated him to pursue ways to improve the outcomes of those affected by severe mental disorders.
Pictured: Nikolaos and Dimitra Pantelis circa 1950s
The Nikolaos and Dimitra Pantelis Travelling Scholarship will be awarded again in 2020 with applications opening later this year.