Neurobiology of Suicide Thoughts and Behaviours in Youth with Mental Disorders

Research Opportunity
PhD, Masters by Research, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Project Status
Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Lianne Schmaal
Chris Davey

Project Details

Globally, suicide is the second most common cause of death for adolescents and young adults. More adolescents die by suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease. Suicidal thoughts and behaviours (STBs) typically emerge during adolescence, and the incidence of suicide rises sharply from childhood to adolescence (i.e. from 1.2 to 19.2 per 100.000). About 16% of teens think about suicide, and approximately 8% report making an attempt in the past year. To improve preventative intervention treatment for STBs, it is critical to identify neurobiological mechanisms and psychosocial risk factors that confer increased risk.

The project aims to elucidate transdiagnostic neurobiological and social mechanisms and trajectories underlying STBs in adolescence, a critical period of development when STBs emerge. The student will be part of a multidisciplinary international research consortium with extensive expertise in adolescent mental health and STBs, i.e. the Help Overcome and Prevent the Emergence of Suicide (HOPES) consortium. The student will analyse large-scale international datasets from more than 14 countries world-wide and report the results in a scientific paper. The student will help organise and harmonise databases, communicate with members of the consortium across the world.

Candidates with an interest in psychology, biological psychiatry, (youth) mental health and imaging neuroscience are encouraged to apply. Having prior experience with neuroimaging analyses and having strong statistical and computer programming skills is desirable. Further detail about this project is available upon request.

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Psychiatry

Research Opportunities

PhD, Masters by Research, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Graduate Research Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other Graduate Research requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

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