Dr Joanne Ryan
Dr Joanne Ryan leads a small research team in neuropsychiatric epidemiology. Her initial training was as a molecular biologist, completing a Science degree with honours in the Department of Biochemistry, University of Melbourne, followed by a Masters of Biostatistics, Monash University. Her PhD, awarded in 2011, investigated the role of sex steroids in later-life neuropsychiatric disorders. This was undertaken as a Cotutelle (joint project) with the University of Melbourne and Université Montpellier 1, France (Cotutelle). After completing her first post-doc overseas, Joanne joined MCRI in late 2012 with an NHMRC ECF.
Joanne has over 50 peer-reviewed publications, the vast majority of which are original research, published in key journals in her field. She is current primary supervisor of 3 students (1 PhD, 1 Masters, 1 Honours) and co-supervises another 2 PhDs. She has previously supervised to completion 7 Research Higher Degree Students.
- Honorary Research Fellow, Department of Paediatrics, The University of Melbourne
- Honorary Research Fellow, Neuropsychiatry: Epidemiology & Clinical Research, Inserm U1061 Institute, Montpellier, France
- 2016: Career Development Award, MCRI
- 2014: Best poster prize, Society for Mental Health Research
- 2013: Young Scientist Award, 11th World Congress of Biological Psychiatry, Japan.
- 2013: Scientific Mobility Program Travel Grant, French Embassy.
- 2011-2015: NHMRC Early Career Fellowship (Public Health)
Dr Joanne Ryan’s research is focused on the identification of biomarkers and risk factors for neuropsychiatric disorders, and is at the interface between biomedical, public health and clinical research. Her long-term vision is to reduce the prevalence and burden of neuropsychiatric disorders across the life-course. In order to achieve this goal, her current research focuses on two critical periods where neuropsychiatric disorders have a major impact and where interventions are likely to have the most effect: 1/ during development (in utero and early childhood) in particular investigating the role of early-life stress, trauma and parental mental health; and 2/ later in life (elderly).
Joanne has an extensive network of national and international collaborators and is an investigator on a number of large prospective cohort studies, and randomised clinical trials. These rich resources provide a wealth of data and biospecimens to investigate her key research questions.
Current research projects include:
- Epigenetic biomarkers of depression and anxiety disorder
- Biological embedding of stress across the lifetime and later risk of disease
- Early-life environment, neurodevelopment and behaviour in childhood: the role of epigenetics (Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, DOHaD)
- Biomarkers of early-life stress and stress reactivity
- Epi/genetics of cognitive function and neurodegeneration
- Australian Temperament Project, 3rd Generation (ATP and ATPG3)
- Triple B Study of Pregnancy
- Barwon Infant Study (BIS)
- Epigenetic biomarkers of neuropsychiatric disorders (EBNP)
- Biological embedding of stress and later risk of disease (BESD)
Mansell T., Vuillermin P., Ponsonby A-L., Collier F., Saffery R., Ryan J*. (2016) Maternal psychological stress during pregnancy and glucocorticoid receptor gene promoter methylation in the neonate. Development and Psychopathology, in press.
Mansell T, Novakovic B, Vuillermin P, Ponsonby AL, Collier F, Burgner, D, Saffery R, Ryan J*. (2016) The effects of maternal anxiety during pregnancy on IGF2/H19 methylation. Translational Psychiatry, in press.
Ryan J*, Artero S, Carriere I, Maller JJ, Meslin C, Ritchie K., Ancelin M-L. (2016) GWAS-identified risk variants for major depressive disorder: Preliminary support for an association with late-life depressive symptoms and brain structural alterations. European Neuropsychopharmacology 26(1): 113-25.
Januar, V., Saffery R., Ryan J*. (2015) Epigenetics and depressive disorders: current progress and future directions. International Journal of Epidemiology. 44(4):1364-87.
Ryan J*, Carriere I, Ritchie K, Ancelin M-L. (2015) Involvement of GPR50 polymorphisms in depression: a prospective cohort study. Brain and Behaviour. 2015;5(3): e00313.
Ancelin ML, Farre, A, Carriere I, Ritchie K, Ryan J*. (2015) C-reactive protein gene variants: independent association with late-life depression and circulating protein levels. Translational Psychiatry. 2015. 20;5: e499.
Januar V, Ancelin ML, Ritchie K, Saffery R, Ryan J*. (2015) BDNF promoter methylation and genetic variation in late-life depression. Translational Psychiatry. 5 :e619.
Ryan J*, Carriere I, Carcaillon L, Dartigues JF, Auriacombe S, Rouaud O, Berr C, Ritchie K, Scarabin PY. and Ancelin ML. (2014) Estrogen receptor polymorphisms and incident dementia: the prospective 3C study. Alzheimer’s & Dementia. 10(1): 27-35.
Ryan J* and Saffrey R. (2014) Cruicial timing in schizophrenia : role of DNA methylation in early neurodevelopment. Genome Biology. 15: 495-498.
Ryan J*, Scali J, Carriere I, Scali J, Amieva H, Rouaud O, Berr C, Ritchie K, Ancelin ML. (2014) The impact of a premature menopause on cognitive function in later life: prospective cohort study. BJOG: International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. 121(13):1729-39.